I’m asked how I know my dog is deaf?
1) He’s a 12-year old pug.
2) He sits in the living room window to wait for me to come home. My car pulls up right outside that screened window. When I arrive through the back door, and he sees the outline of me, only then does he realize I’m back.
3) Sometimes he isn’t aware that I walked into the room. When I sit down next to him and pat his silky ears, he’s startled like someone that just saw a snake. He never heard me coming.
He is so loyal, his aging absolutely breaks my heart.
4) I just went into the cellar to bring up the hammock. I rentered the house through the back door. He didn’t hear me at all. Maybe it’s because he was focused on the cellar door. He was lying in front of it, waiting for me to come back up.
I didn’t want to surprise him, or make him feel badly that he was unaware, so I walked slowly toward him and petted his back.
He looked up at me wondering, “where did you come from?”
It’s mornings like these that make me admit my dearest friend has grown long in the tooth.
I know our Otis is deaf because it’s every evening now that I whisper an expression with my eyes. It translates, “I love you” because some day, he won’t hear our goodbye.