When did this happen?

Really, when did this happen?  When did Luke become an old dog?  He has always been my baby, I still consider him my little boy.  But looking at him now I have to admit it, he's getting old.  His eye are cloudy and have that old dog droop, he is so stiff that getting up and turning around is a chore in itself.  When I tell people he is almost 12 they always respond with "awwwwww."  Awwwwwwww??????? What???  I find myself wondering how the heck almost twelve years has gone by?

I remember the day that I met him, it truly feels like it was yesterday.  I went to a trainer friends house to see her puppies.  I was honestly not looking, I was in the process of getting one of Tilley's nieces at the time so I really, really wasn't looking.  I have never agreed with the "let the puppy pick the owner" deal.  The puppy you should have might just be sleeping, in a bad mood or feeling very naughty and not come to you and melt your heart on that day.  But this surely happened with me, this is the one and only time adog actually chose me.  He did it with skill, I didn't even know what hit me.

When I got to her house the puppies were all in the yard, everyone was sleeping except for Luke.  I stepped over the tiny bodies sleeping while he proceeded to dive all over me.  Finally I sat down in the middle of the sleeping mass of adorableness and asked who was who.  They were 7 weeks at the time and had already been through their conformation evaluation.  There was a pick female and male, the male was Luke.  So I asked what made him so special?  So she told me while he did his best song and dance act.  He just would not go away, he climbed all over me until I finally picked him up and held him facing me about 2" away and asked "do you want to come home with me?"  He looked directly into my eyes and obviously used his mojo on my heart or something.  I had been kidding when I asked him this, but something happened on the drive home that day.

It wasn't a long drive, only about 45 min. but for the extent of it there was a little blonde curly boy that would not get out of my head.  For the life of me I tried.  "Why am I thinking about this dog?" I asked myself.  Once I got home and on with life it didn't change, I thought it would but it didn't.  Oddly enough the puppy I had been preparing to get fell through.  For 5 longs weeks I pondered that blonde puppy.  I talked to the breeder often, nonchalantly asking about him.  Did she still have him?  She was waiting, waiting for the perfect home for him.

One day I called her if she would let me have him.  She was thrilled even when I told her that he would most likely be shaved down and never shown.  She wanted a good home before show home for him and that was mine.  She laughed and said that she knew he was my dog from the start.

Finally after much too much time, Luke joined us at 12 weeks old.  He was adorable of course.  He tested my patience to the limit and taught me more than any dog in my life has.  Nearly 12 years of education this little man has given me but how the heck did it go by so fast.  He was the young'n when Jessie and Tilley were around.  He seemed so young, so spry even.  This year we have seen the biggest change in him physically.  His body is not holding up like Tilley's did, he is seeming much older, earlier.

Of course we now have a very buff, structurally sound young girl with lots of substance in comparison.  So it is very hard to give her a hug and then Luke and not notice the muscle loss and protruding bones.  It is difficult not to see the missteps, stiffness and fear of falling when the two are running around.  This one snuck up on me, I may have not noticed because I was caring for dogs much older than Luke for a very longtime.  But yes, he is getting old and like all of us I have to deal with it.  Like it or not.