Gray Girl

My black lab has her first gray hairs. They frost her chin, leaving her look perpetually snow-covered. While she probably doesn’t notice them, I have taken interest. In my opinion, she couldn’t be more beautiful.

Most people squeal over puppies. I adore tiny fur-balls as well, but there is something about an old dog which captures my heart.

Mabel is middle-aged for a Labrador Retriever at the age of six. (Technically, my half-birthday-conscious nephews would note that she’s six and a half.) She’s incredibly healthy, incredibly spoiled, and incredibly loved. But she’s also at the age where she doesn’t need to learn new tricks. She knows the paths in the woods where we browse around on Saturday mornings. She knows which pieces of furniture she’s allowed to sleep (nearly all). And she knows the best hiding places for her beloved “patriotic chicken” stuffed toy.

But what Mabel doesn’t know is that she’s becoming more beautiful as her face becomes salt-and peppered. (Personally, I’ve always loved gray-haired humans as well. I think Meryl Streep was much more beautiful as a gray-haired woman in The Devil Wears Prada than her typical dirty blonde.) With her graying hair, Mabel looks more regal, more wise, and frankly, more lovable. How could you not give a pat and a “Hiya, Old Girl!” to a gray-faced Labrador with a slow tail wag?

She’s a girl who already knows all of her tricks. But that doesn’t mean she’ll let you in on them.


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