My Yuki turned 9 this year and has been slowing down. We dealt with some pretty rough joint pain earlier in the year and he has done pretty well since.
This weekend, he was climbing the walls, as were my 3 & 5 year old. We all went to the park, where the boys could play in the soccer field with my husband, and I could take Yuki to the dog park. We don't normally go to the dog park, it makes me twitch (too many variables to keep track of).
When we were there, it was just so different with Yuki. He used to play for hours, running at top speed, playing hard with the other dogs the whole time. This time, he ran a few times, never at top speed, never for the pure fun of flying. He was very disinterested in the other dogs, in fact, at the end, he growled at another dog, who was barking in his face (clearly, this was my cue that he was done)! He spent 99% of his time there patrolling the park, trying to catch sight of the boys, only relaxing when he could see them.
I know 9 isn't horribly old. I know how lucky I am that he is so healthy, and still active in our yard and on walks. I am just feeling a little sad that he seems to have transitioned to a different place in life.
Sigh, thanks for listening.