I have been waiting for August 6, 2010 for some time. Just how long is hard for me to pinpoint. Let me explain.
Penny, my first dog, and Mame, Champers and Britches, John's and my first three dogs were pedigreed. Pure-bred dogs whose births were planned, who were well cared for while still in utero. Penny lived to within a month of her 16th birthday. Mame lived beyond her 16th birthday. Champers died "young" just shy of his 13th birthday as a result of an vicious attack 18 months earlier. Britches lived beyond her 16th birthday.
I had this crazy notion that a dog's normal life expectancy was 16 years.
Then we started to adopt rescues.
Our first rescue, Daphne, a Wheaten/Whippet--or, perhaps, Greyhound--was 3 when we adopted her. I expected to have her for 13 years. A few months after her 7th birthday, she hopped up on the love seat in the living room for an afternoon nap. Forty minutes later, John and I called her for a walk. She didn't move. She was already in rigor. I was still in shock over her loss when we adopted our next rescue.
Zephyr was 4 1/2 when we brought her home--a very large, dark brindle retired racing Greyhound. When she was restored to health, she tipped the scales at 97 pounds. She was a dignified, courageous dog. I figured that Zephyr would grow old with me. But she had the bad fortune to get osteo sarcoma--and died exactly one month before she would have turned 7.
Our next rescue was Portia, for whom this blog is named. Her life was cut short by a vicious attack. She had just celebrated her 4th birthday.
Now we have Bingley and Magic. We will never know Magic's exact age for certain. We have declared her birthday to be July 15, 2004, which makes her 6.
Bingley's birthday is tattooed in his ear. September 5, 2003. He will be 7 years old on September 5 of this year. Today, he is one day older than Zephyr was when she died. I have been waiting for this day. Perhaps, I will finally have a dog who will grow old with me.
I live in hope.
August 11 will be another important day for Bingley. It will be the 5th anniversary of his very first race. He won it. Poor baby wasn't even two years old.
We will celebrate today in a unique way. More on that later.
Happy Day, Bingley and Magic!
But, in many ways, every day with a rescued dog is a Happy Day.