Yep, that's right...it's Carson's 8th birthday!
And what does Carson want to do for his birthday? Well, he started off the morning with a yummy late breakfast (he had a big day at the doggy day spa yesterday, so he wanted to sleep in today.) Then, it was back to his bed for a mid-morning nap. This afternoon, he got extra play time in the yard, lots of extra scratches and he'll get his birthday present (a new Nylabone...but shh! Don't tell!) later tonight!
All fun stuff aside, this 8th birthday of Carson weighs on me a little bit. Yes, it seems just like yesterday that I came home from Jersey with this maniacal black Tazmanian Devil at the end of a harness. Took a little while for us to become a working team, but these days, it's hard to even remember those first years of breaking him in. And every dog lover has to face fact: dogs simply don't live as long as people. The Seeing Eye estimates a guide dog's working life to be 7 to 9 years. Carson is now at 6.5 years and I know his retirement is in the cards (though hopefully not for a few more years) On the whole, the last couple of years has only seen him slow up maybe 10%...and that's not much! Just like all of us, as he ages, I expect to see that more, but I'm pleasantly surprised that now, at the hitting of the big 8, he's still just about as spry andenergetic as when he was 3 or 4. I'll consider myself lucky for having had his presence in my life for the last 6.5 years, and toast Carson to as long of a working relationship as we can have...and then to the happiest (and most deserved) retirement any dog can have (and we'll all cross our fingers that's still several years away)...Happy Birthday, Carson!