In my home is an old leather chair that I want to throw away but I can’t. If you look at this picture you’ll see why. This is my dog Max and he lives in that chair. It wasn’t always this way. Max used to be a puppy and ran, jumped and played. For years it seemed he never sat still. But he’s 8 years old now so he’s slowed down quite a bit and like an old man enjoys his time in his favorite chair.
Every time I go to leave the house he climbs up there and takes on a sad look. It’s a face that says, “I hate when you leave me but I’ll wait here patiently until you come back.” When he was younger he’d always be waiting at the door, tail wagging, when he heard my key jingle in the lock. These days his old legs creak a bit and getting up and down from things isn’t as easy as it used to be. So when I open the door and don’t see him standing there my eyes immediately turn toward the living room and I see his big brown eyes up on the armrest gazing my way. The sadness washes away from his face and I immediately go and give him a hug.
If there was a million dollars sitting on the kitchen table I would walk right passed it to see him first. I get down on the floor so we are eye level and put my head on his and tell him what a good boy he is. He doesn’t know a lot of human words but he knows what “good boy” means.
I bought that chair 15 years ago and the leather has started to wear away. I don’t mind it so much but when company comes over you do feel a bit embarrassed having a chair that’s falling apart. I apologize to my guests but explain that is Max’s chair and if he’s OK with the imperfections then so am I. Sometimes I think that chair is like a lot of us, weathered a bit but still serving a purpose. Getting old and having a few scars doesn’t mean you’re broken, just broken in I think.
I’ve thought about getting rid of it but then I wonder what Max would do? Would he like a new chair or would he stare at the place the old one used to be and look back at me confused? He’s a great dog and doesn’t ask anything of me other than to love him. So the chair stays. I don’t care how ugly it gets or how tattered the leather may become, as long as I can open the front door, look to my right and see those big brown eyes filled with love looking back… the chair stays.