Keeping my dog in my line of sight must have caught my father’s attention. One morning, I woke up to let my dog outside as usual. As I went to the back door that led to the backyard, I noticed that my dog’s food bowls were not where they were supposed to be – which was up against the wall on the landing next to the stairs that led to the basement (which just so happens to be across from the back door) – instead, the food dishes were lying on the floor of the basement.
Not only that, the pieces of her food was scattered down the steps. It looked like my father kicked the bowls full of water and food down the stairs into the basement. I would give him the benefit of the doubt that he may have stumbled and tripped over her food bowls, but the bowls were up against a wall and not in a direct walking path. If he would have stumbled into them in the way the food lie on the steps and basement floor, he more than likely would have fallen down the stairs along with the bowls.
I feel like my father noticed we were keeping our dog away from him and I can also bet that he had no idea why. I do know that he probably assumed it had something to do with him not seeing our dog around the house like he used to. I could definitely see him becoming angry about something dealing with my dog, and over-dramatically taking it out on her food dishes. That was just the type of person he was.
My dad’s condition worsened as he was barely able to speak to me most of the time, that is, speak to me clearly. He would start to forget what day it was or even the time of day. One time, my girlfriend and I were making dinner and he woke from one of his many blackouts that started to occur on a normal basis and asked us why we were making dinner so late…it was 5:30 PM, he thought it was 11:00 PM.
With his worsened condition, he would start to let our dog outside without telling either myself or my girlfriend and he would forget to let her back in. Even if there was a storm coming or it was raining outside, he still would not remember (or would refuse – that I do not know) to let my dog inside the house or that he even let her out in the first place.
One morning, when woke up, I went to let my dog outside and I could not find her. When I went downstairs, I noticed my father was in his room sleeping, instead of sleeping on the couch,. So, I checked under the couch, in the basement, under my bed, and checked every hiding spot she normally slept and I still couldn’t find her. All the doors in the house were locked as they always are when everyone is asleep.
I never thought I would have to look outside, but there she was, hiding under the patio table. In the middle of summer, my dog was outside for who knows how long. It was apparent to me that my father was becoming very careless, even a little bit reckless. From that day on, I did not let my dog out of my sight, I made sure she stayed with me in whatever room I was in.