A year ago this month my dog, Daphnie, went through surgery to remove a few cancerous growths on her skin. We were in Florida preparing to get on the road to have Christmas in Georgia, New Years in Oklahoma, and a fresh start at living again in Colorado. Because the friends we had been house sitting for had returned home, we needed a place to stay while she recovered so that the stitches could be removed prior to getting on the open road and driving across the country. Luckily, a friend of a friend of a friend knew a sweet old woman who loved dogs and had an empty beach house apartment for rent. For a small penny Daphnie and I spent that week healing wounds, taking morning and evening walks on the beach, scouring the internet for jobs and places to live in Colorado, shipping and selling calendars, finishing up photo work, packing my tiny car, and mentally preparing for the weeks and months ahead. But this blog post isn't really about that stressful week and the nostalgia I've had lately for how well I handled it. It's about Daphnie, and how one year later she amazes and inspires me to keep pushing.
One of my best friends recently took care of her while I was on the east coast shooting a wedding. On my first day gone I called to check in and what I heard on the other end of the line took me by surprise, "Yeah, Daphnie's great! I took her on a run today with my dog. She loved it." Being the mom that I am, I was at first concerned. After all she is technically 91 years old now with a bad back and skin cancer. I have never gone on a run with my dog. I've chased her on trails and at the dog park, but never a strap-on-your-running-shoes-and-excersize type of run. So this week we decided to try something new. Since my Achilles tendon has finally healed from a three month long injury I'd been anxious to start running again. Knowing that I'd be starting small, I assumed she could handle it. We've gone three times this week and much to my surprise she outruns me every time. When I can tell she's tired and I stop she's the one who keeps pulling, pushing me to keep going. When we're running and her ears and tongue flap goofy-like in the wind I can see the life in her step, the smile in her eyes, and I get flash backs of her one year ago moping around in her E-Collar on the deck of a beach house in Florida. It's at these moments that I hope at 91, I am as full of life as Daphnie.