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Growing Old Not-So-Gracefully

Katie, Little Princess

Over the course of the day I’ve shared stories about all of my dogs except one – Katie. At 14, she is the matriarch of our family, schooling the other dogs and barking at us – she is truly one cranky old broad.

Katie has a slight heart murmur that causes her to have mini-seizures from time-to-time, but aside from that she’s pretty darn healthy for her age.

We rescued Katie from a nutty backyard breeder when she was 1  and a half and had already had a litter. She has always been willful, cranky and sometimes downright mean. But if she wasn’t temperamental, she wouldn’t be Katie. We’re now dealing with some incontinence issues and she’s getting skinnier. And after a bizarre bout with a busted ear drum about six months ago, she hasn’t really been the same.

She still watches over the other dogs and keeps them in line.  She is a daddy’s girl and likes to sleep under the covers. But if you roll over onto her she WILL snap at you. And now, in her golden years our job has become to keep her warm, comfortable and happy.

SWAG ATTACK! Next up is a NOVADog T-shirt and a certificate for a free annual subscription to the magazine! We can mail this anywhere, so please leave a comment and tell us about the old dogs in your life.

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  • Reply Kim Williams February 6, 2011 at 1:11 am

    I just love the seniors – cranky and all! My old girl Nikki was a small black lab who just always seemed old and wise, even as a younger dog. She was sedate long before her time. She finally turned white in the muzzle & paws and loved to just spend time on the deck in the sunshine, no matter how hot.

    Her brother, Sol was a border collie mix, and he was pure puppy for 11 years. When the vet mentioned he was having some “senior” issues, I had to do a double take – he had somehow aged without me even noticing. He was always young. So different, and yet they were so close.

    I am grateful that I could give them happy, golden years!

  • Reply Sheri Throop February 6, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Lucy my standard poodle turned 7 this past year. So in the flyball world that makes her a veteran although we are still racing in the open division…. she doesn’t act old but I have made changes in her diet and supplements based on the changing needs of her body. Old dogs are great, they know so much!

  • Reply Boris February 6, 2011 at 1:30 am

    I am the Senior Dog in my family and I’ll turn 13 this year. I am not as gray in the muzzle as my human Dad (!) but I have started to bark at what my humans call ‘mystery people.’ I go down the hall, stop in front of the bedroom door and bark. This makes perfect sense to me since we think our house is haunted from time to time. We smell strange perfume and cigarette smoke and we think it comes from the previous inhabitants. So I bark at them. Just because my humans don’t see them doesn’t mean I don’t. After all, I am the oldest dog in the house and responsible for keeping things safe!

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