05 February 2010

Walking it out

Growing older is serious business, for humans and our beloved canine companions. Dogs have aging symptoms that resemble some of the ailments people suffer: chronic aches and pains, arthritis, vision problems, bladder control issues, joint stiffness, changes in appetite. I have two older dogs, ages 14 years and 9 years (I think). Between the two, they hit every symptom on this list. The older guy really does suffer from painful arthritis and takes prescription meds twice per day to regulate it to a tolerable level. But sometimes it flares up and he is just plain uncomfortable. So much so that he can’t bear to keep still, so he just paces around. There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to help.

When my mom visited us at Thanksgiving, she noticed it and said: I know how he feels. Sometimes you just have to walk it out.

Recently I decided to put this observation into practice. The last two times that my old guy had a flare-up, I gave him an extra dose of medicine, but that didn’t seem to work. He kept coming over to me, asking for comfort. So I decided to walk it out with him. We walked through the house, room to room, on a circuitous route until he got tired and stopped. Then he was able to lie down and rest. Finally.

Me too. Finally.


  1. Hopefully old guy can hang on. That's the thing with domestic animals with me, when they're hurting or in pain, you really have to observe them to know. The best thing to do is comfort and hopefully it'll be comforting to you as well Diane.

  2. I could see it happening, hope you both got some rest.

    And when you get up, you could have some of that Soul Food soup I made; just increase the beans, delete the sausage, and voila!


  3. yum, just what the doctor ordered for a chilly winter weekend! Actually, the sun is out and it's not all that cold. Very nice afternoon for early February. Most days the older dog is OK. The 9-year old is a larger dog and his joints give him a lot of problems. I worry about him more, even though he doesn't seem to have the pain that the older dog has. He's usually happy as long as he has a rug to lie on and a toy to chew on.

  4. I hate to see our much loved canine companions getting older. They never complain, but we wish we did so we could know right where it hurts. Flanders has had her share of wild operations—last week she had to have a tooth extracted! They cleaned her teeth while they were in there and she’s much happier. Hope yours is feeling a-okay.

  5. Oh, this is so sweet! I'm gonna remember it when my lab gets older.

  6. Your poor baby. That was so sweet to help him walk it out.

  7. I have two shih tuz's both are 14 years old. The only thing I have noticed about them is the cloudy eyes and they now have to be put on the bed , sofa ect. They can't keep up with the younger, larger dogs in our dog walking club, so I put them in a dog stroller and they enjoy the walks as much as ever...