It's been a sad, happy and somewhat bewildering few weeks. It all started about two weeks ago. Neptune our champion breed 13.5 year old black lab came bounding up the stairs after spending the day in the safety of his bed. He went straight outside, started to run out of breath and instantly fell over and went pee all over himself. He did the same thing the following day and we knew then something was wrong. We got him to the vet to find out that he is simply growing old. His hind legs have something wrong in the nerves, and he has trouble controlling them. The excitement of running up the stairs is causing his hind legs to collapse. The doctor put him on some pain medicine that just makes him sleep more and a bit sick so we took him off the medication.
Neptune was a birthday gift from Mary almost 14 years ago. He is the heart and sole of our family. He is always happy. Has never really grown up and is the ultimate protector. When his big sister Freeway was around he was the wild one running off on our walks. As soon as Freeway passed away, Neptune was by my side taking over the duties of protector. On walks with Marco he instantly becomes Marcos protector. No dog can come close to Marco without a good inspection a growl from Neptune. But he's not mean in any way. He is the most loving dog I've ever been around. In his own way he gives the greatest hugs a dog can give. But it's clear now that time is catching up. Just like Freeway he has gone from lively one day to acting old the next. You can see it in his eyes, he's starting to get tired. Whenever the day comes it will be one of the hardest days for the entire family.
On the flip side is Scout. She is growing up fast. You can see it in her eyes too. She is worried about Neptune and knows that she now has to carry the protection mantel. I've posted about how good of a dog she is. How she stays close while we run and is always in eye contact. At first I thought it was for her safety that she didn't want to get lost but now I know. She is simply looking out for me to make sure I'm protected. The other day Neptune, Scout and I were out on a walk. It was a rare sunny day. Since Neptune was hanging by me, Scout decided she could venture out further. She dissapeared for what seemed like 10 minutes. We were frantically looking for her. There was a raging creek and both Neptune and I thought the worse. That maybe Scout had chased something into the creek and had been swept under water. We went down stream searching. We gave up down stream and started heading upstream. All of the sudden, 30 yards away, Scout pops out of the water with this huge (she's a dog and I'm a dog person) grin on her face. Shaking all the water off she runs over to us barking and and just wagging her tail. She was simply having a ball. That night this same dog took two steps outside noticed it was raining and sat down. She looked back at me and her eyes said, you're crazy, I'm not getting my feet wet.
Scout, Neptune and Freeway. They will be forever linked in our lives. To this day we still tell Freeway stories. After 14-15 or whatever years with Neptune we will have only warm stories to tell of this forever young Black Lab and as for Scout the stories are still building.
It's simply amazing how much love these creatures have for the family, for each other and how much love the family has for them.
It's a good life....