It’s National Pet Day, and Asta, my personal National Pet, just celebrated her 10th birthday. It coincided with her annual check-up – NOT her idea of a great birthday present, but there were treats involved, and she loves the vet, as much as she can love anyone who sticks things up her bum and her nose. Again, treats are involved – is she so different from the rest of us? Anyway, I made the mistake of asking the vet, all offhanded-like, how long we should expect her to be around. She’s in great shape, and I thought he’d say “oh, 4 or 5 more years”, but he said “two”. Just. Like. That. Two years. I was aghast. “Two? Just two?” “Maybe a bit more”, he said, “but big dogs don’t last much longer than that”. I think I kind of always knew she wasn’t going to be around forever, but having it said so baldly was devastating. I have another dog – Due (pronounced Dewey). He’s only 4, and he’s a little s**thead, so he’ll live forever.