Random thoughts on dog ownership.
So we have these neighbors that live across the street from us. From what I understand they are related to the guy that died in that house years ago. They live in San Diego but they come up here for about two months at a time to stay and work on the house. Very nice middle aged couple with no kids and a really old dog named Maggie.
Whenever they are in town Pappy sneaks under the fence to go on their walks with them and Maggie. They really adore Pappy and he loves them too.
They just got back into town a couple of weeks ago and the only reason we knew was because we saw their car. We didn’t actually see them which was unusual but we didn’t think too much of it. One night when we were pulling into our driveway Rob commented that he hadn’t seen either of them and I agreed. That’s when it hit me. The reason we used to see and chat with them so much was when they were outside walking Maggie. They did it a lot because of her age and her inability to hold her bladder for long periods. I verbally wondered if Maggie had finally given up the ghost.
Long story short, Rob came home the other night and the wife was out working on the yard. She did confirm that they had finally had to put Maggie down. Liver problems and general old age. It brought back memories of Romie in his final days.
I know that to some people it is silly that I am so attached to my dogs. It has become a running joke among people that I am *that* dog owner that refers to her self as Mommy and so on and so forth but it’s true. I do not have kids. I’m not going to have kids. These dogs are my children. They are loved and cared for and I worry about them all the time.
They bring me countless hours of joy and love. If I am ever down, all I have to do is look at their sweet faces and all is right with the world.
Recently Shilo had a flu bug or got into something that upset her stomach. That alone was very worrisome for me. But the vet said she would be okay just feed her white rice and boiled chicken so we did. It was around that time that Pappy started not eating his food. He didn’t have a lack of appetite. He was still super excited when we said the magic word but when he got to his bowl he just kinda looked up at us like “Is this it?” For a while we thought he was just being a brat because Shilo was getting something different and he wanted it too so we appeased him and added some rice and chicken to his kibble to and he ate it down.
Even after Shilo got better he still didn’t seem to want to eat his kibble until he realized that it was all that he was getting and even then sometimes refused to eat. Again, no decrease in appetite. He still begged for human food but didn’t want what was in his dish.
It recently occurred to me that maybe his teeth are getting bad and it hurts to eat those hard pieces of kibble. It makes sense since he wants to eat, just not the hard crunchy pieces. And that brings about the fact that he’s getting up there in age.
When we got him in January of 2007 we were told he was about three years old. If that is the case he would currently be nine years old. I doubt that he was that young though. Having a two year old puppy right now tells me he was a lot older when we got him. Very mellow and calm. I think they rounded down on his age to get him adopted faster. If I had to guess I’d say is around ten or eleven right now. His face and paws and belly have all completely turned white. He’s still got a lot of pep in his step when he’s fighting with Shilo but he is just showing all the signs of old age.
Romie was sixteen when we had to put him down. He was also half blind, mostly deaf and out of his mind with doggie dementia that he had to take meds for.
Pappy is a long way from that. I think he’s got quite a few good years left. He can still hear the “cookie jar” being opened in the other room in a dead sleep. 🙂 But he is getting older and it makes me sad to think that he’ll be gone eventually.
When we put Romie down a friend commented that she wasn’t getting any more dogs after her current one because it wasn’t worth the heartbreak when they died. Even through my own tears, I disagreed with her. It is hard to lose a loved one, but it is soooooooo worth the time and love and joy that they brought you in the years they were in your life.
I could never NOT own a dog.
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