Since returning home there have been so many great things, but one thing that can't be ignored is the fact that I get to see Jetta on a regular basis. Jetta retired just over five years ago and she's been living a life of luxury and ease with my parents ever since. Seeing her in those five years has been difficult since my itchy feet have had me globe trotting. When I saw her on Monday evening for the first time in two and a half years I was so happy to see that even though she'll be 13 this December, she's still as spunky as ever.
Monday evening Mr. K and I went over to my parents' house to do laundry. We have a dryer, but the washing machine in our townhouse doesn't work. It's technically not the landlord's so he's not responsible for the machines. So, until we can get a part or find a washing machine, we'll be making laundry visits to my parents' place. We also had supper with them which was steaks on the barbecue; another thing I've missed. Until this past week, I had not had a barbecued steak in over two years. It's not that barbecues don't exist in the UK. It's more a case of us living in the middle of a city in a tiny flat that strictly said "no barbecues in the garden." Not only did I get to eat barbecued steak and do laundry, but Jetta was there to greet us at the door when we walked in.
Age has hardly changed her.
She's a bit plumper than before, but she still hops about and wags her whole back end when someone comes in the front door. She and I even played our "vicious" game which consists of me rubbing her hips and singing "vicious" while she goes around in circles growling at me. The game wasn't quite as intense as it used to be, but she certainly hasn't forgotten.
Last night I got to see her again as I went over for supper. With Mr. K being gone for a few days, my parents told me to come over to have food last night too. Tonight I get to return the favor with pasta and meatballs at my place.
Jetta was there, hopping at the top of the stairs waiting for me to come up. She was a bit more interested in sniffing Nala since I brought her over this time, but eventually Jetta remembered I was there too and started hop dancing for me too. We were running a bit behind schedule so I fed Jetta and Flash (my parents other dog) while mom got the rest of supper ready. I fed Flash outside because she doesn't like other dogs. She's fine with Jetta, but she growled at Nala and tried to nip her nose when we came up the driveway, despite me holding cheese under her nose. It's just something we'll have to work on with her.
Jetta was her old self, waiting just behind me as I scooped out the food. She sat when I told her to, but she quivered with anticipation as she always did. It's like she's sitting, but her butt is spring loaded and as soon as you utter the first syllable of "okay," she's off, face in bowl. The funny thing is that she eats slowly for a Lab and chews her food. She's always done that. She also has this little dance where she goes up on her back paws while you bring her bowl over to the eating spot. It's like she's trying to see into the bowl while you're walking it over. Her old joints still allow her to do this too. I had forgotten about the dance until she started rearing up on her back legs as I carried her dish.
I know she's an old girl and we should be thankful for every day we get with her. She's still very healthy and energetic though so that makes me happy.
For some people, she would be viewed as "just a dog" and some probably wonder why or don't understand why I would want to be around her in her senior years, but when a dog dedicates six years of her life to keeping you safe, and when she's the first one to do so, getting to enjoy her retirement with her is pretty special.