Earlier this week I let you know that my old puppy Max had slid downhill, health-wise. Thank you so much for all of your well wishes, both here and on Facebook.
There is power in well-wishes. I truly believe that, especially after watching Max rally the past few days.
His rally isn't 100%. He's an old dog, after all. But he's eating again, and for five mornings in a row, he's been waiting for me on the porch at sunrise, ready for our walk.
Monday morning, we only made it a short way down our road before he decided it was time to head back home, but that was an improvement!
The next morning, thinking it was going to be a repeat performance and we wouldn't step foot into the woods, I skipped my routine dousing in mosquito spray for the first time in months.
And so naturally Max decided we were going to take a long walk, all around our property. We went to the far side of the big pond, up the hill, back down to the little pond, where he wobbled his way across the stone dam and then went swimming.
I was ecstatic. I didn't rush him, just let him wander where he wanted (except not through the fence bordering our property, even though it was tough telling him no about something), grateful I didn't have anywhere I needed to be for a few hours.
That long walk must have worn him out; Wednesday morning was another short jaunt to the dumpsters and back. But the past two days he's ventured farther once again, checking out all his favorite places.
I realize he still has congestive heart failure. Cataracts. Hip Dysplasia. Elbow Dysplasia. He's having a tough time controlling his bladder, like so many other older men and women.
But I know he can't stay with me forever, so I wash the blankets over and over, and keep an eye on him for any signs of real distress or discomfort. The day will come, I know, and I know what I'll need to do, and I'll do it.
Because I love him.
Until then, you'll find me heading out the door each morning just as night gives way to dawn, carrying a fragile hope in my heart that Max is waiting there for me, ready for our walk, just one more time.