I sure miss the old dogs. It was their time. I see that now. It is hard to say how much another being is suffering, even when you live with them. We spent the last three weekends at the Palliser River. I had to carry them down to the river and then back out. They used to beat me everywhere we went. Once they were on the rocks it was like seeing young pups again. I worried about them falling in. Knowing if they did nothing would save them, but they were too smart for that. They sniffed at the rushing water. Chased smells onto the bank and back. They smiled when the sun shone and when I drank a beer and peeled a hardboiled egg. They begged, conning me for a bite. I made those days last. They slept the way home. I helped them out of the truck and they found their way inside to blankets in front of the fire. It was the enjoyment, beside the river I had such a hard time with. This isn’t the only time I’ve felt this way. To watch a body give out while the spirit is strong is one of the hardest and saddest things to see. It scares me. Slinky and Ara trusted me with their lives. There were many times I put my trust in their instinct. They always had better eyes and noses than me. They had a sense I’d long lost. When they barked I listened. Who am I to decide anything on their behalf? That’s the rub. I’ve been out in the bush plenty since and I don’t feel right without them. Ara in the back and Slinky right beside in the front seat. I’ll get another dog someday. But it’ll take awhile.