They Hear You

Copyright © 1998 Walt Zientek

The irony wasn't lost on him. Joan Baez singing "Forever Young" on the CD
player upstairs, while he read mail from friends that spoke about their older
dogs. Spoke about the way they didn't seem to hear as well, or at all.

His mind went back a few years, to the day it seemed his old boy stopped
hearing the world. He had worked on that boy's ears, twice a day, sure the
infections were to blame. Perhaps they were. Or perhaps time was just
beginning to claim its due.

That boy could hear a car coming, minutes before it hit the driveway. He
could hear a squirrel sneeze at the bird feeder, a duck quack cross town, a
kid sneaking down the stairs at night. Heck, he could hear your words almost
before you spoke them.

But that time had passed. The world became a quiet place for the old boy. His
much deserved sleep was no longer interrupted by everyday sounds. The
doorbell never called him into action anymore. The shutting off of the television
never called him up to bed.

The man remembered how the old dog used his eyes to keep in touch. How he
watched the man move, watched his hands for signs and signals. The man
remembered signalling a "sit" across the yard and the old guy dropping down,
right on cue. The man remembered also, that the dog couldn't hear the "Good
Boy" words, so he walked across the yard, knelt down and hugged the old dog.
Just to make sure the old guy knew, that he was still a "Good Boy."

The man wanted to tell his friends that their dogs would be just fine. That they
would adapt to the quiet, find new ways to learn. He wanted to tell them to go
ahead and use a flashlight or a laser pointer; to stamp their feet, wave their
arms or try any other tricks they could.

Most of all, he wanted to tell them, that this was nature's gentle hint. That this
was the time to give their old dogs a little more of their time. A little more care.
A little more love. This was the time to say all the things they wanted to.

He wanted to tell them to go ahead, ...they still hear you.

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Last modified: 8-19-2000

Copyright © 1998-2000 Walt Zientek <>