Sport is showing his age.
Don't get me wrong, he still plays a mean game of fetch. But as he approaches his ninth year, he's getting the first signs of entering his doggie golden years. His eyes aren't quite as sharp, and in the mornings after I let him out he's back at the door within ten minutes, barking to come back inside.
Used to be, he'd stay out and tool around on his little corgi legs, getting into trouble. These days the cool linoleum of the bathroom floor is more inviting than doggie adventures.
This afternoon I took him for a walk. I was going to shoot pictures of the Jacks-in-the-Pulpit I'd seen blooming by a bog bordering the back field. As I was getting my camera, he came up to me and started wriggling in expectation. The last time I took my camera out to the field, he went along. Camera equals walk.
I grabbed the leash. As much as I'd like to just let him run loose; there are coyotes about and I can't have him running off willy-nilly. But he didn't mind. Leash means walk, and being on a tether is being better than being left behind.
The Jacks-in-the-Pulpit weren't in bloom anymore. I looked and looked, and Sport helped but there just weren't any to be found. But it was no big deal. The day was beautiful and the pace was leisurely. Sport stopped to sniff a couple of monster-sized deer tracks and was in raptures over some relatively fresh fox scat that contained bits of fur. He was so disappointed when I wouldn't let him roll in it.
When we got back, I decided to introduce him to his latest batch of grandchildren, which turn a month old today. There are three puppies, two tri-colored and one red-and-white.
We're keeping the tri-colored male, which we've tentatively dubbed Finn. Even though he's a different color than Sport, there's something in him that reminds me of Sport - something about the way he looks up at me in anticipation.
One day Sport will be gone. It's just one of the sad facts of life that we usually outlive our pets. It's nice to know that something of Sport will live on in his grandchildren, and when I look down at them I'll see the legacy of my pal, my walking companion, my very first corgi.
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