An old dog and a new ring

My dog is getting old.

I first noticed this on a run several years ago.  A light snow was falling.  My two dogs ran with me and we made 3 sets of foot prints in the snow. 

Left, right, left, right… Mine. 

Leftrightleftright.  The young buck, Arrow.

Left.  Right.  Left. Draaggg. My old man, Colby.

That streak in the snow- an early injury to his shoulder becoming evident in his step and his stride.  My first clear sign that he wasn’t a young pup anymore.

He didn’t run with me much after that.

Our dogs love bike rides.  But last year we decided Colby can’t run along anymore, worried he would injure himself.  Still determined to get the dogs out for a ride, my husband rigged a trailer to the back of his bike.  He rode with Arrow, Colby sitting in his chariot, me riding behind.  Colby, breaking my heart as he turned around to look at me every few yards- checking in with me,  a grin on his face.

Now he struggles to jump up on our low bed, and tends to choose instead his dog bed on the floor.

No longer able to leap in the back of the car to “go for a ride”, we have to help him up.  This morning, he tried to jump into my parents car as they loaded their suitcases, and he fell.  He seemed surprised.  And embarrassed.  My heart broke a little more.

His handsome face has turned mostly white.  Yet his coat is still a soft, rusty, gorgeous copper.  I love to snuggle next to him and tangle my fingers into his fur.

I made a ring today.  It resembles rutilated quartz, but it is Colby’s copper hair set beneath faceted clear quartz.  To remind me to scold him less, and pet him more.  To fondly remember the energetic young dog he was, but cherish the sweet old man he has become.  To be patient with him.  He has become needy because he can’t hear.  Because he can’t see as well.  Because his bones are sore.

I made this ring because I’m running out of time.