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He is an old dog, my vet said.

He’s only eleven! I cried.

He is in his 70s, she countered.

But.  But but but.  

I had so many objections.  

He is my hale and hearty dog

my stalwart companion

the one with the jaunty step

the fearless explorer of woods & creek

my role model for flat-out joy 

my Tigger

my heart.

How could he, like me,

have a decrepit neck?

I take Social Security. Medicare.

But he!   He is only eleven.

Just yesterday he killed a snake!

We have yet to go camping.

He hasn’t seen the ocean.

I still have his baby tooth.

He is only eleven.

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