There’s a birthday in the Aerie this month – and it’s neither mine nor The Beloved’s. This one belongs to the other member of our little pack – Eutaw, the Beloved’s beloved Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Eutaw turns 16 this month – which suggests that she’ll probably start angling to get her Learner’s Permit any time now.
According to information on the breed, Chessies are supposed to live 10-12 years. Yet, Eubie (as she is affectionately known) endures – thrives even. She’s pretty low-key – having let go over the past couple of years of a lot of her alpha-dog tendencies (though she still doesn’t really appreciate other dogs – and don’t go near her water bowl…).
Up until this year, she was still able to retrieve in the ocean (her favorite thing!), though weakness in her hind legs has made that a little too treacherous except in the mildest of conditions. And for a dog that used to regularly climb mountains, these days a walk out to the mailbox and around our cul-de-sac usually is enough for her.
Still – she is game – whether it’s to follow us around the house as we do our chores, or to enjoy her own Happy Hour with us in the evening with her own favorite treat.
We’ve been wondering over the last couple of years just “how long she’ll go for” – and who knows? All I know is whatever time she has left, she’ll be cherished for the wonder of nature that she is.