Aging: The Story of a Dog and a Chipmunk


Coco came to us from the North Shore Animal Shelter. Cute, cuddly and missing one leg. Born with this abnormality no one wanted to adopt her–but our son, David, bonded with Coco and that is the end of the story–or perhaps the beginning!

Most people pitied Coco. They were concerned that she could not walk but really there was no need to worry about this sweet little brown-haired puppy. She not only walked, she ran. Oh how she ran! And the motivation for her running was Chewy, a chipmunk who lived on our property. Coco’s main challenge in life was to chase Chewy and, in a world of dreams, to someday catch the little devil. Coco would race after the chipmunk to the lake or the swamp but Coco always came back empty-pawed.

The years passed. The challenge continued, but now Chewy would run to the drainpipe outside the kitchen window and disappear, revealing herself on the roof where she would spit seeds at Coco, standing below. This was better suited to Coco who could no longer chase the foe. Coco had definitely lost her steam.

As the dog aged she lay in the sun outside our bedroom near a sewer pipe protruding from the ground. I suppose Chewy felt sorry for Coco because instead of energizing the dog the chipmunk would approach her and when Coco slowly arose, trying to prepare herself for the chase, she could not even reach out for Chewy as the chipmunk disappeared into the septic pipe.

The final chapter: Chewy would run over Coco’s back while the dog slept on the grass. Coco was now too old to even rebel against this humiliation. Eventually Coco died and Chewy disappeared, probably to harass another dog.

Coco and Chewy had become partners in the process of aging.

With time, life slows down for all of us and, hopefully, before the chase is over, each one of us will pursue many chipmunks or, if chipmunks are not your preference, whatever dream you chase after will fulfill you, aware that time passes––too quickly.


4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. The challenge– to hold on and continue to chase our dreams even in our old age, right?
    Thanks for your inspirational writing, dear Dan!


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