It’s hard to believe, but just a short while ago my dog Shadow had me questioning her mortality. And rightfully so, for a moment there she seemed to be bumping up against it. But like they say, “that was then, this is now”, and where I was once questioning her mortality in regards to whether or not she’d be around much longer, I’m now questioning it in regards to will she be the longest living Golden Retriever on the planet.
If there was ever a better example of the adage, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, I’d like to see it. There’s no question I’m resilient, but this dog makes my resilience look downright pedestrian. Yesterday, or example, we celebrated “my neurosurgeon had emergency surgery and had to cancel my appointment” by taking a jaunt to Amoeba, our favorite record store, to pick up biscuits for her and the new Neko Case, Decemberists and Amadou & Miriam CDs for me. I say jaunt, because it’s a 1/2 mile there and 1/2 mile back, and she ran the whole way nonstop… and she’s like 150 in dog years.
Now, maybe there’s some sort of longevity juice inside that softball-sized fatty cyst she’s been carrying around all these years, or perhaps she’s concerned there might not be popcorn and biscuits on the other side, or maybe it’s just that death itself, basing its judgment on her breath, isn’t convinced she hasn’t already shaken off her mortal coil… I don’t know. But whatever the reason, I couldn’t be more grateful.
Shadow celebrated her quinceañera last Friday, and while I skipped the party dress, streamers and DJ, the biscuit keg was tapped and flowed freely. The thing is, when you’re a 15 year old Golden Retriever and you’re refusing to let go of the puppy in you, you deserve a bit of recognition… and all the snacks you can stomach.
¡Feliz cumpleaños, Shadow!