My Dog And I Aging Together
In the past couple of years, Simba has really turned grey around the face. It reminds me how quickly time is flying by. Simba and I are aging together. I can’t go by my grey because I’m vainer than Simba and go through the monthly chore of covering it up. I see her slowing down as I have. She likes to sleep more as I do. She doesn’t jump off the 3 1/2’ patio wall all the time anymore but goes all the way around it. There are still days she’s feeling young and energetic and will leap off but those days are becoming sparse. I have stopped jumping off walls years ago; just about the time the doc told me I need a knee replacement in the near future. We both used to love running a lot. She could chase that ball or Frisbee forever and I used to love running 5K several times a week. Now I walk 5K every day and she lets me know how she is feeling on a daily basis. There are days, especially if they’re cooler, that she will continue chasing the ball until my arm gets tired. Other days, including all hot days, she chases the ball on the first throw but doesn’t bring it back. She will stand where the ball was caught and just stare back at me until I get tired of waiting and say “Okay, let’s go in.” or she catches the ball and pretends she’s bringing it to me and keeps on running all the way back into the house. Both of us get up slowly from the couch, have lots more stomach issues and can’t quite see or hear as we used to. Our patience with each other has also changed with age. Although I know I’m late for work, I patiently wait for her to do her business in the morning which now seems to take much more pacing and she waits at the bottom step without any more whining as I slowly descend the stairs. It saddens me to think that half our lives are behind; but makes me appreciate every time she makes me laugh or smile even more now. Dogs live in the moment. If we learn anything from our dogs, this should be it. I enjoy every cuddle, every moment she makes me smile or laugh, and how lucky I am to have her with me here and now.
MUMS CAN BE FUNNY
Mum didn’t come home last night. I slept in our bed all alone. My human sister stayed home to let me out and feed me but she doesn’t sleep with me. She sleeps with my feline brother. Since he likes to play “Scratch my eyes out” I don’t like to go into their room. When mommy isn’t home at night there are lots of weird noises that wake me up all night. Today, I got so excited when I her mum’s car pull up on the driveway. I know she doesn’t like me jumping on her but I just couldn’t help it. I just wanted to touch her and tell her how much I missed her. She bent down to give me a kiss at the same time I jumped up to give her a kiss. BAM! I don’t know why mum got upset. Her nose couldn’t have hurt that much, after all, my head felt fine. I ran out to help her unload the car when suddenly I caught the sweetest scent. Wow, that must be what mum calls flowers. She loves flowers. I started to roll around in the scent so mum would want to cuddle with me and never let me go. I rolled and rolled and rolled. Back in the house mum asked, “What’s that smell?” Then she did this funny thing picking up her feet one at a time real high to look at her shoes. Why is she doing this? The shoes were not new. She wears them all the time. Did she forget what they look like? Mums can be funny sometimes. Then she bent down towards me. Here comes the hug and cuddling! What? What’s wrong? Why isn’t she cuddling me? She didn’t look happy either. She took me outside and got me all wet with the water snake. No! It’s going to take the flower smell off! Mum scratched and tickled me while holding the water snake over me. I can’t understand why she kept repeating the word poop. I didn’t have to poop right then. But she would say it again and again. I really didn’t have to poop. I wonder why she thought I had to poop. Yup, mums can be funny.
Mom put a squirrel in a knot-hole of our dining room ceiling.
Those furry little jumping beans out in the yard are not friendly at all. Mommy calls them squirrels. They love to tease me when I’m locked in the house. I lay on our bed watching out of the big windows facing the backyard. I know they see me watching as they bounce, prance, climb, and jump all through my backyard. They go up and down our big tree and then they play these cool chase games where they chase each other’s tails around the tree. I want to play too! My neck gets sore from whipping it back and forth up and down trying to keep up with them. In the morning, mommy just takes so long to get ready. I whimper and pace around in circles trying to make her hurry. “Hurry, hurry I want Continue reading
A Tree Growing In Our Car
Mommy was busy pulling plants out of the front yard. I don’t understand her sometimes. She brings home plants and digs them into the yard but then she spends all this time pulling plants out of the yard. Does she want plants or not? She calls them weeds. They grow so nice and strong and they grow everywhere! You would think she would be happy to have so many plants because then she doesn’t need to dig new ones into the dirt. It must be a human thing. Suddenly I look over at our car and… A TREE IS GROWING IN MY SEAT! I can’t believe my eyes. I slowly approach the open window spying for movement. No movement. I cautiously raise myself up so I can see inside. Yup it’s a tree growing in the car. I try to alert mommy but she thinks I want to go for a ride. “Not now.” she says as she continues to pull out plants. She must not know about the tree growing in our car. I need her to look up! I stay on guard at the car window making sure the tree doesn’t take the car for a ride and I keep wincing. “Maybe later, I need to finish this up” she calls out without looking up. I guarded the car standing on my hind legs for what seemed like forever in doggie years (15 minutes in human time). Then mommy finally looked up wondering why I was being so stubborn and she started to laugh. She said I was being silly as she walked over she didn’t seem alarmed to see a big tree growing in the car. She opened the car door, pulled it out and reassured me that it everything was okay. I guess it must have been another weed. Later that afternoon we finally went for a ride and my seat was weed free. Thanks mom.
