Shadow in the water  and shaking

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.


2 comments on “defying the golden genes

  • Nice to hear from Carlos … and practice a little Spanish 🙂

    The last 2-1/2 weeks of Arthur Cat’s life, I remember deciding to hell with boundaries and discipline, I was going to bond all he wanted and spoil him rotten. Turned out he was impossible to spoil, as he was so self-assuredly goodnatured. He loved eating from my hand, and his first taste of liverwurst was a very good moment indeed!

    Our very last morning cuddle (a daily routine) was so absolutely heavenly, words are beggared. He bounced up, climbed under the covers, and stretched himself aaaall the way out against my front — he had never done that before. His forelegs went past my face on the pillow with the super-soft fur tickling my cheek, his chest was tucked perfectly in the space between my arms, belly plastered to mine, back feet almost at my knees.

    He grinned all over and purred and purred and purred; I was still dozy, and it felt like our minds were tumbling together happily in billowing waves of delight. I’ve never been so joyful with clothes on.

    I’ll never regret, nor forget, deciding “to hell with anticipatory grieving!” and just savoring every drop of his company with real delight. It was wonderful, and looking back on it does me a world of good. He was … well, words fail. He was perfect, in his own original way.

    As Shadow is, herself — prolific flatulence and all 🙂 She’s an angel in rather whiffy form, so radiant with love and beauty that nothing seems that bad around her. Not even her breath.

    Mabrouk awi, Shadow, on accumulating such an abundance of years. Mazeltov!

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