This photo was taken in 2002 when Cheyenne was two years old. It hangs on a wall in my bedroom. The sitting was a birthday gift from a friend, and at the beginning of the shoot, Cheyenne circled me one time and then plopped down beside me and placed her leg over mine. The photographer was thrilled, saying, keep her just like that, just like that, as he snapped away. I didn't have to. My hand is on her but not firmly. I think this picture captures well the comfort and closeness I've had with Cheyenne.
And nine years later, this is her last night. She's 11.
I post these two photos because after Cheyenne's surgery, she's acting more like her younger self than how she's been over the past several years. I had attributed much of her slowing down to her increasing age. I was so wrong. Her slowed pace and lessened enthusiasm were due to her breathing issues. Seems obvious now. She is such an enthusiastic dog again, at my side whenever I go upstairs, walking at a steady clip when we go on our morning and evening walks, and she's even playing with her toys again. Her tail? In constant wag again. In fact, she's so energetic that I have to remember that she's still in recovery, which means that now I am constantly trying to slow her down.
She and Dixie are getting along. They played a rowdy game of tug-of-war with a stuffed toy this morning, the first time they've really played together. There are a few scrapes, mainly over sticks that Dixie drags into the house and Cheyenne shows interest in, but we're working through those.
So, yeah, the dog-related issues in my life have greatly improved. A bit of training and a bit of surgery were just the ticket.