The happiest dog in the world, Peyton, turned eight years old on November 12. She earned the title of happiest dog in the world when her groomer informed us that Peyton is the happiest dog she has ever met, and I honestly believe that to be true. Peyton is the sweetest, happiest, craziest dog you could ever hope to meet.
She loves her family, she loves her chair, she loves to eat, and she loves Sam. And not necessarily in that order.
This year Peyton has given us three big scares. First, we caught her limping and discovered she had very nearly sliced her paw pad in half. Some salve and a couple of Rimadyl later and she was back to normal. Please note, when I saw caught her limping, I mean she was walking completely normally if she knew you were watching her but would favor her sore foot if she thought no one could see her. And then she ate approximately three pounds of food just to prove she can. I was terrified she was going to bloat. Two vet visits and an x-ray later we discovered she has packed her tummy so full of food, there was no room for air, so no room for bloat. Thank goodness. Then, because that wasn’t enough, we started finding blood all over the house. Some detective work led us to Peyton. An exam and special diet later, she was back to normal. There is never a dull moment with Miss “Go Big or Go Home” in the house.
Peyton’s biggest challenge this year has been adjusting to Sam’s changing status. There are days when Sam is her old self and she and Peyton get along about as they always did (read not super well), and then there are the days when Sam isn’t feeling well and needs some support and she emotionally leans on Peyton (she could lean on her physically, too) I have no doubt that Peyton would prop her up if Sam needed her to.
The most remarkable thing about Peyton is how steady she is. Nothing really freaks her out. Nothing rattles her. If she gets bothered, she retreats to her kennel and waits out whatever the issue is. She doesn’t bark, but she makes up for that by snoring loud enough to wake the dead. And she is devoted to Sam. She was the first one to figure out that Sam is night blind and she absolutely will not allow us to let Sam out at night by herself. She camps by the “let out” door and keeps herself in between Sam and the door (no matter how urgent Sam’s need might be) until she is in her muzzle and ready to go out too. When Sam was having a series of bad days, Peyton was right outside the gate that separates them (mostly for Sam’s protection now) and stayed there. She escorted Sam in and out and stayed with her as much as she could.
Peyton is a different one of a kind than Sam, but she is definitely the right one of a kind to fit with Sam.
Normally, this is where I would put a picture of the birthday girl, but those who know Peyton, know her nickname is “the streak.” So far, I’ve taken 30 shots and not one of them has come out. Here’s hoping that when we try again in the next day or so, she will be more cooperative.