My son is shopping for a new car with enough room in the back seat for Jasper, our 160 pound, ten year old Great Dane. The car that he bought four years ago, a 2001 Mercury Sable Sedan, needs to be traded in or given to that junkyard in the sky. Normally, my son’s pretty shy about starting conversations with complete strangers. He doesn’t seem to have any difficutly at all in calling up car dealerships or just stopping by to chat up salespeople about what he’s looking for before asking these guys to run the numbers for him.
He knows not to sign anything. As his dad and I have explained to him, this is the research phase of making a big purchase. This too, seems to be going well.
So far, he’s discovered that one of the salesmen at the Honda dealership has a brother who has a Great Dane. The Ford guy was a bit surprised at first – how many customers are looking at a car’s interior with an eye to how well it will accommodate a giant breed dog? I can tell you that in my circle of friends, this is pretty standard.
As his mom, I’m touched that what his dad and I value has rubbed off on him. He’s sweetly aware that living with dogs offers rewards that last a lifetime – and that older dogs come with their own set of circumstances that can be challenging, to say the least. In Jasper’s case, we’ve had him since he was an 8 week old pup and the fact that he’s ten is a great testimony to his breeder. About six months ago, one of Jasper’s back legs began to weaken. What we found out was that he was in the beginning stages of Wobblers – a condition that can be managed in several different ways.
We’ve upped the number of times that Jasper goes to see the chiropractor who just happens to be an equine vet who offers chiropractic treatments for dogs. This last time, our son loaded Jasper into the back seat of his 2001 Mercury Sable Sedan and off the two of them went on a small road trip along the back roads down to Canandaigua. They had a great time! Jasper loves to go on car rides, our son loves to drive and he enjoys the reactions of other drivers who get an eyeful of Jasper in the back seat. I know what that’s like.
Boys young men and their dogs need to go off and have adventures just like moms and their dogs.
I’m not sure where this particular adventure is going to end up other than knowing that a new car is on the horizon. Jasper’s got an appointment with a specialty vet in four days and I suspect that there will be follow up visits. I know, as sure as I know that the night follows day, that my son will offer to drive him. There is no more perfect love than this: to know that you have raised your child up to be a young man who gives his heart without guile.