One of the tough parts about being a dog owner is seeing your dog start to become a senior. It’s a bittersweet feeling, because while they become infinitely sweeter in old age, it also makes it hard not to start thinking about what the future might hold in terms of your dog’s health and longevity. It also reminds you that you aren’t getting any younger either.
Bunny is certainly holding her own against Father Time. Yes, she has to go to the bathroom more often and it takes her a little longer to get up off the dog bed than it used to, but overall, she still has the same spirit of adventure that she did when she first came to us. When I pick up the car keys, she’s the first one by my side. If she sees the harness or backpack, she’s as excited as she was a youngster. Picking up the camera has her making a bee line for the door to the attic.
The stairs into our attic are a bit like the steps leading up to pyramids of Chichen Itza. If you’ve never been there or seen them, they are very tall and narrow. There’s barely enough room for your foot to fit on a step and it’s almost a mile high. When Mr. Taleteller and I were there for our honeymoon, I remember thinking that the Mayans must have had some very tiny feet. Our stairway isn’t quite that treacherous, or high, but it definitely takes some getting used to. I admit that I worry a little about Bunny using the stairs, but I figure that she will let me know when she doesn’t feel up to making the climb anymore. I have relatives who can’t make it up those stairs, so I know the day could come, and if it did, I’d find a way to make things work on her level.
Earlier this week, I was going upstairs to take some product pictures for a company. I didn’t need a dog for the photos, at least, not for the part I was getting ready to work on. Working with the dogs is usually the last part of what I do. My intention for that part was to work with Flattery because of her coloring and because she needs the experience. Those were my plans, anyway.
As I started up the stairs, I heard the thunder of little paws on their way behind me. I tried to speed up, but the footsteps were closing in. This often happens with Flattery, who scales those stairs like a billy goat. I moved to one side of the stairway just in time for a little fawn streak to race past me. Bunny still isn’t letting me get upstairs without her, and she’s now determined on winning the race to the top.
It’s a humbling experience to be beaten to the top of the stairway by a senior dog. I remember the day my twelve year old self beat my dad in a foot race. There was no looking back for me after that. I had to be first every time after that. Now, I’m being beaten by a dog who has a lot more “years” on her than I do, if you go by dog years. After a little consideration, though, I’m glad she’s still winning the race. I hope that it means she’ll be here for years to come, and for that, I’ll gladly sacrifice my pride.