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Life with an old dog

TeriM
May 9th, 2009, 08:49 PM
I am feeling the countdown beginning for my beautiful yellow labrador Lucy :lovestruck:. Lucy is "my" first dog and has been a major part of our lives since we brought her home thirteen years ago May 1st. I look at her now and see our journey together winding down and it scares me soooooo much. She has significantly aged in the last six months but still has great days where her smiling self makes my heart sing with love and happiness. She has more vitamins and meds then most old people :laughing:, we now sleep with a night light in our room as she has cataracts which affect her night vision so she can get stressed out if she wakes in the middle of the night. Her hearing is almost totally gone and she has ongoing soreness and stiff joints and lots of "old dog" lumps and bumps :sad:. She also interacts less with us (likes to go up to sleep in our bedroom) and sleeps a lot more.

But ..... pull out a bone to chew and she bounces around with joy :laughing:. I give her a treat ball when I take Riley out for a morning walk and leave her and she zooms around with it :lovestruck:. She still likes to go for walks but we pretty much go every second day and we saunter at "Lucy speed".

How have others coped with this "countdown" or just share some favourite memories of your old time companions.

TeriM
May 9th, 2009, 08:57 PM
For those who might not know my girl ....

My favourite puppy picture and one from a few months ago.

Mat&Murph
May 9th, 2009, 09:00 PM
Awww teri she is way too sweet!!!! My thoughts are with you. It is sooo tough watching our friends slow down. Lucy has lead a nice long life sooo far...Shows just how much you love her

hazelrunpack
May 9th, 2009, 09:09 PM
They bring us so much joy in the short time we have with them. :cloud9: Just doesn't seem right that their lives speed by so quickly. But I'm grateful for the arrangement so that we can make sure they're taken care of for their whole lives.

It's sad to see them grow old, but don't give up on the old girl, yet. Luke (black lab) and Priscilla (springer) both slowed down a bit at 13 but lived til 15 so :fingerscr you still have a few years left with your sweetie-girl! :goodvibes:

TeriM
May 9th, 2009, 09:18 PM
I'm definately not giving up but the aging in her since last summer has been substantial. I hope to have lots more happy memories starting next weekend when we go camping on the beach which is probably her favourite thing EVER! I just have been feeling very emotional about her lately and sometimes feel overwhelmed with the thoughts of her not being with us :sad:.

hazelrunpack
May 9th, 2009, 09:30 PM
:grouphug: Sometimes I even get that way about the young ones. :o

She's gonna have a great summer of beach camping!!! :D Does she get her own cabana boy?

Mat&Murph
May 9th, 2009, 09:35 PM
Awww camping is everydogs favorit!!! I get emotional bout the boys too. It will be really sad when one goes and the other is good. I worry about it all the time

Dog Dancer
May 9th, 2009, 09:38 PM
Lucy is beautiful. She's obviously well loved. I know how you feel though. Some days Shadow, who is 12, just seems so slow and tired. Almost indifferent about it all. Call her to come get a treat and she can't be bothered getting up. Then half an hour later she's running around trying to eat Halo. Like you, I feel sad for the day that we lose her. It is heartbreaking to see them getting old, but at least they have had the chance to get old. My last two didn't make it past 7, so this getting old part is totally new territory for me with the dogs. It's really a blessing like Hazel said that we can ensure their happiness and safety through their entire lives. Hugs to you and Lucy.:grouphug:

TeriM
May 9th, 2009, 09:42 PM
Does she get her own cabana boy?

Hehehe, that would be hubby who she has had wrapped around her paw since she was a baby :laughing:.

We are also really lucky in that Riley is wonderful with her. He is very respectful and quite careful around her :lovestruck:.

TeriM
May 9th, 2009, 09:44 PM
My last two didn't make it past 7, so this getting old part is totally new territory for me with the dogs. It's really a blessing like Hazel said that we can ensure their happiness and safety through their entire lives. Hugs to you and Lucy.:grouphug:

Awww thanks. It is new territory for me as well. We had older family dogs but it isn't the same as when they are your responsiblity. Hugs right back to you and Shadow :).

angeldogs
May 9th, 2009, 09:52 PM
She did grow from a very cute pup to a beautiful girl.the fun and relaxing times camping will bring.

It does suck with them aging faster but we learn alot from them in the short time they are with us and they can give us some of our best laughs.

Dee-O-Gee
May 9th, 2009, 10:08 PM
I can totally relate to your feelings TeriM. Our golden was in her 14th year and while she had Gryphon tormenting her for 4 years of her life, she was the most caring and beautiful girl. Rest in peace sweet Bailey :cloud9:

Just live and love it up to the fullest. :thumbs up

Give Lucy tons of big hugs and look her right in the eyes and express your love to her--everyday. She'll know exactly what you're saying and will give you big smiles and love right back :)

When the time does eventually come along (hopefully not for another few more years), you'll both know that you were loved by each other. :lovestruck:

:grouphug::grouphug:'s and :highfive::highfive:'s from all of us.

hazelrunpack
May 9th, 2009, 10:10 PM
Hehehe, that would be hubby who she has had wrapped around her paw since she was a baby :laughing:.
.

