Paula Damon

“Fall in love with a dog, and in many ways, you enter a new orbit, a new universe…a new way of experiencing attachment.”Caroline Knapp, American Writer and Columnist

It grieves me so to see our three Dachshunds aging.

Debilitating arthritis.

Weakening bladders

Missing teeth.

Losing eyesight.

Graying hair.

“At their age,” the doc always tells us, “you never know if they’ll make it another year,” preparing us for the inevitable.

We’ve heard it so many times we’ve begun to say it ourselves.

When our young grandkids asked about Lily’s growth smack-dab in the middle of her forehead, their Grandpa Brian said she was growing a unicorn. For better or worse, the myth still holds.

That Lily. She’s my bestie. I’m beside myself not knowing how to get along without her when she goes.

I’ve asked God to have her waiting for me (or vice versa) whichever comes first.

Her birth name, Little Bit, seems quite fitting. Probably the runt of the litter, she’s small but mighty. Her relentless bark doubles as a siren. Noticeably bent, her tail appears to have been broken at an early age.

At any rate, we like to call her Lily after my mother.

Lily, Lily, Lily. What will I do without you?

Then there’s Zoey, Lily’s bestie. If ever there were a catlike canine – that would be Zoey.

She’s a charmer with a lush brindle coat and quiet demeanor. Everything about her spells “Meow.” Light footed, she moves about softly with grace and sophistication. Evasive like a feline, she rarely hems and haws and daily slips away to sleep in a quiet spot in the house.

And good old Poe. Brian calls this Dachshund of ours Poe-Poe. The only male of the three, he is gotten grumpy in his old age.

Sometimes he lets me hold him. Other times, he’s best left alone, showing his teeth, what few he has remaining.

Like Lily and Zoey, Poe’s going on 16.

Seeing these three rascals scuttle and limp and wobble about, I wonder where has time gone?

Seems like yesterday we brought them home from the shelter.

Full of life and triple the trouble, they were one ball of fur on 12 legs, running and playing and living it up in this, their forever home.

Back then, I fretted over what I would do with them. Afterall, we never had three pups all at once.

Today, I can’t picture my life without them – warts and all.

As I crane my neck, peering down the short hallway of the future, I envision my own passing.

And I must believe that Lily, Zoey and Poe-Poe will be there to greet me. Along with our Springier Spaniels Jill and Michael, our rat terrier Sammy. And, of course, our beagle Princy.

They’ll all be there waiting. Won’t they?

Paula Bosco Damon is a national award-winning writer whose columns appear weekly in regional newspapers in the Upper Midwest. Over the years, the author’s works have garnered top honors, including her creative non-fiction chapbook “Look. Don’t Look.” – garnering First Place in the National Federation of Press Women’s 2017 writing competition. For more information, email


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