Every time the Vet sees Hoover, he says "You know, this dog has long outlived his natural lifespan." Natural lifespan? It makes Hoover sound like a vampire, or Voldemort. Sixteen is natural for Hoover.
These days I carry Hoover around quite a lot, because his legs don't work well anymore. They still work a little--sometimes he will wander contentedly around the yard for a half an hour or more, sniffing this and that, letting the breeze flow through his fur, enjoying sunlight and the scents of the world. He did fall into a Coprosma the other day, crushing it flat. He was fine. The Coprosma--well, I have others.
On less sanguine days. his legs cross. contort, and freeze up, and he makes a kind of honking noise, because barking is too hard; it makes him tired. The honk indicates it is time for me to carry him outside, or inside, or to the grey bed, or to the beige bed, or to the water bowl, or to the dinner bowl. Then he sleeps for hours, and I can see him flying free in his dreams. He dreams for hours. In his dreams he wags, and runs, and growls, unfettered by his worn-out body. In his dreams he seems as quick and as free ranging and fearless as the swiftest hummingbird.
Then he wakes up, and wonders for a moment why his legs don't work. But being a dog, not a human, he does not mourn, or worry. Dogs live in the moment, what ever that moment is, what ever that moment brings. If he can't walk--no matter--he just honks, and in a moment, there I am.