White Dog sniffed her sister and looked at me. "She smells delicious! What is she wearing?" WD was referring to the rich cocoa butter moisturizer that a wonderful friend made just for Puff and her extra dry skin. She did smell good, like a warm brownie or rich hot chocolate.
(Just a note: cocoa butter is safe for dogs as it contains no theobromine, just the incredibly rich fat from the bean which is a very effective moisturizer for humans as well as little white dogs).
This winter has seen our fiesty little old lady slow down as her 16 years is beginning to reveal themselves. Puff has not been ill but at 86 human years (using the newest calculations based on her weight and size), her body is aging. Her furs are thinning and her nearly bare tummy and inner legs get dry without the protection of the breeds thick double coat. So she wears sweaters and t-shirts (sunburning is now a factor) and we moisturize. Steve jokes that they have the same beauty regimen.
My once nearly feral girl seems to enjoy the new morning process of being held and then gently turned on her back for the massage that comes along with working the cream into her belly skin. Not to seem too civilized, she still squirms after as I right her and adjust her clothes and kiss her nose. It is, she indicates, time to gently place her on the floor (for we no longer let her jump from the bed) and return her dignity.
I have noticed that her part in the daily song to the mailman has become less prolonged and that she often skips the madly leaping at the window opting, instead, to stand with her front paws on the chair seat as she joins the chorus.
My girl and I have developed a morning routine where after breakfast she peacefully lies at my feet, often her head resting on me, as I read and the rest of the White Dog Army sleeps. We are just two old girls soaking in the serenity and enjoying the quiet peace of the morning at our own leisurely pace.
For Puff and I, growing old is not the horror that some consider it to be. We take a few medications to stay healthy. She spends a bit more time revitalizing in the oxygen kennel. We sometimes think about the time ahead..."When." But aging has opened a new depth to my relationship with my Magical Girl. We understand when Oso stumbles and falls against us. We are patient when Bella tries to get bossy. We know to be unfazed by Taiko's mean face when he gets possessive. We are content to let WD and YoYoMa take the lead. We try to make every moment golden...
We still can rock the house when we need to...and we know secrets the young ones haven't even begun to guess...AND we smell GREAT!