Thursday, November 11, 2010

Albi approaches 14

Albi enjoys the sun 02I haven't done a dog update in a long while, so here it is:

Albi will be 14 years old in December.

On the rare occasion the sun shows up in Oregon, I let her know it's there (don't ask how -- but I have to let her know) and she lays there, getting up and moving as the sunshine moves across the floor.

Note my tiny indoor garden by the window, which I'm going to try to cultivate through the winter (a bell pepper plant, an Italian basil plant and a tomato plant).

But back to Albi: she is amazing. She still jumps at the front door when it's time to go out for the morning walk, she still tries to boss male dogs, especially adolescents, she still wants to catch dog treats in her mouth (and if the room is well lit, she can, every time), she still runs to the door when the doorbell rings on The Simpson's, and she still works Stefan like a conspiracy theorist at the Rachel, Nevada Little A’Le’Inn gift shop. Her appetite has never been better. She's amazingly spry and oh-so-aware of her surroundings. Every cat she sees is still a MUST HAVE NOW target. We walk about a mile every morning about about half a mile in the evening. I stare at her when we're walking or when she's jumping at the door and can't believe she's survived two cancer-related surgeries and is the age equivalent of a human who is more than 100 years old.

In the mornings, she walks to Stefan's side of the bed and stares intensely at him until he wakes up. If he's not here (he's traveling a LOT these days for work), she goes to the same side of the bed and stares at me. She also likes to stare intensely at Stefan in the evenings when he is watching TV or playing on his computer, until he finally relents and pets her. When Stefan is home, I do not exist...

But she does have growing physical limits. She hesitates before jumping into the back of the car for a trip to the park, and can't do it at all after a long walk. Her eyesight is not good, and she cowers when a car goes by on the street if we walk after sunset (the sound startles her). She lost me one day in a nearby park when it was almost dark -- she couldn't see me anymore.

She ignores all female dogs except for two -- Brandy, the boxer across the street, and Coco, the little yappy dog down the street. All other female dogs are utterly ignored - she'll walk right past them and not even glance. She cries if her doggie boyfriend, a tiny eight ounce hairless thing called Yeti, isn't available for a smell fest. She tries to dominate every male dog she encounters, especially the ones that are biggger than her - she presses her head down on the back of their necks, her eyes wide and fearless, and they look at their owner's with an expression of, "What in the heck is this old dog trying to do?!"

We really want to take her camping at least a couple of more times. But it will have to be warm at night to do that.

I sooooo take her for granted -- her health, her patience, her fantastic behavior...

So, there's your doggy update.

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