First, thank you BlogPaws, for giving attention and honor to those of us who are a little grey about the snout. Sometimes we feel a little sad to sit on the sidelines. Sometimes we aren’t given the respect we deserve. Last week my human was walking me and my sister and brother, and an unnerving thing happened. A woman yelled to her young child who was on a little bike, “Watch out for that big ole dog!” The way she said it was like “Watch out for that big ole boot!” It gave me pause. (Actually I already have paws).
My experience has been so different for a lot of my life, although my life hasn’t always been easy. Since I am a greyhound, and I live in New York City, many people are surprised to see me when mom walks me on the city streets. Lots of people come up to us on our walks and say, “Oh how beautiful! What kind of dog is that?” I bask in the spotlight! When I first moved to the city, I thought all the people walking on the sidewalks were there for me. I tried to go up to many of them so that they would pet me and talk to me adoringly. Well, actually, I still do that. I am crazy about meeting new people and dogs.
Here’s the hard part about being an older pup. Sometimes I can’t walk all that well because my legs feel sore, and I have a little trouble breathing on hot days. Mom gives me glucosamine/chondroitin and an arthritis medicine. That helps a bit, and I’m glad she does that. But still, I am 13 and a half. I did just go through six months of chemo for Lymphoma. I let mom know when I need to turn around and go inside. Sometimes she lets me know. It really is important to have a human who walks slowly, and watches you to see how you are doing. She likes to let me sniff and interact, but she has my back if I need to get into the house quickly.
The other thing she does for me is that she lets me use wee wee pads in the bathroom because I can’t always wait to go. Luckily, I understand , and mostly go there if I can’t wait for a walk. I prefer to go outside, but I can’t always.
I am sad that I’m not able to get onto the human bed and sofa anymore. The sofa was my favorite place, and I used to roll over on my back and sleep that way. Mom has bought me plenty of dog beds now, so I don’t have to feel deprived. There is a bed next to the human bed, and one right in front of the sofa, so I can lean against it when I miss it. Still sometimes I walk up to the human bed and put my face down on it and just stare at it. Sometimes my brother Kessie comes and sleeps on my bed with me, curled up against my back.
Mostly mom likes to do things for me that she thinks will make me happy. I really like to eat, so she makes sure my food is just tasty enough for me, but not too rich. She buys me lots of healthy treats, because I like to beg for treats all evening. She brushes my coat because I love the way it feels, and I’m always shedding. Most importantly, she invites my best friends and aunties and uncles over because she sees how much pleasure it gives me. And she just spends time with me, sitting next to me on a stool, petting me and talking to me. She gives me as much love as she can. By the way, I like to have people read to me.
She says that she feels a little melancholy that I lost my home when I was 8 years old. She used to stare at the piece of paper that had the name of my dad on it. There was a divorce, and my dad couldn’t find a place to live that would take me and my greyhound brother. When he realized this, he brought us back to our adoption group. (Greyhound Friends of New Jersey). Before giving us up, he took us to the vet. We had check-ups and dentals and baths. I went to a wonderful foster home. When he dropped me off there, he was sobbing. I never saw him, or my brother again. Mom saw that his name was on the veterinary report that the rescue group had given her. She knew she wasn’t supposed to have his name, and she knew that she wouldn’t contact him. Sometimes she fantasized about contacting him and letting him visit me. She imagined that he was extremely lonely without me. Sometimes she would shed a tear. That first year, I would try to find him when we went on walks. I loved to go up to slightly older men with greying hair, and have them pet me. Then sometimes I would just be on my dog bed, not really responding to much. Mom wondered if I was happy.
I came to love my new home, but the best thing was when she brought Livvie home for me. Livvie is a bit of a lunatic at times, but she has a super-kind personality. She got me playing! We would have rollicking play-fights in the house, and the furniture would be flying. Even though I’m supposed to be able to run at 45 miles per hour, Livvie was faster than I was! She was a little white blur. It was a blast.
So, I guess when I do my life-review, which I know they say humans do, I feel good about my life. When I was a little younger, I used to go to my mom’s office with her and was a Therapy Dog. She also used to take me visiting a lot. I would like to do that again, but I don’t travel very well any more. Mom says she will bring people to me.
My feeling is that is isn’t so bad to be an older dog as long as you have companionship, love and good care. I don’t think I want to go through chemo again, but even that wasn’t so bad, because the people there were so nice and let me lie down on a fluffy dog bed, and then I met Coby, and he kept me company on the dog bed.
It was good to be able to let you know about these things. If there is anything you would like to know more about , feel free to ask. Remember also to adopt an older dog, if you have the chance. We are just so sweet.