Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrating Cheyenne

I suddenly realized I have a whole bunch of pictures of Cheyenne and I wanted to do something with them. So here they are.
When  we got her new bed we put it down in the living room she looked at it. Then  when nobody was looking at her she stepped onto it and passed out.
Cheyenne has lived with me for  six year now and is approaching 14 years of age. She travels well enough especially now we have installed a fan on the back seat to keep her cool. She has single handedly raised the stock of La Quinta the best dog friendly chain of hotels we have found.   
 And though she is visibly slowing down the smell of dinner to go still gets her up and moving. She will follow food smells to the end of the earth or across the hotel parking lot.
 And when there she puts  her piteous face on and waits for good things to happen.
Cheyenne is a stubborn dog, she walks in the direction she chooses, she prefers rainwater to filtered tap water, she likes walking urban environments to  seek out discarded food and wrappers. I never knew a dog who knows her own mind as clearly as Cheyenne.  
I had anticipated another busy winter for the two of us when temperatures dropped into the cool range. In the past she would walk for hours wearing me out as  she stumped along tirelessly. This winter to my surprise a half hour at the most and she is done. 
 Her interest in life remains as active as ever, but she prefers sitting down or laying down and observing to walking in midstream.
I suppose it's fair enough. She has more than made up for the lack of stimulation and inactivity that attended the first half of her life before they dumped her at the pound.
5:30 on a cold foggy Sunday morning in Ft Myers and Cheyenne was done after her now usual thirty minutes. I don't know if she is bored or just ready to slow down, the dog equivalent of turning the old age corner. I am not ready to accept that her decline has started but there it is, summer is coming and air conditioning will do more for her than being out in the heat.
 She sleeps a lot. I bug her from time to time and she looks away when I ruffle her fur or scratch her forehead so I know to leave her alone.
 Sometimes she flops on her back which is a sign she is ready for attention and I scratch her tummy wishing I could turn the clock back.
We have made the most of our years together and I have no regrets, well hardly any, as I have yelled at her once or twice in exasperation which I wish I could take back. She seems to have forgiven me.
She sleeps a lot and I am glad I got her the bed. She still jumps up in anticipation some days when she feels like going out and I tempt her with what I hope are interesting walks but they are never as long as they were.
She has grown a bunch of warts, the vet says they are normal and best left alone though one on her ear keeps breaking and bleeding. We apply  aloe vera and hope it will heal soon though she keeps scratching it with her huge clawed feet or knocking it against things.
That's my Labrador's exciting life. I have no desire to do without her.