Not All Geriatric Caregiving is For People — Sometimes It’s For a Dog

Sometimes, in the midst of providing caregiving for family members, we also end up caring for a geriatric dog.

That’s going on at our house.  Jenny Dog is a mixed breed who is 14 1/2 years old.  That’s geriatric for a dog, no matter what you use as a multiplier to get equivalent human years.  Based on her size, she’s probably somewhere between 90 and 100 in human years.

She’s slowed down a lot, just like people do as they get older.  She sleeps a lot, and is not as interested in exerting a lot of energy unless it is to get a special treat.  She’ll lobby me mercilessly in the evenings for a treat, and I really believe it’s her main entertainment in life.  And any time we come back in from being away, she’ll check to see if we brought in a sack that might contain a morsel of food.  And if we’ve been around other dogs, we get a special check.

She likes to follow me around, knows my habits well, and even tries to anticipate where I’m heading.  She no longer follows me around as I mow, however, and really had rather be inside in the air conditioned space than to even hang out on the porch.

She’s had a couple of major medical issues in her life.  She had heart worms as a pup, but weathered the treatment well.  The major issue has been an intestinal problem where her intestines were swollen and not functioning properly due to food allergies. It was resulting in liver and kidney disfunction as well, but fortunately a good vet figured out what was going on.  Unfortunately for Jenny Dog, it means eating a special vet diet which she doesn’t think is very appetizing.  She’ll do her best to beg, steal, or borrow some human food that tastes better.

During the last week or so, she’s been having some trouble getting her back end up when she’s ready to get out of a chair.  She can still bounce up into the chairs with no problem, it’s just getting back out of them that sometimes gives her a problem.  Just another sign of her aging.  She also has problems sometimes with the tile floor, which is also a common issue with older dogs.  It means that sometimes I have to help her.

And like all of us who are aging, her hearing and sight are suffering too.

It’s become painfully obvious to us that her time is limited.  It’s also a constant reminder that we’re aging, and can’t do some of the things we used to do effortlessly.

And taking care of an aging dog is just another part of this journey.

  1. Jeff Hurt says:

    Wow, this brought home so many memories of caring for the geriatric dogs in my life. TJ, Ranger, Droopy, Brownie are just a few that I’ve shared journeys with and watched them grow old gracefully. As a dog lover, it breaks my heart that so many people give up dogs when they get old and geriatric dogs are some of the toughest to place in new homes.

    Thanks for reminding me that taking care of an aging dog is just another part of this journey.
    .-= Jeff Hurt´s last blog ..6 More Elements Of The Social Media Mindset =-.

  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.