By Monday, November 26, 2018 17 No tags Permalink

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.


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.


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.


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:

  • cancer
  • heart
  • kidney 
  • liver
  • diabetes
  • joint / bone
  • senility
  • weakness

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.


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 ❤️

  • Rich Henriques
    November 26, 2018

    Dear Cathy,

    I’m glad to hear Mr. solid still enjoys playing.Rich

    Teddy, 77 pound Goldendoodle, turns 4 in January and enjoys playing with our daughter’s Labradoodle until both are panting on the porch

    Merry Christmas


    • Cathy Bennett
      December 15, 2018

      Hey Rich – Merry Christmas to you!
      Teddy is four years old too? Jaxson turns four on New Years Eve. It’s close to being inconceivable actually. Hope you have a Doodle of a holiday season with family, friends and of course – Doods!

  • Cheryl
    November 26, 2018

    Happy Birthday Harley! Here’s to many, many more!

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 15, 2018

      Thank you Cheryl – I hope he lives forever…..

  • My GBGV Life
    November 26, 2018

    Just show them lots of love, sneak in extra treats and cuddles, and give them special time to do what they want. Emma loved certain walks more than others, and Mom made sure to take those walks more often. Happy Birthday, buddy, and we all wish you many more! You are a perfect ten!

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 15, 2018

      I’m starting to take a page out of your book – I want to do special things with just Harley, That way he doesn’t have to compete with and keep up with Jaxson.

  • Mayra Ruiz-McPherson
    November 27, 2018

    Dear Cathy, sending you and Harley much love and warmest birthday wishes for his 10 years of age milestone! I can’t believe he’s been with you that long already wow …. how time flies xoxo

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 15, 2018

      I can’t either. Seems like yesterday. It’s difficult to remember life without him actually. But even though he’s ten, I bet he could still hop up in your office chair and work at your desk like he did so many years ago….

  • Monika & Sam
    November 27, 2018

    *♪ღ♪Happy★Birthday, dear Harley! ♪ღ♪* It’s hard to wake up one morning and POOF…that ‘puppy’ is now limping or straining to get up. Sam turned 13 last month and is now acting more like a retired gentlemen rather than a teenaged pogostick. I started giving him glucosamine with MSM to help those aging joints about 5 weeks ago and have been giving him CBD for any potential inflammation. It seems to help, as he’s bouncing around in anticipation of morning walk-abouts. Hope you’re recovering well from your accident and everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.

  • Ruby, Rosie and Teddy
    November 28, 2018

    Happy Birthday Harley! Ruby is also about 10 or maybe a little older …and she’s also a little thick. We are working on that!

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 2, 2019

      Oh noooooo – not “thick?” We had a similar problem a few months ago. Apparently Harley has been able to con Doodle Dad into giving him extra breakfast after I leave for work. I’ve stopped that and gotten a little stingy with the treats – I believe we are back to our original desired weight now. Hugs to Ruby 🙂

  • Shadow's & Ducky's Mom
    November 28, 2018

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARLEY!!! Ten years old? Goodness, you certainly don’t look it! Knowing how dedicated your Mom is to keeping you happy and healthy, you’ll live another ten years.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 2, 2019

      Thank you so much – how are you? did you have a fabulous holiday?

  • Lindsay
    November 29, 2018

    Happy belated birthday handsome boy!

    I become more painfully aware daily that my two are seniors. Baxter is still that goofy, silly 2 year but my Charles, he’s always been the Grandpa, distinguished gentlemen of the two… But I’ve seen age a lot in the last couple of years. I can’t believe Baxter is going to be 11 in January and Charlie will be 12 (!!!!!) next May. Where does the time go?!!?


  • caren gittleman
    November 29, 2018

    Happy Happy Belated Barkday!!!! We have that same bed, isn’t it fabulous? I know how you feel, Dakota is turning 12 this year…….where has the time gone?

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 2, 2019

      Dakota is twelve???? OMDoodle – he looks fabulous 🙂 Yes, where did the time go, they were puppies when you and met in Northern VA at the Blog Paws Conference. Happy New Year Caren….

  • Jan K
    December 3, 2018

    Happy Belated Birthday, Harley! I think it is great for senior dogs to have younger siblings. When we added Luke to our family, both girls were 8 years old. Luke got them to be much more active, and I think it was good for them.
    The girls both had arthritis, but they seemed to know their limits, and Luke always respected that. I have many photos of he and Sheba just playing bitey-face while lying on the floor.
    Cricket would also play with him, more after Sheba was gone, and she would let him know if he was pushing too hard.