In the good old days when Thurston was alive, it was not unusual to see both dogs strategically positioned near food.
These days, Satan's Familiar need not 'position' nor strategize as he simply hops on the table, at will.
Here is Jekyll, five years ago.
Here he is this morning, rounding the corner toward 16 years on this planet (in April).
Yesterday, the Matron's dear old friend took another downturn. He lost what remained of his vision.
He has also lost a whole host of other abilities, most of which have to do with Bodily Function. Currently, he is not convenient. He is messy. Plus, he favors this spot smack in the middle of the kitchen.
Yesterday, he had some kind of Inner Disturbance demanding that he pace frantically about while bumping into walls and dripping poop. This went on for a couple of hours. The Matron wiped and watched and when he walked into an open closet or tight corner and couldn't get out, she retrieved him.
When the Matron needed to tend to all other tasks during this time, Stryker took over.
Winter has fallen in so many ways. February is the cruelest month here. The snow is gray and embattled. So are the people, denied sun and heat for so long. Jekyll wears his winter in the 23 hours a day he is sleeping, in the legs that buckleand the snout that no longer tries to sniff a hand.
He can no longer go outside alone because he falls down hills and gets tangled in brush. Yesterday, he fell down the stairs he can no longer see.
So the Matron's family has made this commitment - when their old friend is awake, he will not be alone. They'll take turns on Jekyll duty, keeping him safe and clean. John is currently serving.
The Matron hopes her children are noticing how the elderly are treated in this household: with respect, kindness and care. She desires the same, some day. Where this old friend goes, she will follow -- with everyone else.
Death is back in their household. It is not here yet but has declared its presence in the midst of the black ice and sleeping roses. Dear, sweet dog friends! Give yours a little kiss on her behalf.