I still have three dogs at home and life with them has returned, more or less, to normal.
Just before Speedy started having trouble, I was concerned about Sammie. He seemed "off" and I was mentally starting to prepare for him to be the one to leave this world. He is, after all, going on 14 and a half! His back legs have very little muscle left.
But that boy is tough and he just keeps bouncing back! He seems better now. He's no middle aged dog in his prime, but he still wants to walk, explore, play, and live life.
I have asked him to be the one to spend one more summer with me. He can't do everything Speedy would have done, but he can still do some things. Maybe he will join Tessa and me for "Walking Club". Maybe he will go swimming. Maybe he and I will lay in the grass and look at the summer sky together.
I don't know if he will make it that far, but if he does, I will welcome a special summer with our first dog and my really old boy. I guess I appreciate him even more now.
Sammie, Speedy, and Maddie were my original "crew". They were young together, and we really did have good times.
Who would have thought the first and the oldest would outlive both of the "puppies"?
As of today he is alive and about as well as you could hope for a 14 year old!
Dean has been the biggest comfort of all. He's my Border Collie boy and I have taken the time to play more ball with him and to appreciate his Border Collie ways.
We play, we snuggle, and I tell him over and over how much I am glad he is still with me.
And, of course, I am grateful for my Contessa Benedicta. Of all of them, she is the one I have to work at interacting with. Maybe because she, like Speedy, is extraordinary. Maybe that quality makes me a little standoff-ish right now. But all will be well in time.
I think Tessa and I will re-bond at our Agility trial this coming Sunday. I will remember how much I am just in awe of her and how much fun we always have out there together. I think I need to experience that to get back in touch with it.
The house feels empty with only three dogs. I know that is a crazy thing to say, but it seems like at least three dogs who should be there are missing.
So, I try to fill that space with extra activity. Ladder work for all three (Sammie walks over the rungs on the ground), heelwork for Dean and Tessa, tricks for Sammie, filming for online classes . . .
Somehow, it helps . . . .