If We’re Lucky

If we’re lucky the day will come when our dogs are gray in the face. It might be a little harder for them to run after the ball like they used to, or go for long hikes. The stairs might be a challenge if there’s too many of them. The bed and couch might be too high of a jump, even if it used to be a game before. They will nap more than they used to. Their hearing might not be that great (or just selective towards things that sound like “cookie”). Their eyes might not be as sharp in the dark– or light.

The days of agility will be some of our favorite memories.

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The NQs, dropped bars, missed contacts, broken startlines won’t be what we remember of them. They certainly won’t be something we criticize them for in their old age. That one time they lost to so-and-so; that time they didn’t run their jumpers run as tight as the day before; that time they self released from the table and lost a double Q. These things will become inconsequential. Try to not let them get to you at the time. Try not to leave the ring angry with your friend who has just done their most favorite thing in the world with their most favorite person. Do not put them right back in a crate without a word.

How much we’d regret it if our last day of playing with our dogs was left on a note like that. Walk with them after a bad run instead– I bet your mood will change much faster than if you went off and stewed alone.

The unexpected can happen. Our time with these amazing creatures is painfully, regrettably and unfairly short. Let’s make the most of the time we do have.

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I want many more years of getting our feet dirty, friend.

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