“Hey, Mom, meet MacKenzie” my proud son announced.  This introduction to my first granddog seems like yesterday.  Yet, fifteen years have passed.

Yesterday, I again met MacKenzie as I walked into the house.  But age had robbed his puppy antics.  I looked into two sightless eyes, observed his stiff wobbling limbs as he slowly walked towards me. As tears welled in my eyes, I also saw his stubby, wagging tail!

older_dogThis was truly the same dog just in an aged body who still welcomed me and me him.  Recognizing each other like old lost friends, I sat down in a waiting chair to caress his face.  The touch of his fur on my hands lent a feeling of security to me and obviously made him happy and contented.

After a lovely dinner, good conversation, and enjoying time with my family, I left saying goodbye to all.  Once again, he stood in my path as I walked down the hallway. MacKenzie accompanied me as I gathered my things and took a quick look at myself in a small mirror.

I now saw my own reflection.  My hair now gray, my step a bit slower and my back not as straight, I realized that getting old is a process. One this old beloved dog and I share in our journey through life.

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

Comments (3)

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  1. BarbaraPowell says:

    Loved this. I am dog sitting for my daughter’s two dogs who were puppies just four years ago! Where does the time go?

  2. Nancy Stevens says:

    Such a sweet story. Dogs are so wonderful. Easier to see others aging than ourselves. Guess that is a good thing!!!

  3. john says:

    As always, Mary Ann is able to take the simplest stories and give them just the right amount of impact to make us think. It truly is amazing the impacts our furry friends can have on all of us. It can seem like we are looking in the mirror and gage ourselves versus them thru our lives – just as Mary Ann describes. Well done as always!