“Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well.” – Bennie Wilcox
My dog, Poppy. has gone well beyond the standard age of “Senior Dog” for her breed. According to many vets, 8 years qualifies as a senior for large dogs, and she is a Doberman Mix. The AKC suggests that at almost 14, she is around 88-90 in human years.
So as I watch her daily routine, I would agree with Bennie that she makes life comfortable.
She begins her day with a stretch, which we would do well to imitate. First on her mind is FOOD! She waits patiently for her food bowl filled with the usual- Our standard for 13+ years. Because of the formula of lower carbs, and higher protein, Poppy has maintained good muscle strength. After her breakfast, Poppy expects 4 (four!) treats. We order Wholesome Hearts, a low-fat baked treat. Sometimes when I feel like baking, I will use this recipe–– and she knows when they are baking that they are for HER! After eating, she goes outside for her duties, and comes in for a long drink of fresh water. Then come the supplements! Talk about Routine! When we reach for our daily pill box, she is right there waiting for hers!
Above all, she gets a Joint Support Supplement. Joint supplements work best to protect joints, so the sooner you start, the better. Don’t wait for the limping! A great salmon oil gives her the 15 heart-healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids for overall health and a great skin & coat!
Years ago, we would go for morning walks up and down the hills in Edgewater Park. She was always game for a car ride to the Ziegler Trail in Mayville where we walked along the Rock River, sometimes seeing deer.
Now she is content to go outside, mosey along the outer perimeter of the patio, and sniff the grass and tiny creatures who have scurried through. The last time we tried an actual “walk”, I could tell she was in pain afterward. For that, we use Meloxicam, the same thing prescribed for my arthritic pain!
As evening comes, and she has had a number of “Follow-the-Sunshine” naps. Poppy’s internal clock still says Time for Food! Often I have to ask her to wait, as any time changes really louse up her schedule! For her PM feeding, I supplement her regular food with a 1/4 cup of Freeze-Dried Raw Food: Chicken, Turkey, or Beef. All the convenience of kibble with the benefits of raw! She is beside herself with excitement, and there is a skip to her step.
Lately, I have found that she is extremely concerned as to where I am and what I am doing. She follows me like a shadow, and because she is losing her hearing, sometimes looks bewildered if she can’t find me. This is the part that makes me sad, as I wonder if she is experiencing a form of dementia. I am, after all…her life. She is, after all, so much a part of ours!
Nearly 14 years of comfortable routine have infused her into our family unit. Even our vacations have included her, as we just couldn’t leave her behind very often. Poppy is a sweet old soul that like Bennie Wilcox has said, “might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well.”
Poppy is in good health right now, and I pray that she will continue to be for the next few years.
Here are some GREAT resources if you are living with a senior pet: