Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Old Dogs

Last night we were out on our walk and Dahlia was sniffing around when I noticed, back toward a house, a dog tied out (to the tree). I told David to watch out as the dog started to come toward us. It moved slowly though and seemed interested in Dahlia. The strange thing? Dahlia didn't rush the dog. Usually when she sees a dog she gets so excited she has to run right over to it, sometimes a bit faster than she should. Sometimes she does a sort of border collie crouch and freezes and then rushes the dog (I'm trying to work on that one!).

But this time she went up slowly and the dogs touched noses and met very nicely. The dog was very calm and didn't rudely sniff Dahlia or anything. He just wanted to come say hi.

I noticed as he came into the light that the poor thing was missing patches of hair all over his body and some hair looked like it was growing back in. He looked like he might have mange or something along that line.

The owner then pulled in (her friends had let the dog out and were keeping an eye on him from inside the house -- I could see them in the window) and came over to talk to us. It turned out that the dog was named Zeke. He was a Newfie/Shepherd mix and he was 17 years old! She said he didn't have mange or anything like that, "he was just old." She had had him since she was in high school and just adored the dog.

And the really amazing thing? He still wanted to play. And Dahlia wanted to play too! She started play bowing in front of him and gently coming up to him with her play/growl face on. She would sort of dance around out of his range and then come up to him slowly and jump back. He even play bowed a couple times and ambled around her. It was like two dogs playing in slow motion and it was really awesome to watch.

At one point, Dahlia play bowed and jumped back out of his range. He came over to her and simply reached out a paw toward her. It was so incredibly sweet. I wish I had a photo of that moment. It's an image that will stay with me forever.