I’ve tried to capture him in motion more than once, but the camera is never handy, the moment is always over too soon. Still, I love to watch him jump, even if I can’t capture it on film or datastick.

He weighs almost nothing, and when he takes off it always amazes me that there’s such power and strength in such a tiny body. He makes vertical leaps seem effortless – Baryshnikov in canine form. And when he lands, there’s no loud thud, just a tiny click of his claws touching the surface of the floor.

We joke, of course, that our Zorro-dog thinks he’s a cat, rather than the mostly-chihuahua he really is. Why else, we wonder, would he be so fastidious about cleanliness, so picky about food, so terpsichorian in his movements. (Ironically, his balletic moves limited to jumping – walking, he tends to be underfoot a lot. I’ve never seen a small dog so often stepped upon.)

I see him aging, now, even though he’s not that old for a small breed, a mixed breed. He’s stiffer, and on cold nights he scratches at me to lift him into our high bed. He whimpers if I don’t move fast enough, too.

Still, when the sun has warmed his muscles, and we’ve just come home from a long day away, he greets us as he always has – a seemingly endless series of joyful jumps, until we pick him up, tickle his ears, and set him down again.