When your friend grows old

Yesterday, on our favorite hike, it hit me again how much my best friend shows her age, and I don’t mean her white face.

Hiking up the mountain trail was a breeze, but after two hours of uphill walking to the alpine lakes, the way back proved to be a bit challenging for Kayla. She stumbled several times and needed to rest quite a bit. Every time I stopped, she lay down all the way onto her side. She looked so pitiful and sad that other hikers asked if she was okay. I felt a bit guilty for taking her on this long hike, but I also know and see the enthusiasm with which she starts out on every hike. Her and I love the forests, the alpine meadows, and the clear blue mountain lakes. Kayla especially loves the little critters on the way. Her ears perk up and she looks as if she wants to give them the run for their lives—if I let her.

Up by the lakes, a couple was fishing, and they had brought their two border collies. One of them, named Goose, loved to play and fetch a stick out of the water. If I hadn’t stopped throwing that stick, Goose and I would still be playing today, I think. Playing with this young active dog, made Kayla a bit jealous and made me remember when she was this active and playful. I’m sad to know that our outdoor adventures and time together are winding down, and soon perhaps, there will be only the neighborhood strolls.

After the hike, both of us were a bit stiff in the hips and legs. Today, we took it easy and just hung out at home. But this summer, Kayla and I are going to give whatever we still got in us to enjoy these beautiful hikes. Fall and winter will be here all too soon.

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