The Grey Ghost

Michelle Lindblom
4 min readJun 30, 2024

Coming to Grips With An Aging Friend and How It Has Influenced My Behavior

Sophie, 2019 (9 years)

She was different from the others. With her 90-pound long-legged grey ghost stature, she would lean into us hard as we stood beside her, looking up lovingly and offering comfort for whatever reason. This was her language, especially after losing her hearing and ability to speak (bark, moan, whimper).

She was the “people whisperer.” Always there to provide a sense of calm and gratitude. Dog lovers know exactly what I mean.

Sophie was not one to voice her opinion, especially as she aged. And if she did, it was mainly through her eyes — those wide open, bright, curious eyes. Cataracts clouded them toward the end. I often wondered how much she could see.

For the past few months, while we sat on the couch in the evening, Sophie would be on her bed in front of the ottoman, where we perched our legs. Periodically, she would stretch her long neck and big head, perk up her ears, and look back at us. I suppose she was checking to see if we were still there — sensing we were but wanting to make sure.

Her sense of smell and taste heightened as her other senses began to fail. Thus, mealtime was even more elevated as her favorite part of the day. Sophie’s appetite never waned and became her focus until the end. Otherwise, most of her time was spent…