Friday, September 10, 2010

Old Dogs and Young Dogs

With the addition of Georgia to the household, we now have two extremes in dogdom.  Sam, at nearly 12.5 years old is the equivalent of a crotchety old man.  Georgia, at just 8 months old, is rather like a rambunctious toddler.  The contrast can be striking.

I'm certainly not the first or only person to have a geriatric dog but, this is my first geriatric dog and every week seems to bring something new to deal with.  Over the winter we had ear infections and staph infections.  In the spring it was a blocked tear duct, arthritis and a severe UTI.  As we move into fall, the arthritis still rears its ugly head but we've added allergies (an off and on problem for years) and decreased vision and hearing.  He's also sleeping incredibly deeply.

This morning Moira woke up at 4:15 (that's another story).  She and Gin were ready and raring to go outside.  We trooped down the hall making enough noise to wake the dead but Sam never woke.  I actually ran back down the hall looking and calling for him.  I went in my room turned on the light and there was Sam, sleeping on the floor.  When the light came on and I said his name, he woke up and looked at me like he couldn't understand why I was making him get up.

I know this is all part of the aging process but it certainly can be difficult to watch.  Sam has always been such a vibrant dog - and he still is - but the light isn't as bright as it used to be and I know he struggles with his infirmity too.  Having younger dogs in the house keeps him young but it also points out his weaknesses.  He can't keep up with Moira when they race in the back yard.  Getting on and off the bed, even with steps, is a slow process; whereas Bogey just springs up there, barely touching the steps.  Catching treats is hit or miss; when it's a hit, it's usually because it's a big treat and I basically drop it into his mouth.

Sammy still has lots of good days too; I don't want anyone to think he's in decline.  The cooler temps and changing leaves of fall just have me thinking.


  1. Sad to hear that one of my favorite boys is getting old :-( I hope he has many good years left in him!

  2. Its hard when our old dogs start showing age. Kazin still looks young, but there are signs. At 13+ I worry.