Do you have any aging dogs in your life?
Aging dogs are a part of life. It is a well known fact that everything that’s alive will eventually get old and pass away. It happens with our dogs too. And much too quickly, in my opinion.
You first have them enter your life, either as a baby or an adult. Before you know it, they work their way into your soul, and you love them completely. As with most things, time flies. Almost immediately, or so it seems, that sweet being that you fell in love with has turned grey and slowed down.
If you’re a dog lover like I am, this pattern repeats itself over and over. You can’t prevent it any more than you can prevent the sun from setting. But the treasure is in the time you get to spend with your beloved aging dog.
You have your memories
I don’t know about you, but I have mental images of when an animal enters my life. Gabby was a roly-poly little fluff ball of a puppy. Then I turned around, and she had grey around her muzzle. Rocket, as my protector, was eventually was the one who needed me. Lucky, our grumpy old man, who came into our lives already elderly but with so much love.
Aging dogs become less energetic and playful over time. They don’t want to do the things they used to because their aging bodies don’t have the same energy as before, plus they have all kinds of aches and pains that weren’t previously there. Aging is catching up with them.
Adjusting to life with aging dogs
As I notice my beloved dogs aging, I realize that I can help make their lives the best possible. They aren’t necessarily ready to leave this earth yet, but they might have pain that needs to be treated. Maybe they have lost some of their eyesight and need extra nightlights to get around the house. Possibly, they can’t wait as long to go to the bathroom, so they need more attention paid to the potty schedule.
In Gabby’s case, she was losing her eyesight to cataracts. So we put in some nightlights to help her feel safe walking around the house at night. Being on a farm, she would wander a little, and she’d get lost sometimes. I’d need to look for her when she needed help.
Then we have all the various rescues, some of them aging dogs. We have adopted several as they were already in their senior years. We didn’t get the chance to know them as youngsters, but we’ve seen the youth that remains inside them. It peeks out from time, especially as they start feeling better and at home.
Aging dogs are a gift
Even though it takes a bit more work and planning, those sweet animals you know so well have become trusted family members. They know you better than most humans, and you know them pretty well too. The loyalty and love they give are worth it all. Even though you know your heart will break when you lose them, it would be so empty without the love of each animal that’s been a part of your life.
I’d love to hear your stories about aging dogs and other pets and your lives together. Comment below!
PetMD also has great posts, one of which is 7 health issues to look for when you have an older dog.