:D That's good....cuz every girl deserves her own cabana boy! :thumbs up :laughing:

growler~GateKeeper
May 9th, 2009, 10:45 PM
:2huggers: :goodvibes: for many many more years to come :goodvibes:

Kisses for sweet Lucy girl :lovestruck:

Magicwildwolf69
May 9th, 2009, 10:54 PM
lots of :grouphug::goodvibes: for hopefully many more years together. she's a beautiful dog. :lovestruck:

TeriM
May 9th, 2009, 11:10 PM
It does suck with them aging faster but we learn alot from them in the short time they are with us and they can give us some of our best laughs.

Give Lucy tons of big hugs and look her right in the eyes and express your love to her--everyday. She'll know exactly what you're saying and will give you big smiles and love right back :)


:2huggers: :goodvibes: for many many more years to come :goodvibes:

lots of :grouphug::goodvibes: for hopefully many more years together. she's a beautiful dog. :lovestruck:

Thanks everyone, it helps :grouphug:.

Frenchy
May 10th, 2009, 10:20 AM
ahhh TeriM , you know Lucy is one of my favorites here :lovestruck:

I never had a dog from puppyhood , but I know about loosing them , since I usually only adopt senior dogs .


I know you gave Lucy a wicked life , with walks on the beach :cloud9: swimming with her bro Riley , hikes in the woods .... now it's time for shorter walks and lots of cuddling :cloud9: which I know you do.

I see Bailey loosing his sights (vet says he can only see shadows now) and loosing his hearing , getting a bit stiffer , but he's still so happy , I figured I can't be sad , as he is still enjoying life so much.

So enjoy Lucy , I know you're already spoiling her , keep on doing it :thumbs up

14+kitties
May 10th, 2009, 10:34 AM
Lucy is a very lucky lady to have had you to love her her whole life long. :cloud9: She looks a very happy gal!
I know what you mean about the aging quickly. Sammy, our black lab cross, is almost 14; and Keesha, my toy poodle, is fast approaching her 15th. I met Sammy when she was 7. She wormed her way into my heart pretty quickly. She is a food hound. Follows me everywhere hoping I have a can of cat food on me she can lick out. She has been slowing down too but still has teh meanest butt wiggle I have ever seen on a dog. :lovestruck:
Keesha I have had since she was 10 weeks old. She has always been my shadow in the house. Her hearing and eye sight is going fast. Her eyes are cloudy. Her seizures happen a bit more often. She is incontinent a bit more. But she still gets excited when I get her food out, when I walk in the door after work, and just gets crazy zoomies occasionally. I figured she will let me know when she is ready to go and pray it won't be for a long time yet.
Our pups add so much love to our life. It's like losing part of your heart when they go. But until that time I plan on treasuring every single moment I can with them both. :cloud9:

wdawson
May 10th, 2009, 10:41 AM
ahhh TeriM i know what your going through,george (18yrs) is going through the same thing. its sad how fast the ageing happens.
just enjoy everyday with her.

diandpat
May 10th, 2009, 12:14 PM
Wow, I thought I was the only one :o

We adopted Ginger when she was seven and she is (Godwilling) going to be 15 in June. She too has the lumps and bumps and is mostly deaf and getting up slower. I have never had a dog, much less and senior dog, so I was not sure what to expect. I have a great vet and bring Ginger in every six months and do a blood panel once a year. All is fine :thumbs up

She is on FlexTabs (www.painfreepet.com) and it seems to manage her pain/stiffness. I know because we ran out last month for a week and noticed a huge difference. She is huffing a lot now but has never been good with the heat and we have already had many hot days. She is a very happy dog and still looks forward to car rides and walks and LOVES to eat...everything!!!!

What I was not prepared for is Hobo. When we found him we thought he was two. That was in 2003. Last summer he slowed down significantly. I brought him to the vet because I thought he was sick...no, just older than we thought :frustrated: I felt like I had been robbed :sad: I expected Ginger to get older...she was already seven when we got her. Hobo was my baby boy. To find out he was probably closer to ten than seven really really bothered me. He has continued to grow old this past year. He too is losing his hearing, not meeting me at the door, not barking when we come home. I love him to bits and he is more of a cuddler now but I still feel like I was robbed :o

The vet always says to keep them safe, comfortable and happy. Not to worry about how old they are because they are not worried. Makes sense but does not help. No, can't imagine life here without either of them which is why I have about seven million pictures of them LOL

Wow, this is long...guess it bothers me more than I thought :laughing::laughing::laughing:

Shaykeija
May 10th, 2009, 10:44 PM
I know with Annie, our time is limited. She was old when we got her and I see her slowing down every day. I cuddle her and tell every day how much I love her. My job is to make up for the abuse and neglect that she had before coming to me last September. She has lumps, selective hearing, and dim eyes. I am her protector and her mom. It has hard to watch but it is the circle of life. Just enjoy the days with your dog. Do not dwell on the future, it will just cloud your happiness for the here and now.

