Well, here it is, my dog Shadow’s 16th birthday. Earlier this week I wasn’t sure we’d make it this far, but alas her resilience and lust for life are not things to be trifled with. Per her annual neck tweaking/stinger/compressed vertebrae, she was literally just — Sunday, Monday and Tuesday — hobbling around, not eating, not barking, panting and even a bit incontinent. I say annual, yes, so perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising, but the thing is, as she approaches these more twilight years of her life, it certainly makes one pause and wonder if this is where the road starts to tip at a more downwardly angle.
But if this is indeed the downhill slope of her life, she seems generally unfazed, with a playful light still glowing brightly behind her slightly cloudy brown eyes. Just yesterday we were on the track and she walked the entire mile, occasionally bouncing after a tennis ball. She has the legs of an old dog, to be sure — not so steady on the abrupt stops — and like our favorite aged ones, she farts like a champion, is less tolerant of creatures younger and more rambunctious than herself, forgets things, can be willful, and more often than not prefers the consistency and comfort of her own carpet over travel.
Now, I don’t know how much more time we have together — conventional wisdom and golden retriever genetics would suggest not a whole lot more — but however long it may be, each day, month and year that passes is a moment I’m forever grateful to be part of…
prolific flatulence included.
Happy birthday Shadow and happy May Day, all. Peace.