So, last week on my Facebook Page, I asked readers a simple question: who here has a senior dog? And the response was overwhelming. I suspect that thread might just be the liveliest one in the history of my Page. Seems a lot of people have senior dogs, and are interested in learning about how to best support the older canine. Well, here’s why I asked: I have three older dogs, and am facing all the challenges this brings – to the dogs, as individuals who may or may not develop problems associated with ageing – and of course, the emotional aspect, for myself and my partner, the humans who love these guys so deeply, but know that no matter how well we do, how well THEY do, there is still more time behind us than ahead.
I try not to think like that. But – don’t we all, at least sometimes, when we love an older dog?
So in this section of the blog, plan to write about my Three Old Dogs, with a view to helping others with their own “sugarfaces” as I like to call them. Now, I fully intend to focus on help for the challenges of the older canine – herbs and dietary strategies for kidney, liver, digestive, neurological health, joints, vision, dental care and more. I’ll offer as much as I can(I’m planning an ebooklet on this soon as well) when I can – but, I cannot promise it won’t get emotional from time to time. Like everyone who reads this blog, my dogs are more than “pets” to me. They’re a combination of so many things – they’re like kids, but they’re also best friends, comforters when we are sad, sharers-of-joy when we’re happy, they accompany us wherever we go, sleep beside us and challenge us to get up and get moving on days we would really rather not( four legged fitness coaches!) I know there are some who will question my sanity, but let me say it bluntly: I cannot imagine loving any human more than I love Danny, Amara and Zeke. And I love many humans, deeply so. But the dogs (and my cats and bird) I love every bit as much. They are, to me, persons – just of a different species. I cannot imagine my life without Danny in particular, who has been my constant companion since he was 14 weeks old, in October of 2006. And Zeke and Amara have become integral and deeply loved members of this household too. They all face different challenges, have unique dietary needs, all three have some overlap on their herbal and supplement support but many differences as well (makes mealtime very lively around here).
I plan to start, next entry, with Danny (ten years old, hyperactive, one Mast Cell tumour removed three years ago, one bout of UTI, otherwise totally healthy. Challenges are mostly digestive. I see clouds starting up in his eyes. )
And then we’ll talk about Zeke, who is twelve, deaf now, mixed breed/ mostly GSD, and gets some ear infections from time to time…pretty robust, a little arthritic.
And lastly Amara, 11 years old, Ridgeback, all kinds of stuff going on.
I’ll share what I am doing, nutritionally and herbally, with all three.
Then, let’s look at some specific changes that people can start making proactively, for joint support, vision, weight control urinary tract health, and so on.
And, let’s never forget, we need to support our own hearts through what can be a hard path for us as well, at times.
I know I’ve shared this image before on Facebook, but it’s one of my favorites and so I will leave you all with it today. Whiteface in the front is my youngest (Danny). They’re all completely fixated on a salmon treat I was holding. It seems like yesterday Danny was a baby I carried in my arms. Today, here they are – my Three Old Dogs. What a blessing to have this beautiful time ahead.