My little Dazee has a broken compass.
She cannot find her way out from behind
the couch where she is wedged.
Is it me, whose compass runs askew?
How am I to decide?
Canine cognitive dysfunction
masks her embarrassment of not remembering how to get out of a corner.
She does not hear me, or perhaps she does not recognize her own name.
My little girl looks fine and youthful,
tail wagging, jumping excitedly for a walk.
At first I thought she just missed me,
frantically chewing the door frame.
Trying to get back inside, dismantling the barricade,
wanting to be close.
Out playing and racing about,
she tangles in blackberry vines and wild rosebush stems.
Life’s thorns entangle us.
She is joyful on her all-out sprints.
Staring placidly at the stopped truck driver,
she flashes a smile at me, in my garden clogs, in hot pursuit.
Unable to navigate through the doggie door, pacing so I will notice she needs to pee.
Excitedly charging, sliding on the slippery floor,
crashing into the dishwasher,
unmindful of her path’s obstructions.
She bounds and leaps as though at play, it must hurt her old body.
Her occasional whimpers hurt my heart.
Milling about, hours on end.
Jake, her twin, seems oblivious to her restlessness.
but his pathway is clear, aging gracefully, just like Gramps.
Forgetting or not seeing that her dinner plate is right there,
she fades away a bit at a time.
Jake dutifully removes the evidence, that she has lost her way.
She is happy, gobbling treats when held just right,
basking in the attention,
proud to be with me, her beloved.
Wrapped in her swaddling jacket, she relaxes then snoozes,
breathing heavily with comforting sounds.
Studying the blank wall, she asks me why she is confused,
then moans in delight, at an ear rub.
Wagging at the sight of a leash and my movement towards the door,
craving a plotted course, as she is all but lost.
She scurries about on her pilotless journeys, seeking coordinates.
Not wanting to be alone.
How do I decide when she needs me to guide her home?
How can we untangle our web and life and love?
My little Crazee Dazee has a broken compass.
She cannot find her way out from behind the couch where she is wedged.
Read the map, Mom, find the way.