My dad turns 70 today, and there aren't too many people for whom I can find everything I need for the perfect 70th birthday gift at Fleet Farm. Perhaps I need to find new people.
He's a handsome dog...my dad. This buddy of his, however, has seen better days. Dad asked my sister- in-law to get a picture of him and Zeke before Zeke passes. He's got a few visible masses on his legs, his eyesight is failing him, and he moves like the old worn out dog he is. He's not too crabby, though. You can still set his tail wagging by giving him a little love....just like people, right?
I don't even really know how we acquired Zeke. That's how life sometimes works on the farm. A dog wanders onto your property, nuzzles your hand, and their home is secured until someone calls around or you get a tip over coffee about someone missing their dog at the local quick-mart. No one called, and years later dad is still feeding Zeke. Zeke is an outdoor dog, which means he sleeps in the garage or out by the horse barn when it is warm outside. He still gets treats like day old donuts from the convenience store or coveted meat scraps from holiday meals. But he does not mingle with the riffraff indoors, which has always seemed like a smart move to me. I like a guy who chooses his battles and the other mongrels who rule the indoor roost have never been worth his trouble.
Zeke's been secure in his job, keeping my dad company as he putters on his tractors and attends to other outdoor pursuits. Zeke cavorts and frolics in the great outdoors, ripping apart soccer balls and other grandchild toys, preferably the newest ones,hauling around dead animals that he deems fun to play with, trying to engage the other mongrels in an outdoor romp, and otherwise keeping dad in his sights when he needs the occasional love pat.
This picture request was just one way of prepping for the anticipated loss of an outdoor friend.
But my dad, the real handsome dog, has miles to go before he sleeps. We have some hills in South Dakota to explore, a few more fires to build, and it's not quite time to let the motor oil run dry....he's got that gift card from Fleet Farm to use!
Happy 70th Birthday, you handsome dog, you.