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Being 80 is a dog and poor knee show, I Shih Tzu not

Bob Morrissey


Recently, this  old-timer had a very bad day because of two senior moments, one silly and one that could have been catastrophic.


First, the silly one: I lost my dog Katie IN MY CONDO.


That’s right: dog poo happens. When I returned home from playing indoor simulator golf, the little one wasn’t where I thought I had left her: on a pillow on the floor next to my Dr. Ho foot massager.


I searched high and low — in both bedrooms, in the small kitchen, in the foyer and even in the bathroom. I looked under the couch in the living room and all I found was an old Gazette sports section, open to a page that carried my Selwyn House School track and field story. A quick read found three typos, but I digress.


Looking for a trail, I kept an eye out for any little puddles of urine on my hardwood floors: All I could find were smudged old stains and two thick rubber heel marks, six feet apart — my one and only attempt at doing the limbo. I kept calling Katie’s name but got no response. Not even a little bark.


By now, I was beside myself which, when you think of it, is impossible. How could I draw her out? They make it look so easy on one of my favourite television shows, The First 48. But I don’t have the backing of a SWAT team; I’m on my own. It’s me against a 10-year-old, five-pound Shih Tzu. I outweigh her by 215 pounds; piece of cake.


OK, so far I’ve tried to lure her out by calling out her name; time to up my game —  with the promise of food. Usually, she comes running when she hears the fridge door open, so I go into the kitchen and do just that three or four times. I wait, expecting to hear the patter of little paws, but there’s only silence. I unwrap a cheese slice, something that also always draws her attention, but not today.


By now, I feel like  a snack, but that’ll have to wait. I close the fridge door and head into the living room where I plan my next move. Strangely enough, Katie loves it when I sing anything by Michael Bublé. Her favourite is “Sway”. So I let loose — but then so does the sourpuss upstairs: stomping on the ceiling with his feet. Can’t say as I blame him.


Time for my next move. I know; I’ll sit on the toilet — often she joins me in the bathroom, lying on the small bath mat outside my shower enclosure. I even take the extra step of singing while I wait. Still no Katie.


Directly opposite the bathroom is my small, cramped laundry room, and it dawns on me that that’s the only room I haven’t checked. Is it possible she’s in there? That’s where I keep my dirty clothes. She wouldn’t last an hour without a mask. And it’s always been off limits.


But there she was, standing, tail wagging, happy to see me.


How did she get there? It must have been when I rushed off to play indoor golf. I had said goodbye to her in the bedroom and then quickly went into the laundry room to put a load in the washing machine.


Usually, she scuttles under the bed, but this time she must have followed me — and I unknowingly closed the door on her.


It was a dumb thing for me to do, but 80-year-olds often do dumb things. And what happened about three hours later was even more perplexing: I tumbled down the stairs leaving the indoor golf facility. My only excuse is that I was in a hurry and wasn’t concentrating. Sound familiar?


Fortunately, I only suffered bruises to my hip, elbow and knee. I say fortunately because, according to Google, every day on average in Canada 13 seniors die and 259 are hospitalized by falls. As an example: In 2018, this resulted in 4,849 deaths, 94,529 hospitalizations, 424,609 visits to the emergency department and 28,310 disabilities.


Not to mention a ton of embarrassment.


Yes, it’s tough getting old. We try to hide it until we can’t, and sometimes we become a danger to ourselves. If we’re lucky, our younger friends sympathize and put up with it. In my case, that younger friend is Dave Peters, my fellow simulator golf warrior.


When I got home from our regular Thursday indoor golf game — and just before I launched my search for Katie — Dave sent me an email about my fall.


It was short and sweet.


All it said was, and I paraphrase: “No more stair-surfing for you.”


Ya got that right.

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3 Comments


Tried to remove my hoodie on a treadmill yesterday and it proved too much for my septuagenarian self. I staggered through a series of stumbles as my phone fell to the rotating carpet and flew off the machine. I arrested my fall with the handrails but was hard put to act cool while fetching the phone and getting back on the apparatus.

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Katie, who barred the door?

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Who let the Bobs out?

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