SENIOR DOG SEASON

By Wednesday, January 26, 2022 14 No tags Permalink

Harley and I have arrived at what I’ve decided to call his Senior Dog Season.

November 25th we not only celebrated Thanksgiving – we also toasted his thirteenth Bark-Day! And even thought he’s in great shape, I now recognize signs indicating he could use some assistance…

So often people comment on his youthful looks. I agree he still looks years younger, but I think it’s due to the fact that it’s hard to see gray hair on a white dog!…

I’ve written before about our eight month pandemic furlough and how it created much confusion for us as a therapy team. It was difficult to explain to the Boys (as smart as I think they are) why our world came to such an immediate halt. 

The toll of those eight months affected Harley the most. It was like watching someone (forced to retire) age faster, right in front of my eyes. While his zest for life is still there, it seems as if his mobility needs a little intervention.

WAIT FOR ME –

It started with the stairs, I began to notice after running down the first set of stairs he would loose his balance on each landing. His ability to get up from a prone position on our hardwood floors make it painful to watch. He struggles with what can be called splay legging.

There are various reasons some dogs (especially senior dogs) struggle with their ability to stand or standup. Out of concern I had a discussion with his healthcare provider (aka Doodle Doc) and then of course it was a subject for episode 20 on our podcast. 

Harley doesn’t have a specific diagnosis for slip sliding around the house. He’s older and perhaps his hips/joints aren’t quite what they once were. At the vet’s suggestion, I added a joint supplement to his diet. I immediately started him on Nutramax Cosequin Soft Chews, (120 tablets for $36.00), ordered rug runners for the floors and went on a serious hunt for indoor booties to give him more stability when we’re in the house.

Holy Hannah – Who knew finding the right indoor socks would be a full-time J.O.B.?

2 MANY 2 CHOOSE – 

Talk about falling down a rabbit hole, so many different versions, styles and options. It took hours just to navigate through the plethora of booties, socks, and disposable stick on pads to choose from!

First I had to weed through the pages of outdoor shoes. Outside Harley is fine, runs like a gazelle.

I need something designed for –

  • indoors – specifically hardwood floors
  • a loose and comfy fit – nothing that was going to strangle his tiny ankles
  • traction already constructed to the bottom of the sock

My first purchase turned out to be a colossal waste of money. Their sizing was off the charts by large margins. There was entirely too much rubber on the bottom which made the natural heat from his feet intensify. #stinkypaws AND… we looked like Ali & Frazier back for yet another rematch every time I tried to put them on. #twelverounds 

AND THE WINNER IS….

Based on several days and one whole bottle of a beautifully blended Shiraz – I have purchased the Expawlorer …

And here’s why.

It’s – 

  • reasonably priced ($18.99 for a 4-count in the medium size) 
  • received positive reviews from Pet Parents with similar issues and senior dogs
  • designed with traction control on BOTH sides of the sock so when the damn things start twisting around, he’ll be covered completely #thatrightthereishuge

They are scheduled to arrive in two days – 

As Harley and I continue this Senior Dog Season journey, I want to make sure I can keep up with the changes he will experience. It’s important that I learn how to interpret what he’s thinking to help me better understand how to give him the happy life he so richly deserves. 

Don’t you agree?

Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges but they fit oh so well ❤️

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14 Comments
  • Dashlillychester
    January 26, 2022

    Hi Cathy!! Way to go Harley!! Looking good. Lilly is 13 too and we are managing her golden years. She has some back leg challenges, she pees while she sleeps (sometimes— thank heavens for diapers!) and a bit of cognitive confusion. Otherwise… she is awesome. Plays, walks, runs, eats. snacks, snuggles. I also have a 3 year old doodle named Chester. So she puts up with him. So great to read this post and now I am checking out your podcast!! Hugs to you and Harley and Jaxson! Happy 2022

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 27, 2022

      Hey, there girlfriend! Sounds like we’ve got a lot of catching up to do 🙂 So where did Chester come from? You’ve got to send pics. How exciting for Lilly to have someone to boss around LOL the stairs and hardwood floors seem to be the only thing giving Harley issues at this time. He too is just as happy as can be. I am going to bring him back to work one-half day a week, don’t want him to feel completely left out as he watches Jax leave with me almost every morning. Hope you enjoy our crazy podcast – totally unrehearsed, just us talking, laughing, and sharing all we know about dogs!

