Monday, April 2, 2012

Another reason I love my pit bull

Sensi's ninth birthday passed recently.
Sitting, impatiently, on the trail
His face is peppered white where it used to be jet black. The skin on his underbelly is wrinkly; his armpits peppered with skintags. Gravity is taking its toll on him — not only are the flaps of fur hanging farther down around his collar, but his you-know-what has also taken on a rather aged appearance.
He is old. But not in spirit.
No, not my pit bull. Pit bulls are forever young.
I don't know that a dog of another breed but of similar size would be able to keep up with me at his age. But he does.
We've pushed ourselves this spring — or winter, if you want to be technical. I say "we" because truly, he pushes me as much as I push him.
Sensi and I have found some great trails this year. In all likelihood, we will be run over by a mountain biker before the season is done. It's worth the risk, I figure.
We're up to about four miles a day, sometimes five. We take routes that are half walks, half hikes.
On the pavement, Sensi likes to trot. I like to watch him trot. He prances like a prince. And so, my goal is to keep him at a trot — speed walking or half-jogging behind him so he doesn't have to slow down.
On the hiking trails, he is more reserved. He glances back at me often, as though the well-worn footpath isn't indicator enough as to where we're headed. But there is one thing we both agree on — steep hills are easier jogged than walked. I think we both just want to get it over with as fast as possible.
Enjoying the view from the top
He doesn't show his age on the trails. Sensi always wants to go faster.
One path we take cuts through a big meadow. I've always had a thing for meadows. However stupid we may look, I pick up the pace to a full run through the meadow — Sensi grinning and tail wagging wildly. He likes to run.
On those hot days we had a couple weeks ago, we'd climb down some a small ravine to a pretty little creek. Sensi briefly laps up some of the crisp water, his eyes darting after every frog that hops in from the banks, and then stands to cool off, looking up at me with a dumb smile on his face.
And so, I'm grateful I have a pit bull. I'm grateful my old man of a dog not only can, but wants, to keep up with me. And pushes me to go faster too.
It's not just pit bulls that you'll find this never-aging energy with — just about any terrier will be the same. 
The pit bull is just my terrier of choice.

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