Annie is our "old girl." She is almost 15, which--for a large dog--is old. We know she is on borrowed time...
We adopted her from Love a Golden Rescue when she was 8. Her previous owners surrendered her due to her chronic ear infections (something that Goldens are known for). We didn't have her in particular in mind when we went to the "meet and greet" session but just like Tom Cruise had Rene Zellweger at "hello," Annie had us when she flopped down so we could rub her belly.
She had been at one of the rescue's "foster homes" for eight months; no one was interested in adopting her. Was it due to her age? Her expensive ears? Who knew, but we fell in love with her and thought--stupidly--that the expense of her ears was exaggerated.
Many vet visits later, a couple of surgically-performed deep ear cleanings, countless bags of costly dog food (she's allergic to yeast) and many bottles of god-awful expensive miracle ear drops later, Annie is still perking along. She now can barely see (cataracts), can barely hear (deafness due to her age along with the infections) but she knows what love is. And, she knows when it is 8:00 every night--that's when she gets half a raw carrot as a treat (to a dog, it's sweet and delightfully crunchy).
She is the best dog imaginable. She has perfect manners---always the lady---and has the most beautiful brown eyes I've ever seen.
In the evening, when I'm on the couch reading or grading papers or watching TV, she comes up and nudges my hand so that it's resting on the top of her head...demanding some attention.
And I give it, no matter how busy I am, because I know her time on earth is dwindling...