My old dog

I can’t get a photo of her face because she just keeps moving closer to me.
I can’t get up and sneak a photo, while she rests because she gets up to follow me wherever I go.
I can’t get enough of this girl as she navigates old age and reduced abilities.
I can’t let her go because of all she represents and all she means to me.
I can’t. She can’t.

Our walks have become slow strolls. We no longer cross the street to avoid oncoming dogs. I let her react. I think she takes more pleasure in upsetting the humans, than she takes in warning the dogs away.
A few folks navigate around us, smiling, then blinking back their own tears; they know. We know. In those silent acknowledgements, a million memories rush through.
I prolong the end of this particular walk, because she does.
I take her lead. I let her call the shots.

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