Old Dogs & Old People

A new addition to my morning ritual is a nebulizer breathing treatment. Recently, while doing this treatment, I began reading Old Dogs are the best dogs by Gene Weingarten with photographs by Michael S Williamson. Since I currently have an old dog, or should I say, she has me, I thought it would be a good read to pass the 15 to 20 minutes during my treatment. It’s a simple book, a full page black and white portrait of a dog and a couple of paragraphs about each dog’s story. The more I read, the more I identify with the dogs and their humans.

Our beloved dog, Holly, has entered that old dog territory. It seems as if she has aged five years in the last five months. While she has never been the most active dog, she has been a great companion. As a shelter dog, she came to us a little bit reserved and as time went by, a little bit needy for affection and contact. There are so many questions about her story we wish we had the answers to. For example, when we got her from the shelter, the shelter chipped her. While scanning to make sure the chip was properly placed, they found a second chip. So naturally they had to investigate before the adoption could be finalized. As it turns out, the chip was made by a company in the United Kingdom and we were told all dogs in the UK are required to be chipped. Unfortunately, they are not required to have owner information attached to the chip. So we know that she has done some traveling at some point in her life.

Unfortunately, Holly’s latest issue is a malady called SARDs, Sudden Acute Retinal Deterioration. She became blind almost overnight. It has been very hard to watch the changes to her. The high points of her day are now her morning and evening meals. The rest of the time she just lays there. She is showing obvious signs of depression, who wouldn’t be. We have to control her movements otherwise she runs into walls, furniture, etc. She no longer wants to go on walks or spend time with me in the shop. There is no treatment, so all we can do is keep her safe. It is a very sad situation.

While dealing with my own health issues, as a now retired individual, this has been a little harder to deal with. Our pets become a part of our family and when things happen like this, it’s difficult to deal with. I can’t give up on her. She’s been a loyal dog for the 8 years we’ve had her. So, I’ll do my best to keep her safe, comfortable, and love her. After all, it is what we always hope for in life, to be safe, comfortable, and loved.

Till next time.

 KT

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