Wandering Around Out There With A Canoe On My Head

Happy 19th Birthday Nancy!

Nancy close up looking at the camera

by Preston
June 6, 2022

Can you believe it’s been 19 years since Nancy started spreading joy, running trails, jumping fences and straight scaring the crap out of all the small furry things out there.

While she has seemed ageless for so long, sadly she seems to be finally showing her age now. I’ve seen this girl face off against time for a long while, but in true Nancy form, she’s stubbornly resisting. And no better example than the last few weeks, when she got up one morning feeling pretty blasé. On our morning walk she was doing what I can only call protesting. It’s when she walks just slow enough to feel a bit of resistance. Usually it’s when she doesn’t want us to go this way, she wants us to go that way. Often it’s when we get outside and walk towards the car instead of towards the park. It can be a little annoying, if I’m being honest, especially when we’re in a hurry, and she gives me that smiling innocent look that tells me she absolutely knows what she’s doing. So when she was causing drag on our walks it took me a while to figure out that she was in a bit of pain. I feel bad about that, actually. I’m pretty sure she’s happy about that, especially if it leads to more treats.

So after a few days and a vet visit where we think her joints were a bit painful and she may have injured her front paws, I thought this was going to be our new normal. We decided we would walk when she wanted, as long as she wanted, and of course, I’d let her decide where we would go. I’d take her outside and just let her start moving in whatever direction she wanted. It took her a bit to figure out what was going on. She’d take me down the street, then back up the same street, but didn’t want to go back home quite yet, so we’d hang out at a corner for a while before she would sheepishly try and take me up another street. After a few walks a day and a few days, she started to really enjoy her new leadership role. So much so, that by the third day she was dragging me up and down the street, yanking me this way and that – often with no regard to traffic laws, dangerous cars and of course, my safety. After one rather painful 25 minute long drag around town, I decided I’d had enough, and that this sick little girl was at the very least back to normal. But the new freedom had gone to her head. She would not be convinced to go back to a life of restrained pace. No, not her. She would resist. I had to go right back to our training class techniques, from way back when, that we practiced and practiced before she became the excited, full-charging, averagely behaved walker that I personally felt was a great victory by getting to that state.

So in a way, she has defied time again. Not by aging slowly, but by sending us back in time to years ago, when we first started going to level one puppy training. Though on the plus side, I think I had hair back then.

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Preston and Nancy the dog pose with a Paddle in the Park Contest paddle
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