Old dogs have so much to give.
Each dog is different but almost all deal with something as they get into their most senior years. We've dealt with spine issues, vestibular, dementia, tumors, poor eye sight, loss of hearing and more. I remember when both Tilley 14 and Jessie 15 were both incontinent. Every bed in my house was covered with an absorbent pad and then a fleece blanket. There was more laundry to do than years before but then I had little kids then which meant more laundry as well.
I for one am so saddened by all the old dogs who lose their home in their golden years. Old dogs have a tough time being adopted; everyone wants a puppy or young dog. Thinking that old dogs are too much work and dumping them off for someone else to deal with, boggles the mind. After a life of love given to us by our dog, we dump them? Our day to day is full of changes, growing old is one of them. We are all going the same way; our dogs just get there sooner than we do.
Many things can happen to an old dog; but often their needs are simple. Good food, a soft and warm place to lay and a gentle loving hand. How hard is that? Life slows down for an old dog; it is a time for us to learn to stop and smell the roses. I remember trying to adjust to Tilley's slower than slow snail pace when walking after she recovered from Vestibular disease. It was a conscious effort but when I got it, it was wonderful. We would snail around the park, just enjoying being there. I remember thinking how lucky I was to be able to snail pace around with her.
Taking care of our old dogs is what should be done. Doing what is right sure teaches us about what is important. Being given up when you most need your family is horrific and I cannot believe that humans can be so cold and uncaring.
Having an old dog is a time to cherish. Take time to enjoy the quiet times, see through old cloudy eyes, lend a helping hand when needed and just be, together. There should be no expectations; it is a time to just be in the moment. If you are one of the lucky ones; you will be gifted several years of life with a senior. There may be more cleaning, lifting, balancing and general care needed but what a gift. Caring for an old dog is work yes, but we took that on when we let that little wriggling puppy into our heart.
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