Role Model Rayburn

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Each day that my dog wakes up I can see him think to himself, bring it on. He really is a role model for me in this way, because each day when I wake up I think to myself, come on, come on, you can do it. If you go downstairs you can have your cup of coffee.

I am especially impressed by Rayburn's positive outlook because he is sick. His kidneys are failing him. Time is precious. I am not sick so I could use more of this sense of preciousness.

Lately I think he knows his time is limited.He gets me up at night to take him outside to pee. At that time the look on his face is less bring it on and more what is going on? I think he is puzzled by the changes in his body. He can't hear well, or see well, and sometimes if I startle him while he sleeps in his bed, he looks afraid. Perhaps I have interrupted an intense dream and he doesn't know where he is exactly.

And yet, when I take him for walks in the front field to sniff the ground for deer and coyote smells, he is very intensely alive. And I feel the same way, too. As he looks for deer droppings, I look for birds in the trees and signs of new life that soon will be flowering. We both know that spring is right around the corner.

I am a newly retired teacher, living in RVA with my sweet friend, Rayburn.