Before the gray
Annie's muzzle has been going gray. She's nine now, and I looked at her this afternoon, as we sat at a coffee shop, and noticed that her paws are graying too--her two front paws, one of which is shaped like a lobster claw at the end of her short leg. Her funky paw, as we call it, with its "opposable thumb," is gray where it used to be a deep, reddish tan.
But her eyes are bright and clear, and she looks at me with the same eager smile as ever. And in the yard when we got home, she held a stick in her mouth and batted a tennis ball around with that funky paw, playing the game she invented for herself when she was just a puppy, and bubbling with doggie joy.