We’re two of a kind, Ringo and I… cut from the same cloth, two peas in a pod if you will. He’s more than just my dog. For the past eight and half years, he’s been my friend, my best friend (literally), my confidante, and my brother. He’s helped me through some of the toughest times in my life and he’s been with me through the happiest times in my life. We’ve shared it all… together.
Now, at this point in our lives, we are roughly the same age. If you apply the old “7-1” rule, Ringo is 61.25 years old and I am 61.5. Since Ringo’s life is accelerated in comparison to mine, I’ve been able to see a microcosm of his growth and maturity and, in doing so, I’ve been able to compare it to my own growth and maturity. We mirror one another.
In the last two years, I have seen Ringo mellow. He has become more like he was when he was a puppy. Lately, he comes up to me more and more and sits and paws at me wanting me to pet him. I can’t hug his neck enough. He has become more fun loving as well as more affectionate and loving. He has a sweetness about him now that has blossomed over the past couple of years. He has grown into the dog God created him to become.
Looking back at the past few years of my own life, I’ve realized that I’ve progressed in much the same manner. I know I have a lot of life to live and a long way to go before I fully transform into the man God created me to be. Ringo, on the other hand, won’t be with me for the rest of my journey. When I think about the time we have left together, it saddens me. I have tears welling up in my eyes as I type. Ringo and I will share, at the most, another four years of life together. Sure, that equates to 28 dog years, but then, the microcosm comes into effect when it relates to human years. To MY years…
I will get a glimpse of what my life will become over the next quarter century. As old age takes its grip on Ringo, I will see his body begin to slowly deteriorate. I’ll have to help him in and out of the truck when we go to the dog park. I’ll have to change his diet to one that is easier on his teeth and digestive system. My role as his caretaker will take on an entirely new meaning. I will see to it that the final months and days of his life will be what I would want for the final months and days of my own. I will give him even more love and affection to carry with him when he goes to meet his Creator.
We share a bond, Ringo and I… an unspoken bond that words were never meant to define. And as I consider the relationship between the two of us, I can’t help but think of my relationship with my Creator. God has cared for me my entire life. He has always seen to it that my needs were met, even when I wasn’t as obedient as He might have me be. There were times I chewed up the furniture, uprooted small trees, dug holes in the flower beds just for the fun of it, and even left a mess or two in the floor for Him to clean up. Through it all, He never stopped loving me and I know He never will.
I cannot describe how I love Ringo, or, how much I love him. Its not something that’s measurable, but it gives me great comfort when I realize that in some small way, its just as God loves me. Thank you Ringo. Thank you for being my mirror. Its been a privilege and a joy to be your human for the past eight and three quarter years. And whatever years, dog or human, that remain, they will be cherished. You’ve shown me who I am and for that I am eternally grateful.