  • Teresa LIVINGSTON
    January 27, 2022

    I have my 15 year old Berklee…she to has problems getting up and had her first potty accident in her sleep. I am lucky to be able to take her to work with me .
    She’s a loving and happy dog…I just want her to be happy In her Senior years

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 27, 2022

      I feel you Teresa. Watching them age can be a bitter-sweet experience. We can only love them with all our hearts and cherish each and every moment.

  • Madison
    January 27, 2022

    It’s hard to watch dogs get older. Katie was mom’s first real senior dog and she struggled with our wooden floors. We got the toe grips from Dr Buzby and they were amazing. Mom put them on and they fell off because she didn’t read and follow the directions. Once she put them on correctly, they stayed on for at least a week with no issues and they are easy to find with their bright colors. Katie wore them 24/7 with no issues. We will have them again if any of us start having traction issues. They are no invasive at all and so much nicer than shoes or boots. You should give them a try.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 27, 2022

      I shall check them out Madison. Thanks for the tip. As I wrote this blog post I thought of Katie – I remember her sweet smile…. Hugs to your mom.

  • Jennifer Myers Teston
    January 27, 2022

    My favorite boy!! I sure love him. Glad he’s yours and you are such a good advocate for him.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 27, 2022

      Hello Stranger – I intend to do every and anything I must to keep him healthy and happy. I will bring him to see you soon. Still training new pups…. Sending love and hugs

  • Debbie Matos
    January 27, 2022

    This is a God wink in my book. This information is what I needed at this time. Savannah who is our shelter rescue labradoodle is displaying some of the characteristics you mentioned. Since we do not know her exact age- when she adopted us the shelter guessed between 3-5 years and we have had her for 6 years-she is getting up there in age. Going to check on the booties and try your joint supplement. She is on Galiprant- but I would like to get her off of it soon.
    Thanks Again
    Debbie and Savannah Blu

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 27, 2022

      Hello Debbie – welcome to our hangout! Harley’s booties are due in tomorrow and I cannot wait to check them out. I will make sure to video his movements and post for all to see.

  • Tails Around the Ranch
    January 30, 2022

    It’s hard to watch our pets shift into to their senior years, especially large breeds. Looks like you found a winner on the slippery floors issue. I may need to order a set for Norman. You can only have so many area rugs, right? Well done and thanks for sharing your findings.

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 10, 2022

      If there was ever a product that I would tell you is a must for Norman, this would be that one! Harley is a different dog when he has them on. He walks with so much more confidence. I just don’t leave them on when we go to bed in the evening. It sounds dumb – but I think he would appreciate his paws free when he’s sleeping like I like my feet without socks on when I’m in the bed LOL Told you it was dumb 🙂 Let me know if you get them.

  • Cathy Armato
    February 8, 2022

    First of all. I love that you found the perfect Shiraz to get you through a difficult online shopping expedition LOLOLOLOL!! Secondly, both my dogs are in their senior season. My Husky Icy is siling through it really well at 12 (knock on wood!) but little Phoebe, 13 yrs old, is fightng health issues now. We don’t have any stairs in our home but those booties look great with the non stick bottom. I added joint supplements to their diet as well, at their age I think it’s essential.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 10, 2022

      Hey Cathy – Harley really didn’t start showing any signs until recently – he turned 13 in November and it’s been a different couple of months. When I am at work Lee said he sleeps most of the time, so I don’t worry about him not having his grippers on. When I am home I put them on and he is back to his old self. I don’t like for him to sleep in them (probably because I don’t like socks on my feet at night LOL). But all in all – he’s okay. We just love them so much don’t we?

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