Differing comfort levels

I'm seeing another sign of aging in Maia. She'll be nine in April.

She's spending less time outside in the snow, more time inside where it's warmer. She's also spending more time sleeping on my bed, a rug, or even Meadow's bed, where before she always insisted on sleeping on the hardest, coolest indoor surface she could find.

I need to buy her a bed. She always refused to use them in the past.

Meadow has always enjoyed sleeping on soft surfaces. Just another of their differences.

Maia has recovered wonderfully from her teeth cleaning and minor surgery. She's a tough old gal.

In fact, she led the way, in true lead dog fashion, on our five mile run on snowy roads yesterday morning. Her pace was excellent, keeping the leash taught without pulling.

Yet she's also quick now to let me know she isn't so keen on running. In fact, just before yesterday's run, she stayed on my bed while I got Meadow ready, and didn't seem to mind when Meadow and I left the house without her. I expected to hear her quick, sharp and indignant bark, letting me know I was neglecting her and in fact she did want to join us.

Not a sound.

I was prepared to go without her, even though the thought made me sad. I've known these days were coming. She used to run 4-5 days a week with me. Now it's more like three, and the distances are much shorter. Her shoulders get stiff. She gets lots of massages.

I forgot something, and so returned about a minute after leaving with Meadow, only to find Maia sitting right at the door. When I asked, then, if she wanted to join us, she made it clear she did. Meadow was ecstatic that Maia was joining us after all, and the two of them nearly pulled me off my feet with excitement as we headed down my snowy driveway. I got the sense that Maia perked up when she realized we were going to run on snow-covered roads with good footing rather than on a more difficult trail or in deeper snow in the woods. We had a terrific run. It was a wonderful gift for my 51st birthday.

We're taking today off.

I took these photos as the snow continued to fall yesterday. Big, wet flakes. Meadow, as usual, spent most of the day curled up on the snow in the yard. Maia wanted to be outside, but was avoiding the snow. Not the snow on the ground, but the truly wet stuff falling from the sky. To Maia, it was too much like rain, and she would never sleep outside in the rain.