The perro, the shining star at the center of the Burro Hall universe, turns 14 years old today. We're sharing this video clip of the office party exclusively for Burro Hall Platinum subscribers.
¡Loco¡ Did you see him flash his dick at 3:02?
This is pretty much how the perro rolls these days. Though his health is still excellent for a man of 98 dog-years, he's definitely not a pup any more. His tongue hangs out longer than ever, as if sagging the way and old man's body does. (We have some experience with this phenomenon.) His muzzle continues greying from the edges towards the middle. This time next year we expect him to be sporting a Hitler 'stache. If walk-time and bathroom-time happen to coincide, it's sheer luck. A couple of years ago his spontaneous toilet habits got him banished from his spot on the foot of the Chairman's bed to a doggie bed on the side. Over the last year, he's developed a habit of maniacally, uncontrollably licking his bed every few hours in the night, which can only be stopped by a hand pushing down gently but firmly on the top of his head, until heaves a heavy sigh and goes back to sleep. Without fail, his empty stomach wakes him between 4:45 and 6:15. His impatient whimpering and the click of his toenails as he paces wake the Chairman up thirty seconds later. A meeting of two very unreasonable minds ensues. It ends happily for one of them, as a fistful of extremely pricey, specially-formulated-for-the-mature-small-breed-dog dog food lands (mostly) in his bowl.
From there, he spends most of the next 18 hours deciding whether to sleep in the sun or the shade, leaping up only when his biological clock (which is so accurate and precise, scientists use it to coordinate the movements of GPS satellites) determines it's time for his next meal, or if someone happens to move in the direction of the kitchen. But if he figures out that we've left the house (which usually takes him a while, and involves walking every square inch of the floor plan, just to be sure), he'll sit by the door until we return, be it ten minutes or four hours later.
His senses are steadily fading. He can still see and hear, but it's getting easier to sneak past him. (We take advantage of this with some frequency; For security reasons, our executive boardroom is on the second floor. It's only 13 steps, but if he thinks we're up there he'll haul himself up the stairs one limb at a time like a rock climber scaling the northwest face. He usually arrives just as we're running downstairs for a second. Hence the subterfuge.) His sense of smell is growing weak, especially by the the canine gold standard: it's now possible to put food in front of him without him noticing it. (We've developed a signal - tapping our toes next to the morsel of food means, "Hey, it's over here, dumbass!" It's the only command he responds to.)
Walk time is a struggle for everyone. He enjoys the first half a minute of sniffing things, but quickly decides that's enough walking for today, thank you. We, on the other hand, know he needs the exercise, but are loathe to spend 20-30 minutes dragging an unwilling senior citizen on his barely-half-a-mile route. He pees with all four feet on the ground - which, if nothing else, at least rinses the dust off his paws. And he tires easily. (Our other signal is when the panting turns to wheezing, it's time to carry him home.) He doesn't have the control over his hind legs that he used to. The vet says that's common, that the nerves deteriorate from the back to the front. Sometimes you can hear his toenails dragging as we walk. Unlike Brooklyn's concrete sidewalks, which kept them filed nice and short, Querétaro's hard paving stones let them grow like Howard Hughes's. Perfect for letting the world know it's time to get up and fetch him breakfast.
Birthday dinner had a few bits of actual bacon mixed in. His sense of taste is as sharp as ever. Now he's asleep on the floor, resting up for Day 5,115...
[Previous perro birthday coverage here, here, here, here and here.]