Olivia was always the leader, she was always bounding ahead on a hike. She could run up a 14’er (a big mountain in Colorado) and come flying back to see why I was so slow. At some point as more dogs came into my life, she’d race them and kept up. As time goes, she eventually would be behind them.
Then on the hikes, she was always trotting next to me as the others were ahead. A little knowing smile, an exchange of “we’re in this together” as I’d yell ahead to get the others to slow down. That phase lasted for a long time.
Then, she was behind me. She was much slower. We weren’t next to each other. She was way behind me.
One day a couple of weeks ago, I was lamenting this transition, trying to figure out when she slipped so far behind. Was it gradual? Was it sudden? When did this happen?
I was feeling a little sad about her really slowing down. The next morning on the hike, she started galloping to catch up. She was working overtime to be next to me. She can’t sustain it, but since that day of pondering, I have my dog next to me on the hikes again. Even if it is only momentary, I’ll take it.