I participate in a daily dog photography group, and today's prompt was "Forever Young". It seemed to resonate with some of the feelings that I had during our desert trip. No one is "forever young" unless they die young, and that feeling was fostered by how much I missed K during our trip.
All of us veteran dog lovers know that the days of young puppyhood are fleeting even in a dog who lives a full and long life. Before you know it, your puppy is grown up and beginning to "age". And, far too soon, you must say goodbye to your "puppy", after their life has sped by at warp speed.
I thought about the fleeting nature of life frequently during our trip because we visited places that where K had visited as a small puppy and then many times during her life. I have so many memories of K in those places that visions of her dance before my eyes when I'm there.
Yet, at the same time, Shyla is in those fleeting and wonderful days of being a seemingly indestructible young dog, who wants to run all day and acts naively goofy. These are the "good old days" for Shyla - the days of romping with no pain and boundless energy. She is young but no one is "forever young".
So, for today's "Forever Young" photo, I took one that had Shyla's bright eyes burning out of the pine forest's shadows around sunrise this morning. The shadows represent the dark side to the notion of "forever young" while her eyes and happy expression show that she is truly young.
We watched hawks raising young in the same hole a year ago. However, the chicks were much bigger, and there were only two. Last year, the chicks would execute a scary maneuver to relieve themselves, hanging their tails over the edge of the hole to avoid soiling the nest. We'd hold our collective breath hoping that no one fell out from their hole about 300' above the ground. This year, the chicks weren't ready to do that maneuver yet, and their parents were still disposing of their waste.
After watching nature for the afternoon each day, we'd go for an evening hike, enjoying the coolness of the approaching sunset.
You only live once.