Off Broadway with Craig Convissor: The dog and I

February 18, 2012

Craig Convissor owns Into the Woodworks in Scottville, where he creates amazing pieces of wooden art and furniture. He lives on West Broadway Avenue in Scottville, thus the name of his column. In Off Broadway, Craig will discuss his observations of live. 




The first thing I do in the morning is check to see if the dog is still alive. That is, after I lift the cat from somewhere near my bladder to the floor.


Oreo is 16 going on 113 and basically she is doing well. She has a good attitude: she keeps in shape by pacing from one corner of the house to the other and then plopping down on throw rugs, carpet, assorted doggy pillows, anything which seems to offer some semblance of comfort. She eats well and occasionally even resorts to her old habit of begging. She also has lost most of her hearing and is in pain and is as fragile as a piece of china.


Despite her infirmities, she’s a constant inspiration to me. She lives totally in the moment, doesn’t seem to worry at all about the future and never refuses a hug or scratch behind the ears. I try to follow her example every day, though it is increasingly difficult to find someone to scratch one behind the ears.


There’s a lot of chatter about how the animals we live with (I hesitate to call them pets) offer us comfort, company, even adulation, for heaven’s sake. But very little about the example they offer. Take a few moments some time and pay attention to what your furry companion might be saying to you (I haven’t quite figured out why my cat, Tanner, transports socks from one corner of the house to the other and back, but I’m working on it. The Tanman is one weird dude).


Oreo is always game to travel — she loves to get in the car and go. I have to lift her in, but once we get going, she is quite content. She mostly lies down, but if we drive near or through forests, she immediately senses it and sits up wagging her tail. There are squirrels in them thar woods!


And she optimistically still thinks there’s a chance of catching one. When we lived as a family of eight in an old farmhouse and Oreo was young, she once came sauntering through the kitchen with something hanging out of the corner of her mouth. With some authority, I asked, “Oreo?” and she immediately and gently set a live mouse onto the floor. It couldn’t believe it’s luck. Add compassion to her many traits.


Oreo is used to traveling: she’s been in 3 different countries and has survived scorpions, grizzlies, desert heat, a cottonmouth, pit bulls and much more. It has never dulled her enthusiasm for life or her optimism. She fearlessly steps out each day and patrols the perimeter with enthusiasm and good cheer.


Although I’ve told her she cannot outlast me, there are certainly no guarantees. But there I go again, not living in the moment…




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