People like to say that the two of us were made for one another, but I’m not sure that’s true. Scope had lived a full life before I took him home, off doing God knows what with God knows who. Of course, I had my fun as well, running up mountains and across rivers off into the northern wilderness. I think Scope would’ve enjoyed that, though we’re both too old to make good progress these days.
My knees aren’t what they used to be, and Scope’s hips have been worn through over a lifetime of hard work. I say “doing God knows what” when I talk about him, but I know he was a war dog for some time. It’s hard to imagine him sniffing for landmines with his bomb vest, but I suspect it’s as familiar to the men to the men and women he served with as it is foreign to me. Just doesn’t seem like that kind of dog now, you know? Retired life suits him.
Most days, he sleeps on the bed beside my desk, head resting upon crossed paws. It’s easy to see his age, then. Around his nose, the gray shock of fur, once black, becomes a defining feature in the mid afternoon sun. His eyes are worn and tired, their youthful vigor trapped somewhere in in the past.
We don’t ask much of one another. But when I take up my cane and ease myself across the creaking floorboards, toward the kitchen or into the bedroom, he’s at my side.
These days, that’s enough.