the Ageless Dog

Sukiatten I often wished I had the life of a dog. Without a worry in the world, it amazes me how fast they go to sleep. Boredom can be held off by chewing on a piece of rawhide, a stuffy or another simple toy. The highlight of the day involves a walk around the neighborhood or a ride in the car. Naturally, this all depends on being owned by a loving human. The most admirable characteristic is the ability to age gracefully. You will never hear a dog complain about their stiff joints, graying hair or various ailments. Even though their bodies age, their minds retain a whole lot of little puppiness.

My wife and I grew up with dogs in our homes. My first dog was a black Lab and hers was a Siberian Husky. Each of these dogs was very different. Her dog was like a racecar that never ran out of fuel and mine was a potato chip that never ran. After we got married, our first co-owned dogImage was a mastiff we named Persephone’s Celestial Suki. Suki was our first show dog. We caught the show bug and I handled her in a number of dog shows in our area. Needless to say, we could never win the three majors needed to attain the coveted Champion title in front of her name. I couldn’t believe it. This dog was the ambassador of the breed and very typey. She had a level topline, a wonderful head and expression and it all continued down to her compact feet needed to support her massive frame. Every time we left the ring a loser, I felt bummed out and would look down at her and see her bright, shining eyes and wagging tail. If she could have only talked, she surely would have said, “Can we do that again!”

As we soon discovered, she was not the beauty pageant type. No, this girl was into using her mind. She excelled in the Obedience ring and cruised through a Rally title. But that is for another story.

Our wonderful mastiff puppy crossed the rainbow bridge at the age of 10 1/2 on March 6, 2013. Everything that she accomplished in her life, she did not boast or brag about it. Every failure that we encountered in conformation together was seen by her as a dance in ring. Every grey hair that appeared on her face was a symbol of wisdom and not incompetence. Even on her last day when she could no longer stand, her tail continued to wag. I can only hope to live the rest of my life retaining a whole lot of little puppiness.

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