I’m coming up on my 4th birthday, and it really is true what they say about aging: once you hit 4 everything goes downhill. I have never had an injury before, but then again I’ve never been this old before. I guess you can’t get away with things when you’re 3.97 years old like you could when you were 3.75 years old…
I am injured!
Me! Oscar! Injured! Can you believe it?
One day you’re just running on a trail in the pouring rain and you slip on mud, or you’re jumping out of bed onto the hardwood floor and your paw slips, or maybe you’re innocently tackling a stranger at the beach when all of a sudden OUCH! It hurts to put your foot down. I haven’t told Mom which of those things I was doing when I hurt myself, because maybe if I told her she would think that I had done something wrong and then she would stop giving me all of those nice massages and sympathy she’s been giving me.
Mom says that she has big surprises for me coming up that I need to be healthy for. She says that when you’re old like us (Mom is 243.6 years old, so she knows a little something about aging) that you have to slow down when you’re injured to give your body a chance recover and heal itself. “There’s no use in being a brave little soldier and pushing through it…” she told me.
Mom says that getting older in people — and maybe dogs too — is like being a Tuffy Toy. When you first get to the stuffing it feels like it will last forever and ever and you can just rip out however much you want. But pretty soon, Polly the Pig starts to seem a little “down in the dumps” and saggy. If you have too much fun and rip out all the stuffing right away, then it may be tons of fun, but pretty soon all you’ll have left is the outline of a pig.
“But Mom, toys aren’t for looking at, they’re for having fun! And everyone knows that Tuffy Toys only have stuffing in them on Christmas day. For the other 364 days a year they’re nothing but the outlines of a pig, or a warthog, or a stegosaurus. EVERYBODY knows that. That doesn’t mean that they’re not fun anymore!” When you rip all the stuffing out 10 seconds after meeting a new toy on Christmas morning, the fun’s only just begun! For the next 364 days you can rip every individual thread out of the pig’s outline and seams. That’s called “bacon.” Maybe Mom just doesn’t understand aging because she’s a vegetarian and therefore no fun.
“Okay, yeah, but what I’m saying is that you’ve got to save your stuffing. In this example you’re the pig. It doesn’t work out so well from Polly’s point of view.”
“No, Mom. I’m Oscar!” Is Mom going senile?
Anyway, Mom isn’t letting me run until I stop limping, so I’m back to watching her on the treadmill every morning. She’s also doing real embarrassing things like trying to lift me on and off the bed, which makes me feel less manly. When I see her coming I try to sit like an octopus with legs everywhere so that I have no handles.
I hope that this getting older thing doesn’t last too long and soon I can go back to being Super Oscar the really tough manly man…
-Oscar the Octopus