I am the worst when it comes to aging. I don't like change and I certainly don't like to think about anybody getting ... older.
Little grey hairs have crept up on Marge's chin. First you could only see them up close and in person, but now, they are prominent. She doesn't have much of a grey muzzle, nor does she have grey eyebrows. Just a little grey goatee.
When it's gradual and over time, it's hard to notice a big difference from one day to the next. But seeing a picture of Marge in say, 2008 or 2009 compared to now, and it is apparent that a definite aging process has taken place. I did just that tonight and was kind of shocked at how Marge's puppylike appearance has morphed in to that of a mature adult dog without me really even stopping to take a pause.
Marge is 7. She will be 8 in June.
All of you passers-by who keep mistaking her for a puppy.. keep doing it. My sanity depends on it.
Two thousand, three hundred and eighty nine days. It's just so amazing to think that she has been with me for this long. It is a bittersweet feeling, especially on a night like tonight where I am pretty much just sappy out of nowhere. This dog pretty much does everything with me. She has wiggled her way into my social life, my family life, my hobbies. (The exception to that, of course, is Marge accompanying me to the shooting range, since that is neither safe nor Marge's idea of a good time and will therefore never happen!) Seriously, though, the things that Marge used to get left behind for are now a part of her routine.
Remember when Marge had to be crated when guests came over? She survived a party last month in which 6 people -- 5 of which were GUYS -- came over to visit. A growl here or there, but nothing that anyone couldn't live with. And she got to eat any bits of the 4' hero that intentionally or unintentionally fell her way. A win-win.
Remember when Marge wouldn't go near horses? She didn't walk or run in to the barn yesterday, but instead wiggled up to Te. Whole butt wagging. She whined like a baby when I led him down the driveway in to his pasture yesterday. She loves the barn. She loves horse poop and horse grain and horse treats, and although she won't go near just any horse, she has struck up a relationship with one, at least, who has made her feel comfortable. There's a sure fire way to know that Quarter Horses are the best horses.. my dog has befriended one.
Remember when Marge wasn't trustworthy offleash and I had to use that long 20' red line? Haven't taken it out in ages. We don't get there as often as we should, but she generally has full reign of the beach, nowadays. And the field? The field that was a save haven for her during her fearful days is now a place where she goes to sniff every goal post that she can get to.
Remember when things would occasionally erupt in to chaos, when my dad and my dog weren't at all on the same wavelength? Those days are pretty much gone. And in the uncommon occurrence that they resurface, I have somewhere now that I can run to and get the hell out of dodge.
It has been such an amazing ride, one that has taken me places I never imagined I'd go. I don't mean performance events, either. If Marge never got another performance title again, it wouldn't matter. That stuff pales in comparison to the bond we've created outside of that environment, out in the real world.
Thank you for everything, my little MD. I know there is more in store for us. You have shown me that the sky is truly the limit.