Well, you-all met AJ when he was five years old. He was running everywhere, playing chase with that mischievous gleam in his eye that I think all Basenji are equipped with from birth. He'll be eight in January and he's starting to show it a bit.
We still get off-lead time, but I've noticed he's slowing down some and not running as far during our chase games. We would race each other to the grass with him looking over his shoulder at me as if to say, "Come ON already, ya' loser!" These days, it seems I'm beating him to the grass more and more.
He's getting a little bit of white around his muzzle, as all distinguished elder dogs do and he's not quite as concerned with what other dogs are doing as he once was. It's been a slow process, but one I simply can't ignore any more.
It brings a huge knot to my throat to see those times pass and to have these reminders that I will one day have to say goodbye to my friend. I also know that I still have years before I'll actually have to do that. But it sure doesn't make it any easier seeing the time pass and the changes in him. In the mean time, my old friend still has a lot of roads to travel.
And we hope to see you down one of them some day.