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Senior Dogs

Kyra, March 2011

Getting ear rubs from the new chiropractor/acupuncture vet

Are we getting ready to jumpstart her tail end??

May 1, 2011 -

 Happy 10th Birthday Kyra!

Does anyone else cry on their dog’s birthday?  I think I started crying on her birthdays when she turned about 6!  Ridiculous, I know.  We don’t want to think about our beloved pets growing older unless, of course, they are 8 months old and have just chewed up our favorite shoes!  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) they do.  As your dog becomes a senior citizen things change a bit.  Here are some of the changes I’ve noticed in the last year or so…

  • I’ve lost my running partner.  She used to go run with me, but now I just don’t feel right stressing those poor old joints.  Now I have to motivate myself to exercise!  Eek.  I get some extra exercise now because she still gets her walk at the park and we run if she wants to or stroll if she doesn’t.  Then I go get my exercise.  It takes a little extra time, but my best friend is worth it.
  • She needs her own day-of-the-week pill container!  The holistic vet has recommended some additional herbs and supplements to keep her as active and pain-free as possible.  She has her own cabinet in the kitchen and instructions in case someone else is doing the feeding.  It takes a little extra time (and money!), but my best friend is worth it.
  • We have more than one vet now and our visits are more like “tune-ups”!  We see a vet who does acupuncture and chiropractic work.  After our first acupuncture it was as if Kyra were 2 years younger.  The first time I saw it I thought Kyra seemed like a battery we were trying to jumpstart.  Talk about some extra time and money… but my best friend is worth it.
  • She really needs her 8-hour nap!  She’s always been one to like an 8-hour nap during the day.  That works out well since I work 8 hours J  In previous years she was fine if I was home for a week on vacation.  Now she’s usually ready to have the house to herself after about 5 days.  Hanging out with mommy is tiring work!
  • Changes to her routine are a little more stressful than before.  Or maybe more accurately, I can tell that stress takes a bigger toll on her now.  I try to keep things as stress-free as possible and if that means I’m inconvenienced – then I’m inconvenienced.  Dropping her off at the dog-sitter is a last resort now rather than an easy fix.  Stressing out my best friend to make life easier for me isn’t something I’m willing to do at this point in her life.
  • On the plus side – it’s adorable if she “misbehaves”!  If she does something silly, steals toilet paper, throws her dog bowl at me, zooms around the yard, or digs in the flowerbeds, I just grin.  I grin because I’m thrilled she has the energy to “get in trouble”.  Giggling and petting her while saying, “You’re such a bad dog” probably doesn’t help the situation, but I don’t mind.  She’s old.  She’s earned it!
  • She’s much more affectionate.  She’s grown to love massages, tummy rubs, and butt scratches possibly more than food.  She still LOVES her treats, but the physical contact is more important to her than ever.
  • She’s stuck to me like glue.  Kyra has always been one to stay close to me, but as she ages, she’s become even more of a “mommy’s girl”.  It can get tiring for me to have a constant shadow, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  If she “wants her mommy” as she gets older, that’s what she’ll get.

So, if you’re lucky enough to have a senior dog and things aren’t what they used to be – just roll with the punches.  I’m willing to bet Kyra has put up with me more times than I care to count.  It’s the least I can do to make her senior years the absolute best possible.

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11 May 2011 1:00 am

Pom-Chi said:

Our dog Spam just turned eight and he is already getting gray. Our walks are getting shorter so he doesn't limp around the next day and we just got our first prescription for his joints. So thanks for the reminder that he is still our best friend.

06 May 2011 8:41 am

Addy_Schnoodle said:

Our Jen girl, who is a german shepard/lab mix, is 13-1/4 years old. I can relate to everything you said in your post.

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