We have an old dog.
Old as in he sleeps most of the day, has lost a few teeth, struggles to make it up the stairs, and audibly grunts when he changes position. I have not had the pleasure of inhaling that delectable puppy smell in over a decade. And I am reminded of his old age every time I bring him to his veterinarian, where he is referred to as a “senior” dog. I recently learned a painful truth: a dog is considered to be senior in the last quarter of their lives.
Yet something about our old dog is different these days. Recently I’ve noticed a sea change in our beloved canine’s behavior.
Our old dog has a new spring in his step. He spends many more hours awake than ever before. He follows us around the house and tries to jump into our laps as soon as we sit down. He eats his drab meals with new delight. His ratty and ancient toys suddenly inspire countless hours of frenzied puppy-like play.
I have tried to figure out what might account for this renewed vim and vigor. We haven’t changed his food or added any new medications to his regimen. The weather is getting nicer, but for the past 13 years, spring’s much anticipated arrival has not drastically changed our cockapoo’s personality. I’ve always worked from home, so my constant company is not the cause of his new-found joie de vivre.
There is, however, one thing that has most definitely changed. And I’m fairly convinced it accounts for our old dog’s renewed vitality.
The kids are back.