I have been making a list of all the topics I was planning on writing about on this site, and was suddenly struck by this incredible sadness. Every single topic was about a health problem – arthritis, cancer, kidney failure, dementia, vision loss and the list went on and on. I started to ask myself if this was what a senior dog’s life boiled down to.
Of course it isn’t!
Yes I will be writing about health topics, they are issues many senior dogs face, mine included. I won’t be addressing them in this post though! I have always, and will continue to focus on the joy of being able to give a dog a comfortable place to lay his head, in the last years, months or weeks of life.
You know what the joys are for me? I can’t think of many greater feelings than caring for dogs who were cruelly dumped at the end of their lives. It is impossible for me to convey the depth of emotion I experience when I save an older dog’s life, when I go to the shelter and pick up a dog who would have died alone, in a scary and unfamiliar environment.
I love when my dogs sit next to me on the couch as I read a book, or snuggle up with each other – giving and getting comfort when needed.
Just like dogs of every age, my oldies are so happy to see me (those who can!) if I’ve been out for a while, and although they’re left in very comfortable surroundings, you can see how much safer they feel when I’m around.
In addition to all that, I also like lower energy dogs. Of course they all need time outside to sniff and explore, and to walk at whatever pace is comfortable for them, and that’s perfect for me. I don’t want to have to hike miles every day in order to satisfy their needs. If I want to take that hike periodically, and would like the company of one of my dogs as I do it, I get out the pet stroller and off we go together.
So yes, while there may or may not be health challenges in your dog’s life, showing kindness and compassion to these wonderful creatures who brought so much joy into our lives, over the years, is what it’s all about.