As I sit here writing this I am watching over my senior dog Jasper. He is in The last days of a very full and beautiful life. We live way out in the country and I always remember Jasper following my two boys around as they took walks through the woods and skipped stones in the pond. They had all kinds of adventures exploring, building forts, camping outside and Jasper was always with them. He had plenty of space to move around, take walks and runs and a pond to swim in. Even with all this space he never wanted to wander, he just wanted to be close to us people.
Most of his years his best friend was a cat named Pumpkin. They were snuggle buddies, keeping each other warm. Sometimes Jasper would start licking Pumpkin on the head and Pumpkin thought that was the greatest thing. And so Jasper would just lick and lick and Pumpkin appeared to be in heaven, until Pumpkin's head was completely wet with dog slobber and the most satisfied expression on his face.
After his friend Pumpkin died Jasper continue to slow down. He spent his days lying down, not interested in much, just being close to us. And then two things happened at the same time that gave him new energy. We started giving Jasper a supplement to help his joints and we got a new dog. Millie was about 3 years old and extremely energetic. Jasper began to take part in all of the activities that he seemed to have forgotten about. He chased balls, he went on walks, waded in the pond, chewed up dog toys. He would try to play with Millie sometimes, but mostly he would try to get her to calm down. Whenever she would start playing in the house he would start to bark. It's as if he were saying "Hey hey, we'll have none of that rough-housing around here!". He did his best to keep things under control.
For all of his years and especially the last year Jasper really enjoyed the good life. Sadly, it is nearing his time to go. It's hard decision to make and I wasn't sure about it for a while, but now I know it's the best thing to do for him.