Now! 17% More!


Leo, Stone Ridge, 8/31/15

Leo, our beloved big, beautiful boy, is 14 today. The life expectancy of a Labrador is 12 and that number, of course, is an average. Really long-lived outliers, dogs punching above their years-class, are mostly anecdotal. Jody, recently returned after a long sojourn in L.A., tells me that one of her elegant Belgian shepherds lived to be 16. A guy on the street, stopping to admire Leo, knew a guy whose chocolate Lab lived to be 17. More anecdotes, please.

I suppose Leo is slower, but last week I had to move to keep up with him as he ran down Greenwich Street, a dog on a mission, only stopping, to sniff, when we reached a green garbage can (peemail message board) at the corner of Harrison.

His rear legs look less powerful, have less strength for pushing up from slippery floors but he ignores the carpet remnants scattered around, meant to aid his traction. (Ryder sleeps on them.) Yet he’s fine on solid ground, runs in wide exuberant circles in what little snow there is in Stone Ridge. And he’s still eager to soak in the Esopus and the Groverkill, both strangely unfrozen much of this winter. And his appetite is perfect.

Since Leo turned 12 I’ve been starring in my own remake of a scene from “Terms of Endearment.” I’m the Shirley MacLaine character, repeatedly waking up my aging dog (rather than the infant Deborah Winger), to determine if he’s still breathing, so that I can breathe easy. Roused from deep sleep, Leo looks at me, quizzically, “Whaaaat?”

Happy birthday, dear Schmoo, and (indulge my magical thinking) many more. Fifteen’s not unreasonable: x 7=105. Manuel de Oliveira lived longer, nearly 107, and George Abbott made it to 107½. (Maybe Leo should make films or write, direct and produce plays.)

Ryder and Leo, NYC, 2/12/16

Ryder and Leo, NYC, 2/12/16

Leo, NYC, 2/16/16

Leo, NYC, 2/16/16

And happy birthday, to my dear friend Camille, in warm and dry California.

This entry was posted in Dogs, Film, Friends, Photography, Photos and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Now! 17% More!

  1. jeffweinstein says:

    Happy birthday, Leo!

  2. Joyce says:

    Bon Anniversaire Leo, bisous…

  3. hankypaws says:

    Happy Birthday, Perfect Lee Lee, We love you (and your brother, too) B, T & RuRu

  4. David says:

    Happy Birthday Leo

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Lilli Mueller says:

    Happy Birthday sweet Leo!

  6. Natasha says:

    Happy birthday beautiful Leo, you are the reason I met your amazing mom!!! Xoxo

  7. NILE BUTTA says:

    Happy Birthday Leo. Soulful, handsome and puppy-kindness in his eyes. p.s. My Jack Russell-Thugg lived to 19. xxo nile Butta

  8. Hans says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Leo . You are wonderful and very handsome !!!

  9. Happy Birthday, Leo. I love your big boxy head. You’re such a good dog! I miss you.

  10. Christine Fogler says:

    Leo looks wonderful, and the photo of him and Ryder is a keeper.
    To add to the list of fabulous people, our friend Bernice Silver is heading for age 103 in October and is still the Queen of Puppetry and composer of her own songs.

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