Many of you know that my girls are all in their mid-teens. Days in the lives of older pets can be fun, funny, edifying, and . . . scary as hell. Two are blind and one has occasional seizures (mostly controlled with meds), but for the most part they all remain strong, vibrant, and happy. But, oh boy is it true: getting old ain’t for weenies!
Still, each in her own way is forever young. Roxy’s happy dance is a one-dog circus in which she RACES to the toy basket, grabs a victim, and maniacally tosses, squeaks and bounds around with it hanging from her huge smiling mug.
Peach’s happy moves involve hopping up the few stairs to the landing, where she digs at the carpeting rapid-fire, her head dipping rhythmically, like a little cartoon excavator.
One “happy” for everyone is walks — this is when Lula’s happy shows, prancing like a feisty colt.
Anywhere between 5 and 8pm, if they haven’t seen me signal that “it’s time” — usually getting my tennies — it starts: initial heavy sighs and restless movements quickly escalate into Roxy moaning dramatically, Peach pacing impatiently, and Lula winding herself up into a barking frenzy. The minute they realize indeed it IS time, >boom!< they’re off like rockets to the front door. There they suddenly calm, standing like good little soldiers ready to gear up.
Ours is a friendly, tree-lined neighborhood that’s just perfect for our jaunts. And as so often happens when you meet people while walking your best friends, new acquaintances are made.
One distant neighbor, Bob, whose red-haired Golden Charlie is the toast of this little bit of town, has known my pack for years. But it’s only been recently that he’s come out to give the girls small treats. The very next time after he started this, as we neared his place, the girls stopped, sat, and gazed at his house, expecting him to come. He didn’t that day, but the next time we saw him he laughed out loud saying he’d actually seen that the girls had made his address a required stop on their route.
They’ve begun a similar thing with passersby. Many people we see have questions about the girls — who weigh 10, 17 and 70 pounds, are clearly aged but happy and vibrant, and (by accident) are color-coordinated in various shades and patterns of brown, white and red. Many also pet and coo at them. Lately when others approach, the girls set their “crosshairs” (even blind Lula’s nose points straight at them), they noticeably slow, and then actually stop and turn as we come abreast. It’s hilarious when some passersby take no notice. If dogs could huff, suck their teeth and flounce off, mine sure would! Clearly they’ve come to believe that everyone we meet must touch, treat or talk to them.
It’s all small stuff to be sure, but the simple joys of life with dogs are huge.
Yours in everything pet,