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December 08, 2003

Zeke

Zeke is sick today. He hasn't eaten since yesterday. He's in full-bore mope mode and staying close to my feet.

I've cajoled him out for a couple walks, and - while he is stumbling a bit more than is usual - he reverts to his old prancy, joyous self while outside. At least at first, and at least while heading downhill.

I'm sure this is something transient, that he'll be alright tomorrow or the next day and barking at me again in hope of a jerky treat. He's been through far worse, and isn't in any obvious pain. No unnatural arching of back, no dramatic or messy symptomology.

But he's going to be thirteen in a month, and I can't help but think that one of these days, sometime in the next couple three years, he's going to go into a decline from which there is no rebounding.

A few years ago, on a work "retreat" in Nevada that was essentially an excuse for camping and barbecuing, Zeke went with us on a long, hot hike up a dry canyon. We climbed to the canyon's head. through sagebrush and juniper, red rocks in the noon sun, and then crossed a ridge to the next canyon north, which we descended. About seven or eight miles into the hike, hot and just a little cranky, we all came to a twelve-foot cliff with no obvious way down. We stood there for a while, wondering if we had enough water to backtrack.

And then Zeke went down the cliff on a little ledge that we all wondered how we'd missed, as easy a descent as if it was a staircase. Three miles later we were back at the trucks, and Zeke immersed in the little creek we'd parked next to. He stayed in that frigid water until I ordered him out, long after he'd started shivering.

He's been a faithful and steadfast friend. I have trouble picturing my life without him. I hope he feels better tomorrow.

later

It's 9 PM, and I've seldom derived so much pleasure from watching a dog eat.

Posted by Chris Clarke at December 8, 2003 05:29 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

I'm so glad he's feeling better. It _is_ hard watching a faithful animal friend age, isn't it?

Posted by: Rana at December 9, 2003 12:46 PM
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