I’ve been struggling to write this column, which is why it’s been so long since you’ve heard from Jack and me. We’re both fine, but our lives have changed, and we’re not having many adventures anymore. My sweet, beautiful Bubba will be 13 on Feb. 29th (March 1 in this non-leap-year), and he’s succumbing to the ravages of old age. He’s a big, heavy boy and his weight-bearing joints are full of arthritis, making it difficult for him to get around. He still wants to go out a few times a day to wander around the yard, but taking a real walk is no longer possible. We’re lucky to have an excellent vet who keeps Jack comfortable, and he remains a happy boy who spends his days gazing out the window or dozing by my side.
My vision for Jack’s Walk has always been for it to be a happy place where we take a moment to appreciate the wonders of the world around us and maybe take a deep breath and have a smile. It’s been hard to find that voice over the past few months, but it’s still there, and today, I have a HappyJack story to share.
For the past year or so, Jack has been bothered by warts on his face that itch. He rubs his face on everything – table legs, people legs, carpets, snow, grass, dirt, telephone poles, his bed, my bed, my hand if it’s dangling in reach, and sometimes even poop if it smells just right. One wart grew very quickly and then started to break down and bleed, and it’s been so bad recently that the vet and I finally decided to go ahead and have it removed. That would mean an anesthetic, which is risky for an old boy like Jack, who was listening in to our conversation and making plans of his own.
A few days later, I noticed that Jack wasn’t rubbing his face, and then it struck me that the big ugly wart was gone. I took a closer look, and all I could see was a small, clotted stump resembling an umbilicus that was ready to drop off. Apparently, Jack scratched it off himself. No need for surgery, no need for wound care, and no need to spend the estimated 1,200 dollars. What a good boy, eh?