Old Dogs Chat

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by PirateGirl, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    I don't know where to begin. I'm struggling emotionally with my swiftly aging dog. I know I'm not the only one who has gone through this so I wanted to start a chat about old dogs. A place where we can share stories of pets we have and pets we've lost. What are your favorite memories of your dogs when they were young? What activities do your old dogs enjoy? How do you pamper them? How do you know when it's time to say goodbye? How do you know if/when you are ever ready for another dog? What has your family done special for your dog in life or as a memorial after death? Some days are better than others. I'm having a ruff day today thinking about this and thought maybe hearing others' stories would help.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Making Coffee

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    I've lost quite a few dogs over the years. It is hard watching them get old. Some act old, others just suddenly one day take a turn they never recover from. My Boxers do that to me every time. Young and playful until the end, and often a very short life for them.

    Others get old and you watch their slow decline. They go blind, deaf, get arthritis. Each dog is different. Each ones life ends differently. Every one is unexpected, and heartbreaking to me.

    My oldest currently is almost 13. Not ancient but getting up there. She's still spry, especially since I started yearly teeth cleaning. Her kidneys were suffering before her teeth got cleaned the first time. Now she's doing better. We still play ball but not as often or as much. I expect one day she will suddenly take that turn that usually signifies it's the beginning of the end. I will know it when I see it. I've done it too many times now. I'm up to 19 dogs I've known in my life.

    I currently have 5 dogs, ranging from 4-12. I don't want to lose any, but I know I can't stop the inevitable.
     
  3. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Thank you for sharing @oldhenslikedogs . It's been, well, 13 years since I have had to go through this. You are right, they are not all the same, but you are also right, in our hearts we know when they will not recover. My pup has suddenly taken a turn. Spry one day, and then, well, she is not herself, and I'm fairly certain there is no "recovering." We will take things day by day and continue to enjoy each other's company.
     
  4. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Last night my young dog snuggled up to my old dog instead of sleeping in her own bed. This is not normal.
     
  5. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    My old dog has hiked more miles and climbed more mountains than most people :)
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Making Coffee

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    The other dogs often know something is wrong with one. I will see more sniffing when one is unwell. It's so heartbreaking no matter how they go. Everyone of them I try to fix or figure it out, but in the end they still go. You will know when it's right. You will know when your dog has had enough. :hugs

    It is always worth a trip to the vet to run a few blood tests to see if anything can be managed for a while, or if there's an infection going on. Bad teeth can cause all kinds of problems and pain as well so keeping them clean can go a long way keeping them well and comfortable.

    Some things we will do, and others we won't. It's all a personal decision that you will have
    to live with. It is a balance between helping and just keeping them alive. It's also the time when your relationship can deepen because they are happiest just being with you, and you become used to that constant presence.

    I don't understand people much, but I do understand my dogs and what they need from me in all stages of their lives, which are always too short.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Making Coffee

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    She/he? Has had a good life by the looks of things, other dogs, kids, running, a doggie paradise, plus a caring owner. Still doesn't make it any easier though.
     
  8. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

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    Have to chime in here cannot say many that do not have an old dog story
    I rescued a 12 year old GSD she is the granddaughter of a dog I showed and specailed
    for many years, this girl had lived life in crate living in town being here the first time without a leash. She is 17 now thought I might loose her last winter it was very hard her
    but she keeps getting on
     

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  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Awe. Not many people would give a 12 year old dog a chance. You truly gave her a new lease on life. I have a feeling she has made it to 17 due to her new freedoms and fun.
     
  10. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    @oldhenlikesdogs this pair is the first time I've had more than one dog at the same time. It is a given that one will outlive the other. I'm not sure how the younger one will take it. They have been together since she was about 6 weeks old and she is now 6 years old. It will all be an adjustment. I am not used to having and old dog. I find myself turning around on walks to check on her only to realize I'd left her home to rest.

    I remember being a kid and losing the dog I'd grown up with. The first dog I ever had. Without thinking, in the weeks after she'd passed, I'd put my bowl of cereal milk on the floor for her as I had for years.

    They are imprinted in our memory forever.
     

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