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R.I.P. Summer…. Thank you for your hot days that we spent at the beach, playing in the pool, camping, drinking Kool-Aid (or margaritas) and warm nights for star-gazing, fireworks, glow-stick tag, Frisbee-in-the-dark and s’mores. Your time with us was precious and too short. You will always be in our heart’s memory. During the long, cold, dull seasons ahead we will remember you fondly and visit you often in photos – until we meet again, my friend.

j: Last October, someone posted a picture of Ash on Facebook. He was being fostered by a San Francisco based senior dog rescue group called Mutville. He’d been wandering, was malnourished and hairless from his midsection back when they found him. They estimated he was seven years old. There were a million reasons – personal, financial and professional – for me not to adopt him.

And yet…

We met Ash and his foster-mother in a Presidio parking lot. It was supposed to be just a get-acquainted thing. We’d go home, she’d go home, we’d be in touch to move forward if all seemed right. But in that messy way that love works, we brought Ash home that day. Our vet, who saw him each of the first three weeks he was here, said he was probably closer to nine years old and gave me medication for his ear infection and skin condition.

It’s been almost a year. He’s a healthy 75 pounds now. His fur is so thick and wild, it’s almost prehistoric looking. He loves walks and pulls the leash every bit as hard as our five-year-old-still-a-puppy Lexi does, but only for a fraction of the distance before his hind legs start to shake and he gets breathless. Sometimes he struggles with the doggy door. He never hears me call him. Occasionally he falls on the hardwood and has trouble getting back up. But… he’s adorable when he gets excited, and he has this sweet habit of leaning into anyone who pets him, and whenever I look into those watchful brown eyes, I still swoon.

Someone recently tweeted me that she’s rescued four dogs, “though it’s difficult to say who rescued whom,” she said.

Yeah. I get that.