An Ode to an Oldie: The Sweet Sorrow of Loving an Old Dog
The only fault that our dogs have is that they don’t live long enough. The faithful friends, that dog lovers the world over, live with grow old before our eyes and eventually break our hearts. However, between the well learned middle-aged dog and saying the final goodbye is the oldie.
The oldie is a dog of grey chin and cloudy eye. He leans his body up our leg, the furniture or any other convenient object rather than stand on his stiff legs. Less inclined to go out for a walk, particularly in the rain our oldie prefers a comfy fire, or if at all possible, a feather bed.
Where he used to follow us around the home in the hope of a dropped morsel we now wander back to him, with love to give him his treat, because it’s so much effort for him to get up on shaky legs. We lift him into the car and drive to the park, despite it being only ten minutes away on foot, so that he can get the best quality experience from his exercise routine.
Walks take longer and every blade of grass seems more interesting than the last. The toileting spot is suddenly ever more important than before and many minutes are spent looking from an empty poo bag to a dog that is carefully choosing exactly the right place for a convenient bathroom stop.
The oldie has often been with us from puppyhood, sometimes he arrived as an adult dog and some, of the very best people, adopt an oldie to let them live out the rest of their time in peace, security and comfort. However, we acquire our older dog we never have them long enough. As they get older we begin to think about being without them and it hurts.
So we take comfort that they are here now. Take extra time to show that we love them and are happy to potter around a park at a snail’s pace, for the love they have given and continue to give, we owe them that.