You are aging.
I smile a bitter-sweet smile and then I must touch you. Reach my hand out to rest on your head. Your eyes ask a quiet question, “Are we doing something.” Shaking my head I say as I have so often, “Good dog, little one, in a while.” You lower your head with a sigh and I remind myself that soon we need to go play ball.
In these 8 years, we’ve grown together and, like all dear friends, know each other. We’ve worked out the kinks that can be worked and accepted the ones that aren’t going anywhere. We are comfortable.
This middle ground of life is the golden hour. You can rest quietly waiting or entertain yourself for hours and you can play with fabulous intensity and joy. An incomparable travel companion, you remind me that it is time for a stretch with a noisy yawn cast in my direction, you take every stop and hotel in stride. As long as we are together, you are happy, but you’ll also crate and wait when needed.
You read me on a level that astonishes me. Dancing toward the door seemingly before I even realize that yes, I was thinking about a walk. You curl up tight into my chest when I am sadder than I admit to anyone including myself and open mouth grin when I am gleeful.
Your body has not limited you yet and, if I am lucky, won’t for a few more years. Sure puppies are adorable and old friends deeply precious, but I wish this middle ground stretched on forever. It is perfection.