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AKC Gazette, “Times Past”—This little gem by veteran newspaperman Boyd Wright first appeared in our January 1996 issue.

Time has snuck up on me. About halfway through this past year, I turned 67; a month later my Golden Retriever, Sky, turned 9. Recently, by the traditional rule of thumb of seven dog years to each human year, our ages converged. Now he’s the older one. This has been quite a jolt.

This sudden switch in our ages has hit me hard. We don’t have anything like this in human relationships. We move along through the years with the same comfortable age span separating us. Today, my wife is exactly as many years younger than I am as the day we were married. My children have progressed from infancy to parenthood (and I to grandparenthood), but the differences in our ages have remained the same. Time plays no favorites with us; the rhythm of life moves on at a steady pace.

But with our beloved pets, time does play tricks. It allows no stable buffer of years between us.

Instead, time marches to a meaner drum, crunching years without mercy. While we move along at human speed, our dogs fast-forward into old age.—B.W.

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