The Disposition of My Dog

June 11, 2014, by Todd Neva

“Todd, is today the four-year anniversary of your diagnosis?” Kristin asked.

Pulled up to my desk in my wheelchair, writing late in the evening, I looked down at the lower right-hand corner of my monitor. It read 6/11/2014. “I suppose it is. How uneventful!”

The neighbor boy came over at 10 o’clock this morning to mow the lawn. Comet, our one-year-old golden doodle, has fond memories of my zero-turn lawn mower. Last year, I let him ride on the deck. He would jump on and off, and run circles around me. Then, he was less than 20 pounds. Now, he is 63 pounds, and he’s obnoxious, not knowing his own strength as he muzzles for attention.

The boy shooed him off the mower, and Comet quickly got the idea that he wasn’t welcomed. I felt bad for the dog, I wanted to be on the mower, too. But he found other things to do, such as playing in the swamp and coming home later smelling foul — that’s another story. In any case, Comet had a good day.

I try to have the same disposition as my dog. I wished that I could have mowed today, but life is what it is. I just relished the time that I had. I got to play speedboat with Isaac — he set up cushions in the living room and pretended to ride in a speedboat. He told me that my wheelchair was my boat, “But you can’t move it, because that wouldn’t be fair!” I loved the nap that I took and the dreams in which I had complete freedom. Dinner was excellent, grilled hamburgers and corn on the cob. I read five chapters of Charlotte’s Web to Sara. Then I settled in at my desk to do a little writing.

All in all, it was a good day, without the slightest thought, until Kristin had mentioned it, that four years ago today I sat in the doctor’s office and heard that I had ALS, and that I had most likely 3 to 5 years to live.

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