My beautiful Golden Retriever Soolin turned 9 years old yesterday. Last night we engaged in what has become a tradition for her birthday, starting with a gift (this year – a big squeaky crocodile, chosen by Brady), followed by the happy birthday song, and then a feast of some of her favorite things: kibble, cheese, yoghurt, and ground meat.
Truth be told, Soolin’s not aging very gracefully. She’s had a year free of surgery for the first time in several years, but the growth under her arm continues to swell and has now spawned several other smaller growths on her abdomen. This along with her arthritic hips has greatly limited her mobility, which in turn is causing some weight gain. Personality wise, she sleeps and lounges around a lot more than she used to. That’s the bad news. The good news is, her essential character is still there – she wants to play, she just finds it a physical challenge to do so and she doesn’t have anything like the stamina she had when I nicknamed her ‘The Mighty Soolin’. Also good is that despite these challenges, she’s still quick with a smile, she still greets visitors with an enthusiasm that can be overwhelming, and when a member of the family comes home, she still rouses herself for an excited greeting despite her aches and pains.
Pictures of this year’s fete: