Obviously, this is something dogs do. They stick around for awhile, and it’s simply not in the gameplan that they outlive you. Some of them don’t live very long, and in this regard I am lucky. Abby, the dog I had when I got Lopez, i.e. The Sisterinator, was 13-years-old when she died. A corgi-shepherd mix, Abby died at the ripe age of 91, with a hip no longer useful for walking around. Although the morning I put her to sleep, she did make it out the house and all the way to the back of the yard where I was digging her grave. She wagged her tail, and gave me a lick when I hugged her. I led her back and into the house where she waited and stayed.
Lopez is 11-years-old. He is a much larger dog than Abby. A tall, 120 pound, Rhodesian-shepherd mix, I tell folks that in a previous life, I charged kids a quarter per ride. Lopez also has hip issues– partly due to his shepherd mixed lineage– and it will be his inability to prop himself off the floor that signals the time I end his life.
I think about it because I want to be prepared, although I will miss work and have a real shitty next morning and probably rest of the week. His height and weight propel his human age ratio to closer to 88 than 77, and a late-aged octogenarian is physically much different than a spry, old fart. Although, Lopez did get frisky this afternoon when I inadvertently blew smoke in his face. (It was an accident brought on by him, where I was waiting for the Dude to finish eating his food which he only began chowing down as soon as I grabbed the leash; and so I told him, I was going to smoke another bowl, and the next thing I know, he’s right up in my face waiting to get leashed up. I swear.) Next thing I know, he’s leaping into my torso, his weak and numb hind legs bearing his weight, and I lose wind.
Lopez el Dopez, mi amigo del grande.