It was Saturday morning. The eve of Harley’s tenth birthday. The double Doodle digit years were creeping up on us. Where did the time go?…
As he entered the kitchen for breakfast, I noticed he was favoring his front left leg. Concerned, I examined his leg, shoulder and then paws & pads (a place where he has a tendency to house small acorns).
He didn’t flinch or show any signs of discomfort in any of those areas, but there was a definite limp when he walked.
TELL ME ABOUT FRIDAY –
Retired LTC Doodle Dad has become quite the pet parent in my absence during the week. Lee doesn’t frequent grocery stores, so practically every errand he runs – includes the Dood that didn’t go to work with me that day or both if I am at the hospital solo.
I love to learn about their new adventures when I get home, but Friday was a rare exception. We never got around to talking about their day. When I asked on Saturday, Lee said they spent some time in Harmon Field…
This solved the limping mystery.
Jaxon is what one could best describe as “thick.” He’s not fat, but he’s solid #asarock
If he ever runs into you, it’s gonna be memorable. He’s that 20-lb bowling ball and you’re the lonely pin sitting in the center of the lane.
Harley loves to wrestle, and is the primary instigator…
But he’s no where near an equal match when #actionjaxson comes barreling down the field.
IT’S TIME TO RECOGNIZE –
Although Harley looks and acts like a doodle-ager, he’s not. He’s officially ten years old today! I need to pay attention to that fact.
There were only two years between Harley and Leo. To me they were in the same generation. But there are six years between Harley and Jaxson. That’s the equivalent of me trying to hang out with some college students during homecoming weekend. It won’t work, I’d never survive past Friday night.
At ten years of age it’s safe to assume that Harley fits the category of a “Senior dog.” But I needed more details, so I went to the American Veterinarian Medical Associations website.
SENIOR PET CARE –
Curiosity drove me in search of clarification. On the subject of senior pet care, I wanted to know just how “senior” Harley is and what I should be doing differently – if anything.
First I wanted to know how old is “old.” For Harley’s weight – at his age, its range equivalence to me is about 56-66 years of age.
Older pets can develop many of the same diseases as older humans:
- joint / bone
As he continues to get older, I want to know how to keep him happy and healthy for as long as possible. Here’s what I learned that seems both helpful and relatable to him, therefore I shall implement.
- Increase veterinary care: perhaps semi-annual visits as a precaution to detect signs of any problems early.
- Diet and nutrition: start researching and preparing more foods with anti-aging nutrients like – blueberries, milk thistle, fish oil (to name a few).
- Weight control: continue to manage Harley’s weight – he does this well, have never had much of a problem.
- Mobility: he works two days at the hospital. Jaxson works three. When we do go to the park, I think I will let Jaxson run free first and let loose some of his energy before allowing Harley to join him. That should balance them out better for a little light romping and wrestling.
BARKDAY HAPPINESS –
The remainder of our Saturday was uneventful. I watched lot’s of Hallmark Holiday movies which kept Harley still cuddled up by my side. The limping eventually subsided and vanished Sunday morning. Treated as the King Doodle that he is, he was allowed to select his own barkday cake…
Even though Harley’s ten years old, I believe he’s got a whole lot of living still left in him. I will do everything in my power to make sure my lil’ Doodle Bug enjoys each day feeling strong and youthful.
Hard to believe we’ve been together for ten years. I love me some him…
Any and all tips for raising a senior dog are much appreciated, please share in the comments for us all…
Harley – a heartbeat at my feet ❤️