The old dog still loved to play. Throw him a ball and his eyes lit up, the joys of his youth alive in that toothy smile, the cheeky jink as he fled from pursuit.
Those were happier times. He feared no one, back then, and nothing. All the world seemed open and everyone loved him, with those big eyes and feet. They stroked his soft fur and murmured how handsome he would be when he was grown.
He hadn’t changed, not truly, not within. He was still that same puppy, innocent and fragile, barely able to walk, stumbling into doors and tumbling over his own legs. The years may have passed by, his coat had become shabby and his limbs ached. But deep down, he remained the same reckless, skittish, tricksy pup at heart.