Why My Dog Can’t Die…

Artwork by Hazel Morgan

My dog Patch is a bejillion years old. I got him with my spouse when we lived in Virginia. We picked him out of a litter. He was picked and scratched by his siblings and full of patches — thus, the name.

He is seriously around ten years old now, and is lookin’ like an old man. He sleeps under my bed with his head hanging out to keep watch. He is a BIG chocolate lab, and very easy to trip over at night. His gaseous aromas fill my room. His earthquake snoring is like white noise to me. During the day, when I’m not completely focused on him, he yells at me with this annoying bark until I acknowledge him.

When he looks at me with his big, brown, age-glazed eyes and a completely grey beard, I have the utmost feeling of comfort. He has protected our kids as they have grown. He’s been dressed up in tutus and stands still while allowing the greatest hair bows to be put on him. At this point, he is the one stable entity that our family has. He connects us, and is loved by us. He is our transitional object. Our big, smelly, wonderful, transitional object of what our family once was.

So for now, I can put my arms around his big, bumpy neck and feel Patched.

About Jean Wolfe Powers, LMFT