I feel so worthless sometimes. I can’t hear, I can barely see, I stumble when I walk, and now I am having more trouble controlling my bombs.

This morning I had just finished a yummie breakfast and was walking towards the door to do my business. Next thing I knew I’d dropped a bomb in the kitchen.

Mom smelled it right away and quick picked it up with a paper towel. Then we all followed her outside so she could drop it in the poop bucket.

Tess kinda sniggered and poked Jack with her snout.

“Knock it off, Tess!” Ash snapped. “Nellie can’t help it and she doesn’t need you to be making fun of her.”

Ash moved closer to me and said, “Don’t worry Nellie. You bring mom so much joy. She doesn’t care if you drop a bomb or two in the wrong place. Besides, your bombs are like rocks. They’re easy to pick up.”

But how can an old worthless dog like me make somebody happy? I couldn’t figure that out so I went and asked mom.

“It’s hard to explain,” mom said. She told me she would think about it and tell me after my nap.

That was okay because I get real sleepy after my meals. Soon I was sound asleep in the pantry.

When I woke up mom sat down next to me and took my head in her hands. I let her hold me now. Before I could hardly bear to have anyone touch me.

Anyway, this is what mom said:

“Nellie, there is something sacred about an old dog, especially an old dog that has been mistreated. Despite being sick and neglected when you were rescued, you appreciated everything we did for you. You asked for nothing more than a warm place to sleep and something to eat. You never expected anyone to treat your injuries. You never thought anyone would ever love you.”

Mom was sure right about that. I was happy to be spared the death sentence at the shelter. I was grateful just to be alive. I sure never expected anyone could love me.

“But how can you love me when I’m such a burden?” I asked.

“You’re not a burden,” mom said. “You just need a little more help than the other dogs.”

Yeah, that’s for sure. I need a whole lot more help.

“You’re the easiest dog in the pack to take care of,” mom went on. “You have the best manners. You don’t bark or jump on people. You don’t carry on when your people leave. You don’t run off on an adventure every chance you get.”

“But why do you love me?” I persisted.

“Because you are so terribly sweet and vulnerable and loving yourself,” mom replied.

“You mean you love me because I love you?” I asked.

“Yes, Nellie,” mom said.  “I love you in part because you love me. I also love you because you are a wonderful spirit. We are so lucky to have found you.”

Suddenly Ash and Tess started barking like maniacs. Jack began to wail. I could hear just a faint commotion, but mom covered her ears and shouted at the others to pipe down.

Ash grabbed a shoe and began prancing around the living room. Tess flopped on her back so someone would pet her. Jack nudged mom so hard with his nose she almost tripped.

I stood with mom, quiet and calm at her side. I am loved.




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