The Malcolm Dog: Legit Service Dog, State of California

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Happy Malcolm Dog birthday lambchop! @TheMalcolmDog on InstagramYears ago, her shapes began to get smaller, softer and more bendy. It didn’t spook me, but it did get harder to know her from a distance at the park. I got used to it though. She was now the slow-moving, hunched-over, puffy jacket with the round fuzzy top.

She started sitting on the hardwood floor more often, and along every wall or open corner of the apartment. I much prefer the couch, but always joined her anyway.

It reminded me of when I was younger, when she would get down on the floor and pull my front legs towards her, pressing my belly to the cold floor and following up with a tiny nibble of soft snack. She stopped doing that though, years ago. Stopped liking that game, or maybe just couldn’t get any more miniature morsels? Not sure. I guess I shouldn’t make hasty assumptions. I tend to do that.

Most often, we would curl up on the shaggy rug in the bathroom. Just the two of us, cozied up in her long fleece robe. She would wake up here and there, choking and making throaty sounds. Things were stuck inside her that she was constantly trying to get out. It helped her to rub my barrel chest and hum.

I always knew something was going to change in her, but I didn’t want the image of the clairvoyant mutt to put pressure on my existence. And to be honest, I was quite enjoying my endless puppyhood. But almost overnight, I grew up.

This thing that changes her shapes also slows her down and makes her forget what she likes to do. I take her out for walks. When it rains, we play the same tired games with soft toys in the apartment, but I make a dramatic point to flinch with astonishment at every squeak-squeak and fake toss. She needs that reassurance and she needs me to keep her on track.

I can’t divide my attention. I have reverse A.D.D. I do one thing and I stay focused on it. When it’s time to walk or eat, we stick to it.

But despite only focusing on whatever we’re getting into at that moment, I can feel that we’re different together now, because of this thing that changed her years ago.

Not better or worse. Just different.

Since this writing, my human has been documenting my adventures at work and play on Instagram @TheMalcolmDog. Please follow me for a daily dose of furry fun.

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