Everything old is new again

Fido… Come… Sit
By Yvonne Passmore

Of our three dogs, Viva is the oldest. She’s just approaching nine years old and is a great little Golden Retriever. From that first day driving her home in the car, she had a strange confidence. She calmly looked out the window without a whimper and without much excitement.
She walked into our home, where two other dogs lived with us at the time, and just took over. Here was this adorable golden and fluffy puppy that did not blink an eye as she stole all the toys available on the floor in front of these two large older dogs and calmly placed her loot in her crate. I think the other dogs were as baffled and awed by her cockiness as we were.
I usually spend the first night or two with a new puppy on the couch. I take that time to bond with the puppy and to provide comfort and company. This girl would have none of that. She wasn’t interested in sleeping and snuggling with me and was happier on the floor next to the couch. Again, I found that strange but was impressed by her calm independence.
She learned well and won all the awards available in obedience classes. She was never an obnoxious dog so we never really had to deal with bad habits. She’s quiet with people and wonderful with young children. We can take her anywhere and she’ll be quiet and mindful. She’s a fantastic dog. Everyone says so, but…
The words ‘warm fuzzies’ and ‘Viva’ never belonged in the same sentence. From the beginning, she quietly ruled the other dogs and acted as if she had no use for us. Viva never showed a desire to be petted and would actually leave us when we would try. She was never a lap dog or a snuggler. She didn’t need or want a best friend, human or otherwise. There have been many times that I wasn’t even sure if she was still in the house because she would never seek me out to say hi. We used to say that she was still waiting for her real owners because she sure didn’t act like we were who she wanted.
Now my husband believes I should take her to the vet because she is acting strange. She’s playing with the other dogs. She actually laid on my lap twice last week. Every evening she lays at our feet with her head on our legs waiting to be petted. She sleeps on our bed and doesn’t leave when we pet her or when we touch her by accident. This is not the dog we’ve known for the last nine years, but it is the dog that we were hoping for nine years ago. Maybe dementia is catching up to her. Maybe she’s finally realized the owners she’s been waiting for aren’t coming and she’ll have to settle for us. For some reason she’s finally appreciating and liking us. I think I’ll just treat my old dog like a new dog. I’m going to feel foolish telling the vet that there’s something wrong with my dog when the only symptom is that she finally likes me.

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