As Roscoe has gotten older, I've noticed that a lot people feel that they need to point it out.
Now, I'm not talking about a conversational question like, "How old is your dog?" Or, a friendly compliment like, "What a cute old fella!"
It's always a somewhat nasty thing like, "Man, your dog is old. How long do dogs like that live?"
Arguing with them doesn't really go anywhere, so I usually respond with something like, "He's my buddy. Such a good little guy."
But, that's not the answer they're looking for. No, they want me to grasp his mortality completely and I'm obviously in denial. They continue with something like, "Wow, you're going to be sad when he dies."
Yes. Yes I will. At this point I want to say, "You will die. I will die. There is no debate, it is an inevitable event."
Instead I say, "My wife and I think he's starting to look like an otter as he gets older. Just look at all that gray on his sweet little face."
At this point they usually repeat one of the previous points they've made before realizing that I don't want to talk with them about my dog's death.
A variation on this exchange happens at least once a day.
The opposite of this happens when we walk by the retirement home down the street. The residents there say nothing about Roscoe's age. Instead, they perk up when he comes close. They remember his name and call him a puppy.
His best friend there, an older Russian man, always says, "Roscoe! Mops! He is my favorite dog. He moves at my speed. He isn't so wastefully fast and scattered like those other dogs. He has wisdom."
I shouldn't let it bother me, these death-obsessed folks aren't trying to be mean. They're trying to deal with the issue for themselves, it has nothing to do with me. Roscoe never lets it bother him. He has wisdom.