Oil on canvas panel, 16x20, $200
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Her muzzle has grayed, and her legs are stiff. She sleeps a lot. But behind the bluish, cataracty film, her eyes are bright and interested. She greets me with a smile and a sparkle, and even, sometimes, a sprightly little trot across the yard.
The glory days are behind her now, but we both remember. We remember how she ran across the fields, strong and fleet and tireless. We remember how she chased deer, and how she roared and snarled at strangers, protecting me from all danger. We remember how she leapt, how she plowed through snowstorms and rolled in drifts, and shook off the cold as though it were nothing. She dreams these memories today; I hear her nails clicking against the floor as she runs and races in her sleep, young again and fierce and proud.
She follows me these days, with her eyes and with her body, too. Follows me and looks, sometimes, deep into me, into my eyes, into my heart, as if I have the answer for why she can no longer hear, no longer run. I can't run, either, I tell her. But I can walk, and you can walk, and we can walk together. And I can love, and you can love, and that will never end.