Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

To My Eight Year Old Dog


Adult Dog TrainingYou are my sprite, my heart dog, my companion. I think of you as my ever puppy but your graying muzzle warns me otherwise, shocking me as my inner view whacks against external realities.

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.


  1. Well said! I look at my 9.5 year, very active Cairn, seeing the increasing gray in his hair, and cry for his loss, while enjoying all the time I have left with him. He is my most amazing agility teammate, friend, companion.

  2. Ugh you get me every time! Tears in my eyes! To some of is 8 isn’t the middle…. : (

    • Oh, Anna, so true. For some, 8 would be an old, old dog. I know I am lucky to have her at 8 with some much time ahead still. {{{ }}} and an ear rub to Rosie.

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