First, to conclude his passing of the pack leadership torch to Devon, Connor did not raise Page; Devon did. It was Devon who taught this new puppy how to act within the pack. It was Devon who played with her. And it was Devon who corrected her. Of course, Connor did teach Page the one important thing he has taught every puppy in the house after him: poop eating. I do wish he'd stop that, but it looks to be his legacy in our pack!
Second, as much as I hate it, Connor is showing the signs of being an old man. In spite of supplements and keeping the weight off him, Connor is stiff when he gets up from a long nap. He takes his time to judge his jumping distance onto the bed, couch or car. And he now spends most of his days in the middle of the couch downstairs because it's the softest piece of furniture in the house while being the easiest to get up on.
Connor still runs and frolics outside, but this bursts of energy are shorter now. When he runs, his rear legs are together for maximum support. Connor's face is now completely white, but most people don't notice because he's so light to begin with.
This photo was taken at Connor's first birthday party. I've looked at it a lot in the last week. Pictured from the left are Reece (not quite 3 years old), Connor, Logan and Sport. The four dogs are all looking up to Dave Hirsch expectantly wanting a treat. You can tell from the white face that Logan was much older than the pups at his side. Logan, owned and loved by Bryana Pierce, crossed the bridge a few years ago.
This week the news came from Dave that his beloved Sport, who is nearly 11, has advanced cancer. Sport was Dave's first dog, one that was only supposed to be a pet. But Sport led Dave on a different path and altered Dave's plans for his life. Not only does Dave now own three Goldens (years ago he said repeatedly he'd never own three dogs), but he is now an agility judge, something he's very good at.
This photo has reminded me how our dogs too quickly get old when we weren't even watching. Too soon they must leave us. But when they do, we find they have taken us on a wonderful journey all their own. And as Dave discovered it was a journey that altered the very course of his life.
So Connor's 10th birthday has been bittersweet for me. He got up and greeted me this morning like it was any other day. But today I realized that Connor's life has gone by too quickly, and I need to realize that each day going forward is special. Because Connor will always be my perfect English gentlemen.