Today is the 15th birthday of my yellow lab, Ginny. I don’t know if it is all that common for someone to know the date of their dog’s birth but I do. As Ginny is a retired service animal I got a lot of information on her that was kept as a matter of record that probably isn’t in most cases. Even if I’m misremembering the actual date of her birth, September 17 has been the day I’ve observed it since I got her.
This orning, I did something that I know kind of annoys her. I picked her up and set her on my bed for a bit. I did this so I could love on her just a bit. She used to sleep with me in the bed on a nightly basis but that stopped a few years ago. I think it was because I got a newer bed that was higher off the ground and she couldn’t jump up on her own.
Anyway, one of the things I thought about today wasn’t particularly pleasant. I wondered if Ginny still enjoys being alive. I mean, as near as I can tell she’s not in any pain, she’s actually in good health for her age. I just wonder sometimes if she’s still the happy dog I’ve had for all of these years.
She is obviously quite old. So she doesn’t run around like a mad woman when it is time to eat. She also doesn’t sprint to the door whenever someone knocks or enters my apartment. Often, she doesn’t even get up out of her spot when I return home. I’ve really noticed how her age has impacted her behavior over the past couple of years.
She used to be more social but now when I have company over she’ll go off into the bedroom to hide. Although she does still sometimes come out and lie on the floor in the living room.
When I go to bed every night, she does follow me into the room and take her position on her well-used doggie bed.
It is a little difficult for me to write about my relationship with Ginny. Ginny has been the most constant presence in my life since July of 2002. She has been with me as I’ve experienced a lot. She’s been around for practically all of my romantic partnerships, the highs and the lows. She was with me in college, while I worked at a few different jobs and since the first day I moved into my current apartment.
She has provided me with a lot of joy, some definite frustration and been one of the few things I could count on over the years. I don’t want to think about what will happen when she’s not here. Yet with each passing birthday I can’t help but think about it a little more. Every year I wonder if this will be the last birthday we celebrate together and that makes me a little sad.
Our time together has been unique to say the least. I have no small amount of Ginny stories that I could tell but they’ll have to wait. For now, I’m just going to continue to enjoy her and hope that she is still enjoying my company as well.