putting your best paw forward

. But you still have to put your best foot forward and be the best you can possibly be.

Janet Jackson, brainyquote.com

Getting older sucks. While I have a an active healthy relative at nearly 90 years old who calls me young, and tells me she loved her Sixties, I am starting to think my genes may only get me so far. I experience random aches and pains, and am putting notes on a whiteboard so I don’t forget to turn off the garden hose. The wrist I broke three times between my Twenties and my “youthful” Forties aches occasionally. I get mystery cramps in an ankle. My memory is slower if my routine changes. Where did I put my phone? Where did I set down my car keys? Where did I set down the cup I just had?

Dogs age of course much faster than humans. I brought Comet into our fold as I figured he and I were about the same relative age a few years ago. Comet has had gray in his muzzle for the last year. Age is creeping up on him just like on his old master. But he is probably more akin to my aged relative in that he has the energy to trot after a cat or a rabbit or a gopher albeit at a non-threatening pace. As for routines, the mornings that my wife and I leave early for our work, both dogs “have” to be walked first. And even if he has a little gimpy paw, Comet does not want to be left behind. Saturday, he gamely stood over his leash. I though a ten minute walk Saturday morning would be just an up and back for him.

A pretty girl (dog) seems to have made the old(er) dog feel better. We met our neighbor Frank heading out with his German Shepherd, Sunshine. We chatted for a few minutes. Dexter, though nearly ten years old, has never been anything but awkward around other dogs or people. While Dexter always strives too hard to get noticed, Comet is almost always “the Fonz” to Dexter’s “Ralph Mouth” or Ritchie. ( Perhaps the reader will recall the Seventies television “Happy Days“?)

While not giving Dexter a second look, Sunshine did seem to be taking note of Comet.

Comet seems to have recovered at that moment. The slight limp that was giving me some concern that we might need to see a vet, seemed to improve across the street from Sunshine. We walked off in opposite directions. Dexter looked back awkwardly. Comet walked a little more confidently, the limp apparently gone. What do we always say about our sports heroes who will go out on the field and play valiantly? We admire their tenacity to play while injured. Apparently, Comet, when the ladies are out and about, is going to put his best paw forward.

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