Every Friday, I sit down and fill up the pill holders. That’s the day it really hits me that my dogs are OLD. Emmit is only 11, so I would imagine that he may be around for a while. Having bad hips isn’t death sentence and we are doing what we can to keep him young (both mentally and physically). Tucker, on the other hand, is 17. When I fill up his pill holder, I feel lucky that we made it through another week together. He sleeps a lot, but the bad days (which come in spurts) are few & far-between. Cross your fingers–I hope to fill up all these pill holders again next week.
Some days, I feel like ALL I do is clean up dog hair. Neither Tucker or Emmit actually enjoys being brushed, so I have a small window of time to brush them before I run out of bribery or they they run out of patience with me. It is depressing to think of the number of vacuum cleaners we’ve been through over the years. We’ve managed to kill countless $100 vacuums & we’re now on our second Dyson. I Swiffer, I sweep, but it never goes away. This is glamorous life of a stay-at-home dog mom.
Both of the dogs have decided that life is more fun without all of their organs intact. It was an expensive & traumatic decision for them to make.
In 2012, Tucker had a tumor on his spleen that ruptured. It was incredibly traumatic, sending him into surgery not knowing if he would come back out alive. We were fortunate, not only that he survived the surgery, but also that the tumor ended up to be benign (non-cancerous)!
Last year, our veterinarians found a liver mass on Emmit. After going through the trauma with Tucker, we felt surgery was necessary, so we sent him to a surgeon to have a liver lobe removed. Suprise, his was ALSO benign. Prior to surgery, Emmit had some pretty awful liver values. As of right now, the tumor has not returned & his values look good.
Here’s to a LONG life with missing parts & amazing veterinarians who make it possible!
When you have two really old dogs (and it’s 90 degrees outside), long walks are out of the question. It is my responsibility to find other ways to entertain these guys. We spend lots of time outside in early morning and late evening smelling things, and hanging on our deck watching the wildlife (we live along a river).
When we are stuck inside because of the heat, it’s a good time to practice our obedience. We use dog food or treats (sometimes they have hidden pills) to perfect manners & even learn new tricks. I sometimes pull out food-dispensing toys to keep old brains active & working out a puzzle to find dinner. By the evening time, these old pups are always worn out!
We may no longer be going for jogs around the park, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t having any fun!
My dogs may see me as “Mom”, but I actually have an extensive dog-related resume going back over fifteen years. I have worked at one of the largest animal shelters in the country; been an APDT-certified dog-trainer; managed/worked at Veterinary clinics; and even worked in research to help get a pain reliever for dogs to clinical trials. I have fostered over 50 dogs, and I hope to be able to foster again someday. Basically, I know enough to be dangerous.
Over a year ago, I made the difficult decision to leave my job. My husband works crazy hours & our lives were falling apart. We realized that life is short & sometimes time is more valuable than income. Now I have the time to enjoy these small moments with my boys (both human and canine).
In addition to hanging out with my little family, I love to travel. It is important for me to explore my city, my country, and even the world. I’m always ready for an adventure!
All spelling and grammar mistakes are my own.
Emmit is an 11-year old Newfoundland Chow mix. He was surrendered to the animal shelter where I was working as a five pound, five-week old puppy because he was “too big.” I took him home as a foster puppy & he never left. We expected he’d be a giant Newfoundland, but he’s only 65 lbs.
Emmit has been our healthy dog until the last year or so. He’s showing his age with tons of lumps and bumps (all but one have been benign). He also has terrible hips & we now have a list of daily meds to keep him happy and comfortable.
We just started an Instagram account for Emmit: https://instagram.com/old_dog_emmit/
Tucker is a 17-year old Springer Spaniel mix. I adopted him when he was a 3 &1/2 year old, wild man. I was working at an animal shelter & Tucker had been there for over three months. Unfortunately, the shelter was out of room & Tucker was scheduled to be euthanized. I took him home & it was the best decision I’ve ever made!
Now, Tucker is an old man with a number of health problems. He takes pills to keep a kidney issue under control, he has a TERRIBLE food allergy, and he has cognitive dysfunction (doggy dementia). As long as his good days keep outweighing the bad, we will keep going.
In my ongoing effort to document these days, Tucker is on Instagram. If you are interested, check him out: https://instagram.com/old_dog_tucker/
SADLY, WE SAID GOODBYE TO TUCKER IN OCTOBER 2015. WE MISS HIM TERRIBLY.