Happy Birthday to my wonderful Rowan, the dog who, in some ways, knows me better than I know myself. It’s hard to believe my boy is eleven, except when I remember how his face used to have much stronger color. He’s not really going gray, he’s going white (kind of like me). He used to have such strong reddish color around his eyes, and that has all faded, making his eyes seem darker. That just highlights for me how much Rowan watches me– those dark eyes are following me much of the day, with his characteristic head bob showing when he’s trying to figure out what I’m going to do next. I love seeing that subtle little bob, as he watches me walking along and tries to figure out which way I’ll turn.
He’s slowing down some, and often prefers to sit in the shade and watch Petra and Milo run, but every now and then he gets a spurt of energy and runs through the yard, his magnificent coat waving in the breeze.
If I say “Just Rowan,” he leaps up from the hearth where he’s usually sleeping and comes running, knowing that he’s going to be the only dog to go outside with me. We were just outside this evening having some birthday fun, just Rowan and me, playing one of our favorite games. I either tell him to wait or sneak around to the far side of something, in this case a bunch of flowers, and then turn to face Rowan. Rowan will sit or stand tall watching me for a moment, then race around to join me, while I try to beat him around to the other side. He always catches up to me, and we laugh together.
We’ve been playing this game for 11 years now and neither of us has
tired of it. I hope I get to play it with my boy for many more years and get to have him walking by my side watching my every move for a long time to come.
Happy Birthday, Rowan! You are a joy and a blessing in so many ways.