‘A couple tables away I saw an elderly dog, big-boned with shaggy golden fur that had turned white around her muzzle. She was walking in a tight circle around the trunk of a palm tree, her side pressed against the rough surface. Her eyes were squinted closed with either pleasure or pain, I wasn’t sure which. I padded over to her, thinking she was as good a dog as any to start my questions with.

“Excuse me,” I said as she circled past. “My name’s Nico. Got a moment?”

“I’ve got an itch, is what I’ve got,” she said, and kept going around the trunk. “You get as old as I do, and your body won’t bend enough to let you scratch it yourself. Why, the only thing my hind foot can reach nowadays is the ground.”’

–from “Saving Scrumpy