Today is my favorite day of the week, groceries day! I don’t understand why mom doesn’t get excited about groceries. She leaves the house as if she has to go shovel cow manure. I would not mind going to the grocery store every single day. It’s just so exciting, there’s always a surprise hidden in one of the bags. I can’t control my enthusiasm. I jump up and down and run circles around her trying to see the surprise inside the bags. I race her to the car as she goes back for more bags. I like to help her bring the grocery bags by sticking my head inside the bag and guide her to the front door. Oh boy, I smell a treat surprise! I can’t quite locate it. Where is it? Is it in this bag? Or this one? Why is mom not helping? What? She’s making a cup of coffee! Not now! We need to get the perishables in the fridge! Maybe if I offer my ball and sit looking so cute she’ll help. Yup, that did it. This week’s surprise; sweet-potato jerky, yummy!
DO DOGS EXPERIENCE MENOPAUSE
Bloggers have gone back and forth on the issue of do dogs experience menopause. According to veterinarians dogs cannot go through menopause because they don’t menstruate the same way as humans do. I found many posts of dog owner disagreeing with the professionals, for example these are from http://community.dog.com.
• Since dogs don’t menstruate, they can’t have PMS. However, they do go through an estrus cycle, and their hormones change, which is what causes PMS symptoms in people, so I see no reason why it can’t effect dogs. Morgan had horrible heat cycles – she would get diarrhea, vomiting, mood swings, hot and cold flashes ~ she would shiver one minute, and be panting the next ~ she would pee more often, she would just kinda look blah. Pretty much the same symptoms that can occur with PMS.
• Well, dogs have hormones just like we do. Although I don’t think we can compare the symptoms between humans and canines…I believe that they are affected by their hormonal changes, just like we are.
• My 14 month old GSD is showing signs of coming into her second heat. She shows symptoms ranging from clinginess (is that a word?) all the way to downright obnoxious (PMS? I dunno, maybe). Also, one minute, she doesn’t feel good at all, just wanting to lay down; and the next she is bouncing around like normal.
• They can from what I understand have mood swings and be somewhat unpredictable during that time though.
Then we have Simba who is 8 years old. As I stated in my last couple of posts, her behavior has gone through some changes. She has had a couple of pee accidents, has become overprotective of me in an aggressive manner, has become even more clingy (if that’s even possible with GSPs), her anxiety level has increased, does not eat when I’m not home, she’s lost some muscle even though she exercises every day, wimps and whines as she sits in front of me just staring, wakes up several times a time to get out of the covers because she’s hot and then gets cold, is fatigued during the day and can fall asleep standing up and rip out truck sized snores and has become disoriented on two occasions where she went around to the front of the house to come back in instead of the back.
Now speaking from experience (unfortunately) if I compare her symptoms to my menopausal symptoms I would say she’s right on cue. How about it ladies? I know I can’t be alone when I say I would like to strangle these young girls who say to me “I can’t wait to go through menopause and not have a period”. Who want to gain weight and lose muscle even when you’re killing yourself working out? Who wants to be driving and suddenly forget where you were going or worse where you are? Who like to get up in the middle of the night to change because you’re soaked? Who wants to be laughing hysterically and suddenly burst out in tears? Who wants to suddenly turn into the Tasmanian devil without any warning? To all those 20 year olds, I say, “Enjoy your periods, it only gets worse.”
I have lost track; back to dogs (blame menopause). My conclusions are that although they may not experience menopause or PMS in the human sense there are hormonal changes going on. I can attest that anything that hormones control can wreak havoc!
I found a great article on behavior changes in aging dogs http://pets.webmd.com. They specify that aging dogs show a decline in several different functions. They can be cognitive and physical functions but they all will have repercussions on their behavior. For example, a loss in senses and awareness can cause sleep disturbances. Also, loss of memory can cause forgetting learned commands. These can also cause their anxiety levels to increase which in turn can cause more aggressive behavior, clinginess, or becoming less affectionate. It recommends always taking you dog to the vet first to make sure there is nothing serious going on. They also mention there are medications available that can control some of the behavior like anxiety. They stress to keep your dog active with playful exercise and keep teaching him fun new tricks. For some ideas on new tricks you can go to www.trustingpaws.com. For more information on aging dogs the article I referenced above is full of great information.
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MY DOG DOESN’T RESPECT ME
I have been researching what could be the possible reason that Simba has suddenly become over protective of me and what to do about it. The first article I came across suggest that dog’s become over protective when do not respect their owner. I was shocked, my dog doesn’t respect me! The article stated that when a dog does not respect their owner they feel they have to take matters into their own paws and make decisions of what is best for you because they feel you can’t or don’t. I thought about this and thought about when my kids were young and even through their teenage years and into young adulthood. Some of you may be appalled that I am comparing my dog to my kids but Continue reading
MY DOG IS BEING OVER PROTECTIVE
Simba has become over protective of me in the last 3-4 months. I don’t know where it’s coming from. As you all know, she is a German Shorthaired Pointer and is 7 1/2 years old. People that have come to the house like tax assessor, tree cutter, building inspector and even a friend have had the pleasure of meeting Simba up close in one of her worst moods. Maybe since she is in her human 50’s she’s going through doggy menopause, or mid-life depression. Many humans need help at this age so why not dogs. Anyhow let me get back to the problem at hand. If anyone standing near me raises their arm to point, or in Italian style talking or to hug me, she lunges at them barking angrily. Once she gets close enough, she proceeds to intimidate by jumping up to face level so that her nose is within an inch of theirs in case they are hard of hearing and can’t hear her nasty bark. People ask me if she has always displayed these behaviors and look puzzled when I say no. Their next suggestion is to take her to the vet because their might be a physical issue going on like an ear infection or UTI. I definitely agree with always ruling out any medical issues as a priority. I clean her ears weekly because she has always been prone to wax build up and ear infections. She has not Continue reading