Old Dog comments

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

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Peter Parker

King Peter- Parker
Barked: Mon Feb 17, '14 9:59am PST 
Hi palswave
So, I was walking Peter this morning and these 2 little old ladies were walking by and one of them saw Pete and said "wow, he's an old man". It caught me off guard and maybe I shouldn't have taken it so hard but usually we hear things like "how cute" or "beautiful doxie", ect. But, this past year I've noticed I am getting a lot more of these old dog comments and they really hurt my heart cry
I suspect these people are not trying to intentionally hurt my feelings. And I'm quite sure I am just being extra sensitive because Peter is my first dog and I have had him since he was 1. He's been through everything with me. Divorce. Death. Job loss. All kinds of family issues and health issues. He is my whole heart.
Everything I do revolves around this little dog.
So, in short, how do I get around these comments? I KNOW he's 12, and our time is limited. I know we have less time, than, more time. I know in a few short months he will be 13. He's slowing down, he's graying, his arthritis is sometimes bad, he's had back surgery, he's had some recent eye issues, the list goes on.
And my heart. It hurts when I hear those words.
At PetCo during Christmas there was a young couple, maybe in their early 20's with a doxie puppy. Beautiful little puppy. And I had Pete in the basket with his blankie and they just stared and said "whoaaaa, he's old". I could barely keep it together to pay for my goods before I ran to the car so I could cry. I cried the whole way home....
So, those of you that have seniors of have had seniors in the past, how do you take these comments? What should I say? and more importantly, how do I make myself not fall apart when hearing them? hug
Savannah Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
Barked: Mon Feb 17, '14 12:54pm PST 
I know that must make you feel bad. I worry about Samoa when people make those remarks, even though he isn't actually old - just has a white face. But it kind of makes you think about their mortality.

Give that dear Peter a hug.


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Mon Feb 17, '14 1:15pm PST 
I got some downright hateful comments in the last year of Sabs life, and every one was a knife to my heart. But the old dog comments, don't take those to heart. I used to return those with 'still a pup at heart' or 'shhh, she doesn't know she's old'.
I know what you are feeling, but think instead of how great old dogs are. The wisdom, the peace. All those years of training you to be the person he wanted are finally past, he knows your every move and anticipates your every need.
Puppies are fun, but old dogs are the best. Enjoy him.


Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Mon Feb 17, '14 1:25pm PST 
Ty gets comments like that all the while too, not because he is old, but people always assume he is because of his grey face. It doesn't make me upset, but I understand where you're coming from because I was offended with one woman's comments once. We was at a show and this woman commented on how depressed he looked, that he had a really sad face. She was on this stall full of dog toys and she proceeded to grab a stuffed toy and try and entice Ty to play. He stood there looking less then impressed. She asked me if he was a rescue dog and when I said no, she went on to say "oh. Because you know, you can never know if they've had an abusive past". I was just like, woah! What you on about? I was explaining to her the entire time that he just looks that way. I don't know whether she was too familiar with sighthounds, but they do often look sad and have the "woe is me" look mastered.

It's hard seeing our dogs get older. Missy is 11 now and you do find yourself mulling over the years spent together and hoping for many more years to come. It's hard I know, but I'd try not to let those comments get to you. Doxies can live for a long time, 17 years is not unheard of, so maybe next time you could just say "yeah, he's getting older but with a lifespan of 17 years, he's still one of the young'uns" wink
Peter Parker

King Peter- Parker
Barked: Mon Feb 17, '14 7:21pm PST 
Savannah, thank you my friendhughug

Sabihug I agree, about old dogs are better. Me and Pete are so in tune. It took us years to get here. I know when he's not feeling good and he knows when I am not feeling well. He reads every emotion of mine with perfect clarity. Sometimes I sit and stare at him in a stupor, like, how can this little creature love me so much and me him? I've always felt sorta proud to meet old dogs, you know, like it somehow was a testament to the owner for taking such care, such patience. I know some dogs don't reach old age because of illness and cancer and those things happen and are unfortunate, but I just feel like there is something special about old dogs.
I just feel like some people don't actually think before they speak, you know? Like I would never tell someone "whoaaaa, your dog is old". I just never would.
I like the "still a pup at heart", that's how Pete acts sometimes, on a good day and it makes my heart sing! hug

