It was a pleasant day on Sunday when Bertie and I met our friends M and J for a walk around the woods near Potarch Bridge.
Over the past year I have noticed how Bertie's and M and J's walking speeds have converged, with my dear little pup slowing down and my senior friends showing increasing benefits of regular exercise plus determination.
Bertie was particularly slow on Sunday, and appeared at times not quite 'all there' although he perked up nicely for a photo in the café where the humans enjoyed post-walk refreshments.
Come Monday, Bertie seems very much out of sorts. Unsteady on his feet, unwilling to climb the stairs, we manage a short walk by the harbour mouth and I let him take time to sniff around to his little heart's content.
He waits patiently while I watch a spectacular dolphin display (sadly too far offshore for me to catch on the phone).
Home in the evening, I carry Bertie upstairs to join me viewing the Tour de France highlights on TV. Bertie is as wobbly on his four paws as the cyclists were on their two wheels.
Later he vomits profusely on my bed and has an 'accident' dampening the hall carpet.
Tuesday, with Bertie no better, I call the vet. We have an appointment for this (i.e Wednesday) afternoon.
Any feelings of happiness at the imminent completion of building work on my Torridon cottage are tempered by sorrow, as I recognise that Bertie may not be around for long to keep me company there.
Life's ups and downs.