Blind Squirrel Adventures (She’s Just Lazy. Isn’t she?)

Dean's Dollie

Dollie Girl

The Blind Squirrel did not find an acorn today.  Well, he found some, but he was too distracted by his own thoughts to pay proper attention.  He is sad.  He knows in his heart that his old friend is going away on her own adventure without him.  She is a good girl.  Yes, that’s what he will remember.  She is a good girl.

He promises himself that he won’t remember the way her little head shook so much and scared her so much.  He’ll pretend that she just wanted to lie down to rest.  She didn’t lie down because the shaking made her afraid.  She was always a lazy girl, wasn’t she?  That’s it.  She was just lazy.  Even her mom’s parrot learned to call her, “Come on, Dollie!”, when she lagged behind the others.  Maybe she couldn’t hear anymore or maybe the cataracts made it dark so she had to be careful.  No!  She was just always lazy.  Wasn’t she?

Squirrel smiles when he remembers the time he first saw her.  That was a long time ago.  She was a little bit of a thing, all fuzzy, hiding her big eyes behind that funny-looking chrysanthemum face.  She was a present for Pops, wasn’t she?  Pops said he didn’t want another dog.  I didn’t believe him because I saw him on the sofa asleep with that fuzzy little thing sleeping under his beard.  I told you Pops was all bark, didn’t I?

Then Squirrel remembers some more.  How Pops always told Dollie Girl how pretty she was.  He told her that so much Dollie Girl’s mom started answering, “Why, thank you, Deano!”  I knew she was pretending Pops was talking to her.  Sometimes, I think Pops knew it too.  He never said so though.

Then something bad happened.  Pops went away and left Dollie Girl and me too.  I wondered who was going to tell Dollie Girl how pretty she was.  Dollie Girl liked it so much.  Maybe I could remember to tell her.  No, it wouldn’t be the same, would it?  Maybe that’s why Dollie Girl is lying down.  NO!   She’s just lazy.  Isn’t she?

Please excuse me, now.  I think I’ll go sit beside Dollie Girl.  Maybe if I tell her how pretty she is, her head will stop shaking.  Won’t it?



17 Comments on “Blind Squirrel Adventures (She’s Just Lazy. Isn’t she?)

  1. (I feel remiss for having gotten myself pre-occupied and not reading this until now. . . . . )

    We weren’t dog people–none as children (‘dogs are meant for barns, and we have no barn now’)–and none until three years ago–and now Raul and I have our ‘Elmo’. Men like us in a mid-sized Western Canadian city, living in the suburbs? We have each other, yes, but without an ‘Elmo’ running and jumping onto our laps, unable to choose which lap–wishing he were in both at the same time–our lives would be less rich, and much diminished.

    Such a tribute within these lines, the recognition, the acceptance, the refusal to accept–they take us to that deepest of places where we know without having to say we know.
    But we know.

    And I know while peering into those soulful eyes, what you know, and wish I could give you the hug I’m giving you right now.


    • We are complicated creatures. I’ve lost dogs that I loved before her. I’m an old hand at loving and losing dogs. My strangely deep emotional reaction to losing my husband’s dog is a simple matter of transference. That’s what psychologists would say. I see her slipping away from me in precisely the same way he did. I realize I’m saying goodbye to him again. I’ve never had a dog who died the way she is dying. I suppose it’s fitting that she is going slowly, as he did, giving me time to understand. Perhaps allowing me to finish a grief I thought I had stored away.

      You and Raul need another dog. One for each lap. A puppy to comfort you when it’s time for Elmo to leave.

      Thank you, my dear friend.


  2. Oh dear George, I can’t talk now… actually I don’t know what to say. Just be sure, I feel in my heart and you will be with me together. Your photograph touched me so much too. Thank you, with my love, nia


    • Sweet Nia, you carry only joy in your heart to share with the world. I have taken great gulps of it from your photographs and from your words too, and I am grateful. Thank you.


  3. Oh my, what to say. You have played a gentle sad melody on our heart strings. A powerful image accompanied by a subtle words – honest and true. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Once again, on a day in which I think I may have penned my finest work I am humbled to read what you do with such sensitive and powerful material. It would be so easy to emphasize the agony it is just that the beautiful emphasizes it so much better. I am certain this will stay with me all day and perhaps much longer.
    A big hug for you,


    • Michael, I haven’t read your latest post, but I know how well you write. You actually write. I tell folksy tales filled with sentimentality. I’m old enough to get away with it! Thank you for always taking time out for me and for encouraging me. You are on your way, but you pause to pay attention to an old woman who has nothing to offer except the stories that live in her head. Thank you.


  5. Oh my goodness, George, this went straight to my heart. My eyes are welled up with tears, reading this and looking into those eyes. What an incredibly moving and beautiful photograph. You’ve told this story with such deeply stirring prose. This will stay with me long after I leave WP today, and I’ll be thinking of you and sweet Dollie Girl. I know you’re heart is swelling to see her suffer, but I know you’re doing right by her, and she knows it, too.


    • Thank you, Lemony. I am not a weeper, but my heart hurt so much that I cried the whole time I was writing this little farewell to Dollie. She was my husband’s dog, and I suppose I’m reluctant to let her go too. Our lives are really a series of losses…big and small. It’s the manageable ones that teach us to accept the overwhelming ones without succumbing. With each loss, we are reminded of the transience of life. We learn selfless love only through painful loss. But, our sorrow is lighter if we allow our “blind squirrels” to carry it for us. Writing the story allowed me to do that. I will remember that little girl with a smile.


  6. Aww sweet George….my eyes are leaking. I know…oh I know so well. Watching the pretty puppy faces grow old and then the eyes get empty….except when you speak…maybe you have to be a little louder than before…but the light will come back when you speak to them. It is so sad to have to let them go before we do. I think God should come up with a better plan….when we are born, we should be given a puppy who will live exactly as long as we do. They will be silly when we are teenagers and help us with the babies when we are having families, and curl up on the couch with us when we are old and finally die at exactly the same moment we do. Now that would be a much better plan. I am so sorry about Dolly. I hope the pills will help her….but I know there are no pills to help you to not be sad. Knowing the time is close is always so so hard.


    • Thank you, Sue. I know you understand. You love those big babies of yours as if they were going to be there forever. That’s the way we should love, isn’t it? Without reserve…the way our animals do. And, no, our animals don’t live as long as we’d like them to live. That’s just the way it is. I’ll do my best by Dollie Girl. I was not surprised when Dean was dying that his one request was that I look after his Dollie. So like him.


  7. A great story that says so much, yet a simple photo of a companion with inquisitive eyes !



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