Missy, aw, I know what you mean about the "woe is me" look! I was a dog bather for 7 years and I got to bathe and brush so many pretty dogs and we had a Borzoi, sighthound I believe he is, and he had that experssion all the time. Greyhounds do too.
I bet Ty was just like "get me outta here" with that lady waving a toy in his face! Some people are just weird when it comes to dogs...
You are right about some doxies making it to the older side of senior. I've known a few, we had a doxie named Raisin that was 16 years old. I notice Poodles, Shiht-zu's and Bichons all make it to really old ages too.
Hopefully, we will be one of the lucky ones that get to enjoy that many years with our best friends too hughughug

Awesome Dog
Barked: Fri Feb 21, '14 11:45am PST 
Risa's been getting comments like that for ages because of her premature greying. Granted, she is much greyer now and she IS actually "old" now as well. But she doesn't act it.

Whenever people comment about her age, I always reply "Yeah but she doesn't act it!" Which is true. She doesn't act like a stereotypical 10 year old medium-sized dog. But she has slowed down a little bit and she does get sore easier than she used to. She also has some arthritis. But she's still young, spry and occasionally gets mistaken for a puppy. smile

The only time I got offended when someone called her old was after her cancer diagnosis (though she should be free-and-clear, thankfully!). After telling them it was a mammary carcinoma, they said "Well, she is old." That really hurt. I know she's older and these sort of things can happen. It just felt tactless.

She is my first dog as well and thinking of not having her crushes my soul. I totally feel where you're coming from. It will be a very dark day in my world when I lose her. It does make me cry sometimes. I would have to be pretty cold to not! I love her with all my heart and we've been through so much together as well. But I try not to let the opinions of others cloud my view of my spectacular friend. No one knows her like I do. If they want to judge her, that's fine. They're simply naïve and uninformed. And sometimes they're just trying to strike up a conversation and aren't quite sure how. smile I try not to let it bother me too much.

And those sighthounds are definitely masters of the "woe is me" look. I know Risa has it down pat!!! (Though she also has an amazing smile.)

Edited by author Fri Feb 21, '14 11:47am PST


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Feb 22, '14 12:22am PST 
Risa, that's absolutely horrible that someone would say that to you. I would have flipped.

I was lifting Sabi into the car one day and some woman told me 'that dog should be dead, you are a horrible person' I totally lost it! I went completely nuts at her screaming and telling her I'd rather kill her, not my finest moment.

Awesome Dog
Barked: Sat Feb 22, '14 4:43am PST 
Awwww poor you and Sabs! That's a pretty uncalled for statement.

It was a pretty rough moment. Especially since it came from one of our training class classmates. Anyone who's seen Risa work knows she doesn't act like an old dog.

As much as it hurt inside, I didn't let her know it. I hope she didn't mean it the way it sounded.

Wishing For Snow
Barked: Sat Feb 22, '14 10:44am PST 
In my breed being old is a huge deal. I think anyone with a Berner would be more than happy to hear an "old dog" comment.

So rather than be hurt by those comments be proud and grateful that you have an older dog to enjoy time with.

Edited by author Sat Feb 22, '14 10:46am PST

Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
Barked: Sat Feb 22, '14 10:11pm PST 
I used to get those comments a lot with Ginger because she started getting white in the face when she was about 3-4 years old. I usually just ignored it, or when she was younger I'd tell them her actual age. The worst was a "friend" of mine when Ginger was 12 and was sick (cancer) he said why don't I put her to sleep and get a young dog. shock confused I was so shocked, I mean he knew Ginger for years and always was nice to her so how could he say that? She was my heart dog. silenced

I didn't get those comments with my other dogs really, though. Pooch didn't really act or look different when he got older so no one realized even when was 12-14. Being a terrier he was always active. He got a few white hairs around the eyes and muzzle but not really enough that people would notice.
With Bianca, people always thought she was a puppy for some reason. Then again she never got much grey. Once someone at the pet store asked her age and I said "7" and they said "Oh, 7 months?" They were so surprised when I said no, 7 years.
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