You sigh, as it gets dark,
from that spot on your bed.

Pretending to sleep,
but I say your name
and that tail wags.

We love our long walks. You play.
You push past the others to catch your ball.
You climb the rocks at the beach.
Muscles strong. Senses alert.
You launch yourself to the sea.

You also limp home, sometimes.

On hikes, you crash up mountains.
You grab branches in your mouth.
You do not lose track of me.

But I see you steady yourself
before jumping into the car.

My graying, aging dog.

Not old. Not young.

We jog. You set the pace (always have).
But now I’m the one slowing for you.
That’s OK. You did the same for me.
You’re such a good dog, Ace.

We don’t play much fetch. It makes you sore.
We race. You let me win.

We joke around a lot, don’t we? Lots of tricks.
We go camping. We sing duets.
We go to coffee shops. You lie at my feet.
Big, brown eyes watching.

Every day, five or six times, I kiss that low spot between your eyes.
Rub your soft ears.
See the gray fur on your legs, your feet, tip of that tail.

To my aging dog.

Not old. Not young.

You’re such a good boy.
You look up at me. Those brown eyes staring.

You have big plans.

“What should we do today?”

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