I remember when I had Lettie, someone said to me something that stuck in my head. She was about four years old at that time and the person said “Oh! She’s middle aged, and will be slowing down soon!”.
The comment was right. It just was a bit jarring to me.
I have had dogs before her, and after her, but I had never paid such close attention to how fast dogs age until then.
They join your life, make it more full, enrich you. A dog can be a faithful companion, and they can be a lever to help you do more in your own life. It really is up to you. We’re learning now, as human kind, how much more other species know and are aware of what is going on around them.
My own boy, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM) is getting older now. He will be four years old in September. I’m seeing random grey in his fur around his face that was not there before. For a pure black and white dog, the grey shows up in obvious comparison.
Being middle aged, or at least approaching it, he is now slowing down a bit.
Rack knows how to get my attention, and while asking him to “Show Me What You Want” is a little inexact for him, he will go to the back door and nod his head “Yes”. He also nods yes for other things that he wants, so perhaps the conversation is right and the human needs a bit of training instead of blaming the dog.
I open the door and instead of him running at warp speed out to the yard, he trots out and goes about his business.
It used to be that I would clap my hands, he’d get excited, and run around the yard so fast that he would fall through a wormhole into an alternate dimension. Now, meh, he’ll get there when he gets there. Trotting around the yard, once in a while he’ll get a burst of energy, but I have to put some effort into getting that out of him. More likely, when I try to run after him, he’ll sit down on the ground.
Jumping in the air doesn’t help. He’ll go into a play stance and then roll over onto his back.
I can get him going, he’s not completely lazy yet. It is after all Florida and at 5pm in June, it is usually around 90 degrees give or take a few. If I don’t like the heat, it is a lock that in a black fur coat, Rack won’t either.
He follows me all over the house as well. I’m going about my own routines during the day. He watches. Only coming into the kitchen when I am cooking or when the second mug of coffee is being prepared, he knows when I am a soft touch and when he can get food.
Mind you, not HIS food, he still takes far too long to eat that, but MY food is open for discussion.
I’ll park in my Poang Chair and start watching Spanish Language Cartoons to practice Spanish over the lunch hour and he’s sitting there listening. Being a middle aged dog, he will lay down and eventually “nod off”. Being made out of rubber bands and strings he will contort himself into weird fluid curves or completely relax by flattening out into a furry pancake.
We have all seen how a dog will melt into the cool tiles of the floor after a long hot day. Mine? Well he’ll lay down and get so relaxed that his tongue will loll out of his mouth and onto the floor.
That particular day he was out so deeply that his tongue stuck to the tiles.
Funny creatures, these dogs. You never know what they’ll get into next.