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A paean to Elderly Dog

24 Jul

Just because I’m in the mood 🙂

Jalan and her first husband adopted Elderly Dog from the pound in Spring, 2000. She’s a pound mutt. Clearly some Chow, the rest might be Spitz or Collie or who knows what. Weighs around 35-40 lbs.

Sweetest dog. 16.5yo or so (something like our 90 for a dog her size), and still gets as excited as a puppy when we come home, when we pick up her leash, or pretty much anything else–sometimes just making eye contact.

Every month, she sleeps longer and deeper, stands up more slowly, has more trouble with the stairs, has more trouble with bladder control, and is increasingly senile (she was never overly bright). She is almost totally deaf and losing her vision and smell, but is still Just. So. Happy. Every time we interact with her it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Until the next time.

When Jalan and I got together in 2011, Elderly Dog immediately switched loyalty to me, which I tease Jalan about. She’s a “velcro dog.” She’s content as long as she knows where her people are and is nearby us (especially me–sometimes when Jalan is home alone, Elderly Dog will still sit and watch out the front door for me).

With her failing senses (and intelligence), she’s also the world’s worst watchdog. A year or so ago, when we were dealing with an emergency, we had a friend come in and check on her. He had a key to the back door. So he went in the back and watched her (and photographed her) standing in the hall, barking at the front door. She didn’t notice him until he came up and touched her.

She doesn’t like men in hats. When service people come over, we ask them to remove their caps, and that usually settles her barking. That’s less of an issue now that she can’t visually distinguish the hats as easily. I can only imagine there was a pre-pound history of abuse.

She’s never noticed the cats except Senior Cat (whom we lost last month), even when she could see them easily. Just totally oblivious. Runs right over them sometimes. Senior Cat came home from the pound the same day and took care of Elderly Dog while she had pound sickness. He pretty much raised her to be a cat. When she could still remember to, she would do her level best to bury her messes, though was terrible at it (might walk off and take a right turn first).

And while her general faculties are declining with age, she’s not sick. Her only medication is for bladder control, plus a joint supplement. She’s not dying of anything. At some point in the not-too-distant future, she’ll probably get to where she can’t stand up due to loss of muscle mass in her hindquarters, and that will be time to say goodbye. But we never thought she’d make 15, then never thought she made 16, and she keeps surprising us . . .

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2016 in Daily Life

 

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