I’m not a young dog anymore. And it’s got me thinking about some things I see happen to other dogs and well some of it happened to me too.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share my thoughts with you about being an older, rescue dog.
Humans and dogs have different timelines. Humans are children for many years. Dogs are puppies for a couple of years and then we are adults.
I am almost fifteen now. Fifteen is very different for humans than it is for dogs. A fifteen year old human is still young, not fully grown into their adult body. They run and jump and try crazy stunts. Even if the stunt goes badly, they usually hop back up. They are flexible, bouncy, and resilient.
A fifteen year old dog is old. Really old. Some dogs don’t even live to fifteen. But I did.
Naturally I am still handsome, but inside things are changing.
My joints and bones aren’t as strong or flexible as they once were. I can run, but only if I really need to. I don’t jump anymore. Sometimes I fall because my hips don’t hold me up anymore.
But I still try to do whatever my human wants. If she asks me to walk, I walk. If she asks me to move, I move. If she wants to go up and down the steps I will go with her. She is my pack leader and usually do what she wants. (Unless it is really foolish.) Even then if she insists, I do it.
I try to communicate to my human how I feel. Most times she gets it. Other times she doesn’t and then she gets what she calls “the guilts” afterwards.
Like a few weeks ago when it snowed. I was interested in the snow. I liked walking in it. At first.
But it didn’t take long for the snow to get stuck to the fur between my pads. And then I was walking with ice between my toes. I have a fur coat, but I was cold. But I walked because it was our walk and our walk is my job. I had no way to tell her my feet were hurting except by refusing to walk. A herding dog does not stop doing his job because his feet hurt. She did have sense enough to make it a short walk, but by the time we got home I was shivering as she unlocked the door.
She cleaned out the ice from my pads and warmed my feet with a wet washcloth and then dried them. She apologized a lot and I know she didn’t mean to hurt me, but she didn’t think like a dog.
So I am going to spend the next few weeks helping you think like a dog. An old dog. An old rescue dog, a very handsome one.
More Adventures with Huff
For the latest: See The Huff Diary