Flower at 2 years old
My house is full of old dogs. Chris is 16. Flower is 16. Kraemer is 14. Scrappy and Minnie are 13. Kermit is 12. Luke is 11. Willie is 10. Bob and Cricket are 12 this year. Piggy is 11 and CC is 10....
Kermit at age 8
So as you can imagine we have incontinence issues (I have 4 pee pads on trays in the house) and arthritis as well as blind and deaf dogs.
I'ts not easy. Every day we look for breathing. Check for warmth. Make sure they get the pain meds if they are o them and their eyes doctored.
Scrappy at age 3 (I think)
I know that this year has the potential to be a very very rough year. Kramer is having trouble eating and getting on and off the couch. He is no longer able to stay kenneled without needing a bath. Flower is having bouts of senility.
I am writing this to let people know that even though the dogs may be old, and they may have trouble walking or climbing they are still full of love.
Today I bathed Kraemer for the third time in a week. He has trouble standing so I let him sit or lay down. No force drying. Just a soft pad with a nice big fan in a warm room. He cannot handle the force dryer nor could he stand if he needed to. Wheatens don't often live to 14....we are lucky he has. Saturday I groomed Flower, who had been a competition favorite of mine years ago and I had to have someone hold her and talk to her to get her shaved down. Her senility means she is scared and doesn't know what is being one. But when I picked her up after we were done she wrapped her legs around my arm holding on like always and licked my nose. She still loves me. Then she went scampering around like a bunny rabbit.
Because I have so many old dogs of my own I can comfort owners with older dogs and explain to them how we do things to make them comfortable. THICK memory foam pads with soft covers. Quiet dryers for those who cannot handle the larger ones anymore. Simple, fast haircuts. No more poodle feet. pads for the table to prevent sliding and soothe their joints. Padded restraints or no restraints if possible. Giving plenty of breaks if needed. Working with local vets to ensure that the pain level after a groom is managed (Many prescribe pain meds for two days before and two days after). I guess they trust me to make those decisions because I am living it.
It is time to start thinking about "the big decision" when it comes to two of my guys. It is never easy but when they have been with you since they were born in your kitchen its harder I think. I am the reason they are here.
Love your dogs every day. Hug them. Walk them. Take pictures of them happy and young. They do not live forever...