Happy 16th Birthday, Darby Lynn!!!

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Our home is an infirmary these days, full of accomplished, retired sports dogs. They’ve earned the right to be ridiculously spoiled in their golden years. Darby Lynn, the naughty Dalmatian who started my passion for dog training, is 16 years old today. (As a rescue and Daddy’s girl, we picked Father’s Day for her birthday.) I had to learn so much to figure her out that I started Spot On K9 Sports and became a professional dog trainer. Sixteen years later, and she’s still an enigma!

We thought about celebrating a little earlier this year. She’s tough as nails but it’s hard to see her struggle. She is in perfect health other than weak back legs. When we attempt to pick her up, she often fights us. She’ll get up on her own when she’s good and ready, thank you very much!

Every morning, she totters around the perimeter of the backyard, surveying her domain. She spends most of the day in her plush sofa bed, a spotted Queen reigning over her loyal subjects. My best friend who knows our dogs well says it’s like the sea parting when Darby walks into a room. She rules with sheer presence. I can’t imagine not having her here to keep the pack in line and put life in perspective. It truly is the little things – like seeing her smile while sunning ourselves in the backyard today – that make us happy.

Darby Lynn, aka The Girl, we love you so much! XO XO

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