As I type, I'm watching my black lab Max. He's getting up in years and I know his time is running short. At almost 14, he's had a good life after starting out as a rescue. He's fat and happy and spoiled rotten.
But last night, he had a rough night. Lots of whimpering in his sleep and a few trips outside. No longer can he wait all night like he once did. I'm not sure if the whimpering was from pain or dreams but I'm really hoping beyond hope that it was all dreams. His eyesight has begun to fade and you can see it takes him a few seconds longer to focus. His hearing? Well, he's a male after all. That's always been selective.
But there are still flashes of the old Max. I have a loveseat in my office and he has no problem jumping up on it to sleep. Yes, that's one rule that has fallen by the wayside as he's aged. The furniture is no longer off limits to him. His comfort now comes before keeping the furniture immaculate. A lot of the hair he sheds now is white along with the black. He can shed all over for all I care...he's earned it with a long life of devotion.
The thought of losing him breaks my heart but I know the time is approaching when I will have to make that horrible decision. Until then, Max can do whatever he wants, wherever he wants. I'll make sure his remaining time is as happy as I can make it.