I'm sitting on the couch with Cosmo laying below my legs. Cosmo is such a stud. Rich and I met a few years back after Chuckanut. It was a rainy, extra muddy year and one of my first 50Ks. I'd been sick that week and since I was faster than my carpool mates, I finished and was out of it and all alone and shivering looking for my bag. Rich, being the fireman/medic he is came over to rescue me and we've been friends since. We ran Capitol Peak 55K a month later together along with Laura Houston (first time meeting her at her first ultra) and the friendship was solidified. I quickly learned that Cosmo was a big part of Rich's life. He speaks in the terms of "we" whenever I ask what he's up to or his plans. "We're driving to the store" or "We're at the park." We = Rich + Cosmo. Cos comes with us pretty much everywhere. He's a laid back mellow dog who sometimes acts too cool for you because he's a busy dog with things to do. He doesn't care to mess with other animals and will only play after he deems them worthy of his attention. Even then, he's very chill about it. He does love his belly rubs and will grunt and groan in appreciation. The only time he ever shows a ton of emotion is when we drive into a wooded area. Trees and mountains mean good times are about to happen. He starts to whine and pace back and forth in the car because he is so excited to go out on the trails and play. I mentioned this to Rich once about how awesome it is that they've been so adventurous together that trees are now the proverbial Pavlov's bell. Rich smiled and replied, "Yeah, I'm pretty proud of that."
But Cosmo is getting older and he’s always had some hip problems. I certainly can feel his pain on that considering my weak hips have given me so many issues over the last couple of years. Yet I can explain what’s hurting and I can understand when my doctor tells me I need to take it easy, whether I like it or not. Cosmo can only understand that he isn’t moving like he wants to move. Rich has had to help him get around lately, picking him up to get into the car and sometimes even just up a stair or two. And Cosmo just takes it. Rich slipped the other day and put Cosmo down faster than he wanted to, almost dropped him and Cosmo simply landed and started to roll and grunt because he thought they were playing.
I’m at Rich’s house for the weekend hanging out with the stud muffin dog while Rich is out of town. As soon as Cosmo realized who it was coming into the house, he was so happy to see me and practically knocked me over with love and hellos. I saw right away his movements are different. His back hips are stiff and he’s not moving fluidly. He seems to move one side more to the side than should be necessary and he’s definitely slow. It’s tough to see this tough guy in pain. He’s moved over to his favorite chair, the one that’s the perfect size for him to curl up on and almost the exact same color as him so he’s hard to see. He’s not as happy, but he seems resigned to this and I bet he knows that Rich is doing everything he can to get him better. Surgery is scheduled for March 1st. I pray that it’ll at least make him more comfortable so their daily trips to the park can begin again.