MACH Bonnie's Brisco, age 12
I've been reading Susan Garrett's blog page about her puppy, Swagger, and it got me to thinking. Well, it got me reflecting, actually. When we see our puppies, we marvel at their instincts, their ability to learn so much so fast. We think about their potential and can't wait to see what's next.
Then the training for a sport (fly ball, agility, obedience, herding, field trials...) starts. They learn to play our games. When their mental game and physical capabilities come together, it's a thing of beauty. The other week in class, I was doing a lead out and as I watched Cosi coming towards me, I was in awe. I just stood there; I didn't move out of the way in time to cue the next obstacle. Coleen said, "Were you watching your dog?" I answered, "Yes. Isn't he gorgeous?"
When our dogs move into their "old age," we marvel at them again. They've accomplished our goals, they've developed their own "funny" ways, and we indulge them. My Brisco is now 12, and he's a champion in every sense of the word. As we go walking in the evenings, he's now at the back of the pack, whereas before he lead the group. But he's motoring right along with his funny gait. His one hip is sore, and he accommodates it by swinging it wide when he walks. He can still get a treat out of Daddy with just a sweet look and a chin on Daddy's knee. I don't think of him as old, yet when I see the white in his fur, I realize his prime is past. Yet I feel there is still a lot more to enjoy with Brisco.
Enjoy your dogs at every age. Enjoy the journey.