Our family dog, Nittany, a Lhasa Apsa – Bichon Frise mix, is getting older.
She’s lived a lifetime in her 12 years. She’s slower and doesn’t get around as well as she once did. Her legs are not as good nowadays. She needs steps to get up into our bed and, when she sleeps, she snores like she’s a human. She has gray in her coat and beard and, sometimes in the middle of the day, I find her sometimes staring off into space.
While all that is true, my wife and I have been killing her off for the past five years. No, we’re not putting her out to pasture — I don’t mean it like that. I’m talking about simpler things.
We’ve been telling friends and family that she’s 11 or 12-years-old for the past five years. When my daughter comes home this week for Thanksgiving, we’ll joke that it’s good she came home, because “it might be Nittany’s last.” When she gets ready to leave, we’ll tell her to give Nit a big hug “because you just never know.”
Fortunately, Nittany is like the Energizer Bunny, she keeps going and going. When I’m convinced she’s tired or starting to show her age, she runs circles in the yard like she’s still a young puppy. She’ll play endlessly with one of her plush toys, running to me every time she hears me squeeze the squeaker. I tell her that I’m done playing, but she keeps coming back for more. Plus, she often patrols the house in the middle of the night likes she’s a party animal searching for the after-party celebration.
We’re killing her off, but I’m pretty sure that she’s going to outlast us all. I hope so anyway! I can’t imagine our crazy life without her: she’s a member of the family now. I would be lost without her.