I’m eleven now, long past middle age for a dog, and some parts of me are aging better than others. If anything, my sense of smell has become even more acute than before, which is saying something, but it’s possible my nose is compensating for my ears. They’re cute, they’re floppy, they’re nice to rub, but they don’t work so great anymore.
I thought it was kinda funny when Logan started to lose his hearing. He stopped noticing when someone drove in the yard, which really bugged his vigilant nature. I’d watch him wake up and see that a strange vehicle was in the yard and he’d start barking frantically with something like, “Where the hell did they come from? Bark! Bark! Who let them in? Bark! Bark!” So funny. And he could easily be sneaked up on or away from by me or the humans. Also a good game.
And then it happened to me.
The troublesome thing is, Logan’s hearing loss didn’t start until he was about thirteen or fourteen and mine around nine. Which means I’m no longer hard of hearing but mostly deaf and will likely lose what little hearing I have left. I hear sneezes, which scare the crap out of me, especially when I’m sleeping. I hear loud coughs, which have a similar effect to sneezes. I hear loud, sharp sounds like Nollind’s whistle. And, damn it, I still hear thunder when it’s big.
On the plus side, I don’t hear the run-of-the-mill thunderstorms, that frightening beeping sound the stove makes after a power outage, the popping of a wood campfire, and I can sleep through most any action movie or television show. Life has become rather peaceful for a guy who appreciates a good nap and inherited some of Logan’s noise sensitivity.
But I miss the sound of my people’s voices. I see their mouths moving but no sound comes out unless they speak very low or high, and very loud. Sometimes T will lift up my ear flap and talk right into the ear and I can make out some of the words then, like my name and good dog. Those are the ones I miss the most.
Other than ears, things are in pretty fine shape for a guy my age. Gravel feels a little lumpier under aging paws, hills a bit steeper, and the couch seems higher than it used to be, but generally I’m still able to do all the stuff I love best: walking, eating, chewing, sleeping, cuddling, and, thank God for my nose, smelling.