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my 15-year-old, best friend, jones, is almost very completely deaf.

scrolling through the last 179 photos on my phone confirms the fact that he loves being on that side of the camera as much as i do (which is not really any love)… so, i can’t share a recent snapshot of him.

imagine a smart, handsome, grey-faced, black dog (puppy) that used to be brownish and pooped in the house during the first week, but not out of spite; a smart, handsome, grey-faced, black dog who guards me every minute of his waking life; a smart, handsome, grey-faced dog who wags his tail so ferociously in a circle when he sees me that his back legs (which are considerably weaker than they once were) slide further and further apart until we move to a rug; a smart, handsome dog who’s been, not-even-jokingly, “my longest and most successful relationship”; a smart dog who is almost completely deaf.

we are not a pair to concede or give up or be stopped (individually either, for that matter). ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll affirm that my stubbornness and gumption come from the same bucket and i have a relatively bottomless one.

i figure, well, i can’t yell at him to stop barking or ask if he’s hungry from a room away… and since he knows the appointed name of nearly 15 stuffed animals in the house at this very moment, i bet he can learn some hand signals.

we’ve got “biscuit” down to where i don’t even need to say anything to neither jones nor merle… this one probably stuck because we get a biscuit *every* *single* *time* we come back into the house after a successful walk or poop or backyard adventure.

“walk”, “lay down”, and “no” are still largely delivered via whole body excitement, stomping behind him out of the kitchen, and signing the word “no” over and over again while i snort his snout.

all of this is to say that this stinkin’ jerk, this guy who let me be his world, this super-smart fella—even when he can’t hear—will sleep with his hears up. just in case.

i found a few photos: