Two old dogs in the dark

January 19, 2023

By Jeff Becraft


Last Friday, I got home from work and my wife, Brenda, was packing and getting ready to head out of town to go to a conference for work the next morning.  I asked, “You want me to go out and get a pizza?”  She said yes and so I get ready to head out.

I decide I am going to take our almost 16-year-old dog with me.  His name is Moe.  He looks like a Moe.

It is dark by this time and since Moe can hardly see or hear (except that he does have selective hearing), what you have here are two old dogs heading out into the dark.  I have on a fleece winter coat (I don’t like to be cold), a knit hat that is sticking straight up (so it looks like I am a luge rider or something), and over my hat, I have a headlight that our son and daughter-in-law gave me.

I am also wearing these shoes that I call bowling shoes. They are actually running shoes that Brenda and I stopped to get on our way back into town late at night one time because the next day I was heading out to a camp. I told her, “I have to get some shoes to hike to Goat’s Cave… the soles on my regular shoes have worn thin and my black shoes I am wearing for the work project and they are being held together by duct tape.” (It’s black duct tape… What?  Do you think I’m not fashion conscious or something?)  The shoe place was closing and I had to make a quick decision and these were the closest to fitting and so I got them.  And they look like bowling shoes.

Moe and I head out the back because he has to use a ramp since he can’t do stairs anymore. I need the headlight so Moe (and me) can see where we are going.

Even though he is older, he is a pretty solidly built piece of shark bait. Getting him into the car is quite an ordeal and is fairly traumatic for both of us… him going through a kung fu hold and being hoisted up into the car and me trying to avoid a hernia.  Getting out, we have gotten the routine down fairly well.

When we get to the pizza joint, it is really busy. I am standing inside waiting for the pizza to be ready. I am standing there with a fleece coat on, the luge hat, and I forgot to take off the headlight and so it is still on as well. The people are probably thinking, “Did this dude just come in from the Iditarod or something?”

When I got the pizza and headed out the door towards the car and Moe, I chuckled to myself… “I wonder how many young people were in there wondering – ‘Man… am I going to be like that when I get older?’”  Well, you never know.


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].