In the 8 years we have been together, I’ve gone from 27 to 35. You’ve gone from 3 to 11.

In all of the coming-of-age, working my way into adulthood of the last almost-decade, you have been by my side, a constant.

You’ve been here for the journey. Greeted me enthusiastically almost every morning. Followed me around the house—always a foot away. Woken up every time I’ve woken up in the middle of the night. Been there every day with warmth, love, eagerness, and an ever-watchful gaze.

But, caught in the hustle of my life, I missed the fact that you were on a different arc, that you had gone from being in your early 20s, rocketed through middle age, and entered your golden years, going from 21 to 77.

That’s not fair. Slow down. Match my pace. I need you with me.

This past year, you have slowed down. There’s been a change in your personality. You want to snuggle more. You’re a little bit sleepier. I noticed the change and I’ve been worried, it sometimes felt like you were saying goodbye, but visits to the vet reassured me—you are perfectly healthy. Laying next to you tonight, I realized, with alarm, that it’s just that you are older, and you are older than me. My “puppy” and my little one, my “bubbie”, my “super dog”, my totem, passed me on the arc of life a while ago; you are in the last portion of your life, as I enter the middle of mine.

You are a wise old soul. You have been since you came into my life. I’ve always thought of you as an old man. Maybe that’s why I missed you getting older.

Promise me another 8 years. At least another 5… I’ll be 40, you can be 112.

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