No Labels On Older Dogs

We have lost another dog. AJ, our almost 12 year old Kuvasz stopped being able to walk on Saturday February 4th 2016, and then quit eating shortly after. We had the vet examine her  and then said our goodbyes to loyal AJ. AJ had degenerative myelopathy, a progressive neurological disease. The house is sure quiet without her.

Even so, the day before she was rolling in the snow, barking at the neighbours dogs and enjoying being outdoors. She also met several new dogs in the last week and had lots of brushing and visits from auntie.

AJ was an accomplished trick dog, being the world’s only Kuvasz to have achieved her Expert Trick Dog Title and to my knowledge the world’s only frisbee playing Kuvasz.

We now have “only” four dogs. McCoy is 15 and 11months, Tommy is 10 and a half, Emmett in 8 and a half and Ira is still a puppy at 7 months.

McCoy is a perfect example of a dog who’s spirit keeps him young. Despite having hip dysplasia, an entropion in one eye, and the old arthur(itis), he still runs, walks and smiles at us for food. Sure he sleeps a lot but still like to sniff and look out the window.

Labels Limit Us

Our society labels older humans. This puts limits on what many older people think about being older and sometimes creates self imposed limits on their activities.

Luckily, dogs don’t have the same problem with this for the most part. They are not really influenced psychologically by the people around them with regards to the way they think about themselves.

They are also not consciously able to make changes in themselves to be better dogs. We have to do that for them.

How do we do it? We can feed them better, we can exercise them more, we can enrich their lives with training and new experiences. We can be kind to them. All these things help them to live better lives and hopefully longer ones.

It is up to us to help them as much as we can. Sometimes though, this does not happen.

Everyone does the best they can for and with their pets. Not everyone can take the time to prepare raw or cooked meals for their dogs. Sometimes we don’t get the time for several days to spend really quality time with them. Not everyone works from home so so they can spend their days with the pets.

But, I think we actually owe it them to do our best and seriously work to become better people. I know I am better because of AJ.

 

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