nikkie dog lottery

in creative writing journal

98 Is the New 70.

I’m back to walking the dogs regularly.

It’s hard to believe Nikkie will be 14 next month. She moves with a hunter’s grace, her toenails clicking a Spanish tempo on the sidewalk. By comparison, my six-year-old hound dog Abbie moves with an urgent lumber, similar to my purposeful gait whenever I spot a chocolate fountain.

I don’t know how to explain Nik’s good health. Genes, luck, and the occasional rabbit for dinner, I suppose. She still does all the things she always loved to do, with the exception of fetch. When Abbie chases the tennis ball, now Nikkie chases Abbie (at least for the first couple of throws).

Nikkie does sleep more these days. From dawn to lunch, she’s usually on my office floor while I work. In the summertime, I put the dogs outside for the afternoon and I know they are getting after it big time because they bark like idiots in ten second bursts once or twice an hour. If it’s hot, Nikkie takes a dip in the koi pond; June through August, she usually smells like algae.

I keep telling myself not to take this golden time for granted, but I usually do, until something happens. Once a week, it takes a vigorous backrub to get Nikkie out of bed. Sometimes she just stops and looks around strangely, as if she can’t remember where she put her car keys.

I don’t know what any of this means, other than we are lucky. Life can’t be that obvious, can it?


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