Today Luci turned seven. The Labrador age calculator tells me that that makes her 55 (some say 54) in human years. Officially she is now a Senior Dog. How did that even happen?
It was in my early fifties that we brought her home as a wee pup and within a short span of seven years she has chased me down to snatch for herself the title of ‘Senior Dog’ while I still await my chance to be called a Senior Citizen! ‘Not fair, Luci!’ I tell her. ‘Slow down gal. Not so fast!’ But as is her wont to everything I say, she thumps her tail in reply. Thump, thump, thump. Whatever you say, Mommeee.
This dog of mine who seemed to be a Marley-in-the-making to anyone who crossed her path in her early days, is now as sober as they come. Not only that, nowadays she sleeps, sleeps, and then she sleeps some more. Gone are the days when she used to head-butt me to get up from the pooter and go play with her. Today she couldn’t be happier if I am at the comp. She sighs with relief that I am stationary, lays herself nearby and starts snoring. Okay Mommeee, you carry on, I’ll just get some shut-eye.
In spite of being a sleepyhead, she never fails jump up when I push my chair back even a fraction of an inch. That’a sure sign mom is off somewhere and if mom is off somewhere she gotta follow too. That’s a rule she lives by. Get-up-follow-mom-to-bedroom-sleep, get-up-follow-mom-to-kitchen-sleep, get-up-follow-mom-to-sitting-room sleep. In between all this she doesn’t forget to check on dad and to spend time with him, sleeping next to his feet. You gonna be okay, Mommeee? I’ll stay with dad for a while.
Don’t let this saga of sleepiness deceive you though. If anyone so much as touches the gate to our house, Luci jumps up as if prodded by a hot iron rod and starts yelling. What, what what? Who’s at the gate? Don’t you dare enter my home, you rascals!
There are times she jumps up from deep slumber for (to us) no apparent reason whatsoever and starts barking her head off. If you watch her closely enough, you’ll notice how she has a faraway look in her eyes during those times. In between barks you’ll find her straining her ears to listen intently to something. It’s the dog messaging system at work. Somewhere a dog barks having seen a cat or dog out on a walk. Other dogs in the colony pick up the message one by one and and pass it on. When the message reaches Luci, she diligently does her part in relaying the news to dogs further down the lane. Alert! Alert! A dog spotted on Lane 1 (or 2 or 3) with human in tow, coming your way.
With age, Luci has become more demanding of love, belly-rubs and behind-the-ear-scratches which of course we are only too glad to give her. Whether watching television or tapping away at the keyboard, or cooking, it doesn’t matter, when she demands, we oblige. How can you not, when she looks up at you with those liquid eyes, with so much adoration and love in them?
©Shail Mohan 2018