Thursday, 18 July 2013

Old Dog

Dogs have no concept of ageing.
Arthritic joints, a slowness of gait, the slight blueness in the eyes an intolerance to silly games
They are all just slightly confusing things that just happen to them .
But they are things that break your  heart when you, as an owner realise that they are there.
Old dogs have no idea of their impending mortality
Only we do.
And like I said
That realisation can break your heart

41 comments:

  1. Strangely, I've always had a soft-spot for dogs with greying muzzles.

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  2. teddy is 8 and i know what you mean.

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  3. Don't you get me blubbering again... poor little Meg. She looks very sweet.

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  4. I always say when you get a puppy, you know right then and there, that someday you are going to have a broken heart.

    The only good thing about an old dog is, they at least got to live long enough to get old. And the only good thing about the broken heart means you have happy memories of that old dog.

    Now I must go, for I have a lump in my throat thinking of my poor Winston, who died much too young.

    Cindy Bee

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  5. That's a gorgeous photo John, beautifully composed.

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  6. It does. It surely does :-(

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  7. Oh don't. I lost two old terriers at Christmas time, within days of each other. Convinced Tilly died because her lifelong housemate Mikey had. Extra cuddles of my other two required now.

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  8. Oh John, I felt that way for the first 5 months of this year, so I understand completely. BIG HUG xx

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  9. Yes it does break your heart. But I wouldn't put it past them to know as well. Old dogs come into their own, I reckon, because they are aware of their mortality.

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    1. Agreed. I've seen it ageing cats, too. They don't feel they have to prove anything, they just want to be loved, and enjoy and live each day. As if somehow, each day is dearer than the one before.

      I didn't see it with my first dog, because i was young, and she was my first pet. But, i saw the signs in the ones that followed, and have taken care to appreciate each and every day we are allowed to share with them.

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  10. Lost my boy Rowdy two years ago in June and I think of him every day and have tears this minute.....

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  11. They have no idea of their impending mortality so they have the ability to enjoy every last little bit of life.

    Something we learnt with Sophie who died a year ago this Saturday. She lived life to the full up to and including the morning of her sudden death.

    Dashing out to let the chickens out with my Mum she just stopped in her tracks, lay down and died. Hard for us all but for her the only way to go, at home with someone who loved her to bits and on her way to do her favourite task of the day.

    With other dogs (and cats) we have the honour of them slowing life down, taking things easier and easier and watching the world go by, and as we sit with them for lengthening periods we forge so close a bond that they and us remember forever.

    No one ever said it would be easy with animals, they break your heart every time, but the sticking plasters holding it together are fixed firmly in place with every new little furry baby we have the honour of loving.

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  12. The last two cairns broke our hearts; I still see Fiona running into the house and dying. No more puppies; I can't bear the thought of a dog outliving me and not having the same home. So, it's old dogs now, who are happy to be rescued.

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  13. Are dogs aware of their failing abilities, I wonder, or do they just adapt to them as if they were never aware of being fully functional?

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  14. How old are your dogs, John?

    Our Finley is 6 in October but Darwin is only 10 months old.

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  15. She is well loved.
    *hugs* ♥

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  16. You've said all that can be said. Nothing useful to add.

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  17. They steal your heart then they break it...

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  18. Dear old Sam stumbled along, stood vacantly in corners, did the same circuit over & over, was nearly blind & going deaf but at fifteen still had some life in him to live.

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  19. Oh John, what a sad photograph. In one way it is good that they have no knowledge of this but I have now lost about five or six dogs over the years and it never gets any easier - you watch them age and get infirm and then finally you have to make a decision - and that is almost the hardest part.
    At the other end of the scale i have heard this week of someone who has bought a pup from a puppy farm. It is a pug - my favourite breed - and they have such breathing difficulties in this weather. The poor little thing has been taken from its mum and sold and it is only six weeks old. The new owners are out at work and my heart bleeds for this little chap and yet I can do nothing. When I got Tess - at ten weeks - I spent most of the first week nursing her and making a fuss of her so that she knew we loved her. Look at your old dog and tell yourself what a lovely life she is having with you - and she might perk up when the weather gets cooler.

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  20. Tell me about it John Gray! We are living with it every day with Lettice, who as I type is sat contently with me in the garden.

    Arriving in my life fifteen years ago, skin and bone and only six months old, she had been beaten and kicked. A highly intelligent collie, who has been the joy of my life. Our holiday money is spent on Tena bed pads, she like many old ladies has lost her muscle tone. She even let's us know that her bed is wet, if we haven't checked for a while, by pulling off the top blanket and pads.

    You know something? She's worth it! Like you, I look at her and the pain is immense.

    LLX

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  21. And we could learn from them, John. Their stoicism about such 'human' things is wonderful. They aren't suffering half as much as we think, or want them, they are.

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  22. I think of Rosie's mortality almost every day. It amazes me that I only have a limited time to look into those beautiful eyes and stroke that silky fur. Awfully maudlin of me, isn't it? She's only 9 this year.

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  23. a dog lives so truly in the moment. They don't even have to work at it. I think I should love the life of one of my two terriers, Ted and Bumble. No worries about where they will sleep, what they will eat, whether they are loved and wanted - they have it so much easier than a lot of humans. Meg is blessed to have a lovely home x

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  24. I am at tears at this post.
    My Dr. Watson is at this point too.
    Everyday is a gift but I know what is coming. I think in some way he does too but it is just what will be for him

    Lovely photo today.

    cheers, parsnip

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  25. Oh bless John I know what you mean. That's the flip side to the unconditional love we gain from them! But in my humble opinion, the greater tragedy would be the scenario wherein the human dies first leaving the dog lost, wondering what happened?

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  26. My Tess is 12, almost 13, a German Shepherd mix that is arthritic and losing her hearing and getting cataracts. I look at her everyday and think....."I have no idea how I'm going to say goodbye to you Tessy dog".
    She's on meds, but she still has trouble getting her back end off he floor at times and we have to help her. But she's not ready to go, I'll see it in her eyes when she is and until then I will enjoy her and love her just like you do with your dogs.

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  27. Struggling with grief following the loss of my beloved old girl who left us a month ago. She was nearly 15. But I wouldn't have given up her time with me before she left us. Total unconditional love. Miss you Dolly.

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  28. Sweet little Meg. Beautiful photo, really "catches the moment".

    For the first time in many many years I have no animal companions, it feels very strange. But like Joanne and Andrea above I can't bear the thought of an animal outliving me, so no more puppies or kittens for me. When the time is right I will adopt an older dog (or two.)

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  29. What a sweet, sweet picture. Our Sophie girl is 12...can't bear to think about losing her.

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  30. ... old cats, too ...

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  31. Faulkner was deaf for the last year or so of his life. Then he started falling. Then he started falling and couldn't get up. I felt as if I were dying.

    Love,
    Janie

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  32. Yes, it's heartbreaking, for sure.

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  33. Mine too John. My pup turns 14 this month.

    As long as she is happy and comfortable, each day is a gift.

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  34. It is heartbreaking...enjoy each day, hour, minute you have with them!

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  35. Some say knowledge of mortality is the price we pay for self-awareness...and it is rubbish. Animals know. What helps is kindness. And from what I've learned at your blog, you are clearly a kind man.

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