We have had Cody for all but about 6months of his life. his life began horribly enough, though perhaps not quite as rough as Charlie's. Cody was take in into rescue, nearly starved to death. A dark brindle something mixed with a Rhodesian Ridgeback. BMC/RR perhaps, or something else, we will never know for sure, but the ridge is a dead giveaway of at least half his heritage.
When introduced to Charlie, then in his prime, Cody was submissive, and in truth he is a Beta-dog. He is not a leader, but a follower, one who only became confused of his role in life as Charlie declined in his last 2-3 years. Shiloh set Cody back in place, being both a supremely confident Alpha female, and a Diva to boot.
His yellow eyes are growing cloudy with age now. His once dark face is now almost fully white with age. A few years ago, he had some petit mal seizures, maybe 2-3 a year that we ever witnessed. Then they stopped...until a month ago, when they returned with a vengeance. 5-6 times a day, cluster seizures the vet said. Phenobarb is the prescription, even in dogs, and lucky for Cody, the minimum dosage possible seems to have controlled them. At least for now.
|White faced, and goofy!|
His health otherwise seems good, according to the vet. Cody does have a lot of old age lumps, earning him the less than flattering moniker of Mr. Lumpus, but it is said with much affection. Most of them are benign...some are probably not.
He is an old dog now, 11 years on. I hope he will be with us for at least a few years more. Only time will tell on that. But as the senior dog, he has earned a few creature comforts--peanut butter coated pills, and uninterrupted time on the couch are but two. He has always been a Good Dog, and our youngest child's dearest love and companion, bed warmer and pillow.
|The best pillow ever...|
|Cody on his end of the dog couch.|
Their joys are simple. A soft bed. A scrap fallen from the table that the younger dogs missed. The memory of a treed squirrel. A stormless night.
White whiskered faces and legs crooked as question marks.
Old Dogs…their sweet Buddha bellies hang over crossed legs as they fall asleep in a coveted patch of sun. Dreaming of out-racing their shadows down long, shady lanes.
Once they danced by your side. The very definition of joy unleashed. A perfect poem caught in shining eyes and wagging tails. They have followed you faithfully for years. And would plunge into fires, untamed wildernesses, raging waters if you asked.
Now, they struggle to catch up. Their pace slow but their hearts still valiant.
Their cloudy eyes are starting to dim and go distant, tuning in to some invisible world. Just beyond your reach.
Don’t go you say, as you scratch the tender part between their ears. Stay longer. I can’t imagine a world without your fur pressed close to my cheek. There are still so many roads we haven’t explored.
And they look up at you with a wisdom that just slays you.
Their backs are bent, not from the weight of years, but from the invisible wings they are growing
That will soon take them to a place where once more they are warriors of speed
Drunk with the sights and scents of a thousand meadows.
Able to leap high enough to touch the wing of the tiniest butterfly.
A place where they will now wait for you to catch up.
H/T Donna Swajeski / AnimalAidUsa.org