TeriM
May 11th, 2009, 11:23 PM
Thanks everyone for the well wishes. It seems maybe my girl heard me because we had a wonderful day on sunday where she was all bouncy and happy :cloud9:.

luckypenny
May 12th, 2009, 05:54 AM
... we had a wonderful day on sunday where she was all bouncy and happy :cloud9:.

Teri, I hope you have many, many more days like Sunday with Lucy :goodvibes:.

:grouphug:

dmc123
May 12th, 2009, 05:34 PM
TeriM, I too share your countdown.

My Rudy turned 13 in February and we've watched him "lose his youth" it seems quicker and quicker every month. It breaks my heart to know one day he won't be here with us. In the meantime, between checking to see if he is breathing, or helping him stand up in the morning, or up the steps to the back door, I try to enjoy him every day. He still gets lots of hugs and kisses.

He still has moments of being a young guy, he gets a burst of energy and "runs" around the house almost like he used to. He can't hear anything anymore, so we "flag" him down in the yard when it is time to come in.

He is the oldest dog I have ever had in my life and watching him age is a pleasure and a heartache. I remember the day he was adopted and have enjoyed him so much. When he goes, I pray it will be peacefully - in his sleep.

Diane

Romeo's #1 Fan
May 12th, 2009, 10:18 PM
Hi Teri, your dog is so beautiful and that puppy picture is enough to break hearts everywhere! :lovestruck: I can't believe that my pup is going to be a year old on Saturday and yes (as someone said above) you think how much you would miss them even when they are young! It's no different than babies :) - I remember asking an older cousin of mine when I was pregnant with my first baby and she had a two year old if it was possible to love them any more than at the moment you first saw them. She said emphatically YES and then some - the same holds true with pets doesn't it. They become part of your family. I wish you many, many happy days yet to come.

Longblades
May 17th, 2009, 06:38 PM
It is hard but there are so many joyful moments too and even new discoveries with aging pets. With our ESS I had to stop running in the bush and, lo and behold, found there were patches of strawberries to eat and wildflowers to enjoy. We'd been running right by them. With our first Lab, as she slowed down, I tried to find new places for her to walk that I had never considered before because they were too short for my active dog. I began walking her around the park behind our house, something I had never done in the 26 years we'd lived here. I met neighbours there I'd never seen before. The whole slowing down to accommodate the dog process had a lot of "smell the roses" aspect to it.

pattymac
May 17th, 2009, 07:21 PM
Lots of love for all the older critters here. My Bobee turns 8 this month and Coco, not sure how old he is but probably around the same. I can't imagine how hard it will be when they both say bye. Bayley just turned 3, so she's got a few doggie years left.

.nanama
May 26th, 2009, 08:01 PM
my suggestion is try not to think about it too much & enjoy each day with her to the fullest... lucy will want to remember you like that :)

when my black lab suddenly got sick with cancer, i didn't know what to do... especially because i lived away from home. whenever i saw her, i just played with her and had fun to the best of her abilities... and of course lots of cuddle time! i love her still, and don't regret any moment that i spent with her in her final months...

Jim Hall
May 26th, 2009, 09:30 PM
Hey im slowing down to lol:pawprint:

elisabeth_85
June 1st, 2009, 05:50 PM
I totally understand where you are coming from as well.

I have a 12 year old German Shepherd who is "my" first dog as well. She is my pride and joy.

I grew up with her, laughed at and with her, learned from her, cried with her, played with her, travelled with her, etc..

I have that "the time is getting closer" speech in the back of my mind whenever I am with her.. I try to ignore it, but it's hard, especially when she shows signs of old age..

ScottieDog
June 2nd, 2009, 04:12 PM
Wishing you happiness with Lucy, regardless if you are counting days, weeks, months or years....

You are not alone with your "countdown". My Mac is 14; he was my first puppy, and probably my only "puppy" since my other dogs have been adults. I am seeing a rapid decline in his health right now. Each day, I say a prayer of thanks that I had that day. I am grateful. I know when he leaves my arms, he will be in the best hands and also forever have a place in my heart. But I can't imagine my life without him. I think it is doubly hard because we saw him as a pup. We lost our rescue in September and my heart broke. We brought a young adult dog to our family in December, and just seeing her energy level makes the comparison so vivid.

I do know I love my old guy more every day. I find his greyed beard and silver streaked coat so handsome. I know he can't hear my "I love yous", but I know he understands them. He is my best friend.

I actually broke down at the vet's office today. He isn't eating well and we can't find anything wrong--physically he appears fine. My vet is great and told me that he has lived longer than most dogs do and I should be pleased that he has had such a wonderful quality of life. I know that death is ultimate. Any creature that draws a first breath, will draw a last breath. This hurts so much. I feel I am reliving all the horrible times with my last dog, but I want to concentrate on making his golden time, well, golden and the best it can be.