Some would say she's just another dog, but they would be wrong. Of all the dogs I've known, she's the best. When the doorbell rings, the hair rises on her neck and she has a ferocious bark, but she's a pacifist at heart. She's all love, not war.
She's not my dog. She belongs to my son-in-law and daughter. She's a golden Labrador named Lady. After first making her acquaintance I made the mistake of giving her a good all over scratch. That was it for her. I became the person who gives great back scratches. Whenever I come over, she heads for me with that pleading look in her big brown eyes we both know the meaning of. They don't like for her to beg at the table, but once in a while when she's not put outside soon enough, I feel a warm head on my knee under the table and looking up are those same eyes with another look we both know the meaning of.
One day Lady quit playing with her toys. I'm not sure when it was, but one day she didn't run up with a toy for me to try to grab away from her. After that, it seemed all of a sudden she walked slower and needed help getting into the golf cart for a ride. Was Lady getting old so soon? Then she started showing signs of a stroke. She began walking in circles and she forgot how to back up, so she would get stuck in a corner and have to be rescued several times a day. She began to lose weight and her hair started coming out. Last night, I noticed she was dragging a back leg when she got up to be let outside. Today my daughter called to let me know Lady was making her last trip to the vet today.
As much as Lady forgot, one thing she never forgot. Last night before she had to be helped outside and then helped back onto her ottoman, she walked slowly over to me for the last back scratch from her long time designated back scratcher.