Monday, March 2, 2009

Terrific terriers

There’s so much to like in a terrier.
They’re lively, energetic, clownish and an all-around source of entertainment. They’re quick learners, and their tenacity and determination cannot be understated.
It doesn’t matter the packaging — whether it’s the tiny, silky-haired Yorkie or the bullish Staffy — they’re all these things.
I will never be without a terrier. There are other types of dogs I want, but I’ll always keep a terrier around.
I remember when Sensi was a puppy. He went from being a tiny guy who needed sleep all the time to a clumsy puppy who spent each waking hour playing.
He was my tireless companion. We’d walk. We’d play. We’d train. We’d go places. Whatever I was doing, Sensi was ready and willing at my side.
Nothing’s changed.
Sure, my old dog is turning 42 (in dog years) this March. Sleep has once again become supreme in his life. His face is graying so quickly that I almost can’t stand to have people see him anymore.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how white his face has gotten since the last time I saw him,” my mother said on a recent visit.
I say back, “I know,” but it does nothing to convey how I feel.
The comments stress me out. They remind of his rapidly graying face, which is a constant reminder of his rapidly aging body. It’s a kind of crisis for me. I can’t bear to think about life without Sensi — he is my first dog, my first baby.
But that terrier in Sensi uplifts me every day.
No matter how white his face is, his eyes still twinkle like he’s a puppy.
When he comes in from outside, he explodes into “zoomies” like a little puppy. He runs as fast as he can around the house, picking up a toy somewhere along the way and inviting whoever is around to play.
And if there’s no takers, he plays with himself, tossing the toy in the air so he can chase it.
Sensi still never turns down a walk, no matter how much it pains his arthritic knee.
At heart, Sensi is a still puppy and that’s what is so terrific about terriers.
They never seem to grow old or let go of that enjoyment, exuberance and intensity with which they live life.

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