There are many reasons that working from home works for me, but the gift of time is my favourite.

I get to read the news, put my daughter on the bus and then hang out with my dog while I type away on my computer.

He’s an old dog, and I get to be here with him, patting him, walking him, cuddling him or just leaving him alone to sleep. I know it will come to an end, sooner than I would like, so I’ll take what I can get. He’s my buddy.

We’ve had times like this before. I was a student when he came to live with us, so I had more time at home, including two weeks of Christmas break when he was brand new and teeny. That very first night he cried the whole time and none of us got any sleep, but then after Joe left for work the puppy and I napped together for the first time. It was lovely.

I took mat leave early, expecting the baby to come around her actual due date, and he and I took naps and walks and had a nice little baby moon before his spot on my lap was overtaken by a small, screaming thing that he didn’t understand. He’s gotten quite used to the routine. We walk the kid to the bus, take a stroll around the block, and when we get back he runs upstairs and into the office, settling in his dog bed while I get seated at my computer. If I have to go into the bedroom to get something or, as last week, I work from there because I have to work lying down, resting my back, he’ll cuddle right up to me. Sometimes being rather forceful about receiving head pats.

Puppy being subtle

He really appreciates when I take the time to work on the deck – which I’m doing whenever the weather suits, while I can. I set up my laptop and he roams around, sniffing out all the new smells, lying in the sun, or sometimes just standing back and letting the wind blow in his ears.

He’s a very good dog. He chose us that first day that we met him, and I’ve loved him dearly ever since. Even when he ran out the front door on my wedding day and I had to chase him down while wearing my dress. Jerk. But chase him down I did. Because he’s the puppy.

Now he’s in the twilight of his life and I’m not quite sure what I’ll do without him. So I’ll try to make the most of whatever time he has left. We’ve already had two close calls, times when I thought we were going to have to say goodbye. The first was seven years ago and he still suffers from it – one leg is partially paralyzed and he’s having more and more trouble with the stairs. Two bladder surgeries, seizures, a heart murmur and a bad thyroid. Thousands of dollars at the emergency vet.

But he’s my buddy, and I’d do it all again.

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