Local student helps out elderly lady and very old dog, queue some important life lessons.
When I was studying at 6th Form, we were asked in form to a volunteer to walk an elderly lady’s dog for her. She lived locally and was struggling with mobility.
Thinking I might get out of Maths (I was re-taking, again) I raised my hand.
So it began, my twice weekly walks with Bonny, a small-once-white terrier that in dog years, was older than Rose.
The first time I went to collect Bonny, I entered into a large, ramshackle terrace house which was no longer in its prime. The hallway was testament to the rest of the house, full of stuff that Rose could no longer move by herself, stuff building up as Rose aged, it was lived in and loved.
Bonny & Rose rattled around the house, eating, napping, shuffling & listening to the radio. Occasionally they ventured into the garden. Bonny lived up to her name, old, dishevelled but happy in nature, and on each walk (slow walk) we got to know each other a bit more.
Tea & biscuits were offered and consumed - awkward teenager meets physically uncomfortable Octogenarian conversation pursued.
A friendship began with both owner and dog. I began moving stuff for Rose and over time spent with Rose and Bonny, I saw how much adored her companion was. Rose lived for Bonny, there wasn’t anything else, just Bonny. No family, daycare or visitors, just Bonny.
I was struck how swiftly Rose moved when she needed to for her dog, water refreshments, feeding time. If her dog wasn’t with her, I’m not sure Rose would have moved much at all.
I don’t know what happened to them both, I honestly don’t remember. My year at college came to an end and I went away to art school which must have finished our connection.
This was nearly 30 years ago now so I can’t imagine they are both alive, which left of them left this planet first I don’t know - Bonny or Rose, but I hope that that the one left without the other, didn’t have too long.
I never did get that maths either.
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