I should have seen it coming, but no. When you own a geriatric dog, some things just don't occur to you. Sweet Pea, aka the Queen, is sixteen years old. She just had a great check up last month at which time her veterinarian responded to my question of her longevity with, "Don't change a thing that you are doing. She'll probably live a lot longer, although she does have the beginnings of cataracts."
Well, ever since that day, she has acted like a different animal. Now, she still requires about twenty-one and a half hours of sleep a day, but when she is up, she is feistier than I've seen her in the four years she has been with Hubby and me. She's barking at us to get her a carrot, a dog cookie, a greenie, go out, come in, yada yada yada. Not just barking, mind you, loud, annoying yippy Yorkie yelps! What has become of my sweet tempered, if aloof, Queen of the Circle?
Today was the topper. It is Sunday. I just got home from spending a week with one of the sons of her former owner (getting to be an extra grandmother) and was relaxing with the New York Times Sunday Crossword...relaxing may not be the correct word, but I was being mostly successful. Sweet Pea demanded to go out, so I obliged, taking my puzzle with me out to the patio. She does her business, then all of a sudden, (perhaps not ALL OF A SUDDEN) but I realize I have no idea where the Queen has gone! She is not anywhere in our yard that I can espy.
Horrors! There are lawn tractors buzzing all around us, and although she is a mighty monarch, she is but six inches tall and only four and a half pounds, she could easily be missed by an errant tractor driver. I make the trek around the house to see if she's surveying the front yard of her domain, but no Queen.
I decide I must look farther afield, but am certain not everyone in our neighborhood will enjoy my printed "patio dress" and bare feet. Grabbing somewhat more appropriate duds, I begin walking out to the street calling for my liege. No answer! I make it two houses when a young man riding a lawn tractor stops and I ask if Sweet Pea has passed by...she has about 10 minutes earlier.
I am stunned, amazed, flabbergasted. The Queen has taken off on foot!with no escort! I walk on for a couple of houses and see no sign. Now I am beginning to become seriously concerned...she is, after all, sixteen! I hasten back to the house, collect my purse and keys and begin an earnest search of the circle.
About one-quarter of the way around the circle, I spy the little darling. I don't know if she heard and recognized the sound of my Volvo, saw the car or was really just turning around to head home, but there she was in all her glory, tongue hanging out and panting. I threw the Volvo in neutral, set the parking brake, got out and scooped her up. (As we passed the boy who gave me the lead I held her up so he could see her, he gave a cool head nod in response.)
She got a tongue lashing and reminder of her lack of stature when we got in...also several hugs and kisses. I guess the days of unsupervised potty breaks are over for Sweet Pea...I can't take the drama!