My dog is a hundred years old

My dog is a hundred years old. It’s weird because last month she was sleek, fast, and smart enough to know where I was going before I did and now she’s old.

Not old in a feisty Estelle Getty in every role she ever played old but the shit deteriorating kind that’s left her incontinent, absent-minded, and struggling to stand up.

Watching her change with the pain from whatever I did to my arm throbbing night and day puts a shroud over everything.

It grinds. The back door is open all day and even in the Larne sprung it’s cold and damp. I stay up as late as I can to give her time to go outside. I wake through the night to see if she needs out to avoid a mess in the morning. Sometimes this works, mostly it doesn’t, so it’s a bleary, wincing hour cleaning up with bags, mop, bleach, and steamer.

Today was a few hours sleep, a major cleanup, tea spilt over trousers, a £400 bill to service the car and a lot of staring into space and checks to make sure a sleeping chest is moving.

Tomorrow is Sunrise at the beach, voting, painkillers, wrapped in a blanket, and writing at the kitchen table with a wide bottomed mug.

And hugs.