Kate, in the foreground, is our 13-year-old Sheprador. You see that intent look on her face? That is Kate’s perpetual condition. Along with intense eye contact, she breathes in rapid pants, even when nothing is happening, because maybe something might happen any second now. If you calculated a dog’s lifetime by number of breaths, Kate would be the oldest dog in history. Her back legs teeter and sometimes collapse. She can’t back up any more. I spot her on stairs. Tall grass entangles her. We lift her into the car. She seems okay with it, so far.
Clara is our 11-year-old mish-mash dog in the background. See that vacant look? That’s pretty much it. She is very dear, and stupid. She also has inexplicable alpha powers over other dogs. She no longer jumps higher than my head, but everything still works.
Our walks are slower than they were ten years ago, but there is no loss of enthusiasm. I’m happy they’re here to take part in my 60th year.
169 words = TOTAL 479
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.