I wonder if you think the world is awfully quiet these days. And do you feel sad that nobody talks to you? It is not that we don’t talk to you baby bear, it is simply that you cannot hear us. You spend most days resting your eyes and I watch your little furry chest rise and fall, fondly but with just a whisper of urgency, suddenly aware that one day I might glance over and see it still. Whilst most thirteen year olds are but young, canine teenagers are elderly and you, my once enthusiastic tennis ball chaser, are, all of a sudden it feels, in your golden years.
There are daily medications, not for anything too grave, but many nonetheless. There is an orthopaedic mattress and a special ramp leading up to the car boot but, just like a stubborn old man, you refuse them, side swerving the very notion of treading one paw on that ramp whilst the mattress lies redundant at the back of the cupboard, also entirely rejected. Your arthritic limbs slip on the wooden floor and sometimes I help you up (I am sorry I ever bought those silly grippy socks for your paws, you were right, they were embarrassing – the rugs are much better). For brief moments you forget yourself and indulge in a morning roll on the wet grass or tease the youngster with a playful bow, inviting a game, only to remember your years and walk away.
Your breath could melt a baby’s face and yet there is something comforting about it, to know you are still there. Your fur, once a proud and lustrous mane, is thinning and scruffy and most people cannot tell, do not worry, but I know your tiny white chin has crept up around your sweet, old face – actually it is rather distinguished – my silver fox.
I hope you are a happy dog. I have some dreams for you – more birthday fish dinners, more blissfully quiet days (I feel bad that we filled your once peaceful life with tiny, boisterous people), more paddles on the sea shore, more cuddles (the ones where I kneel on the floor and you wind your little body right around me)… I will always want more time with you.
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knit – Finnieston Clothing
belt – Zara
shorts – & Other Stories
chain necklace – Ottoman Hands
‘love’ pendant – Astley Clarke
That’s a beautiful post. I’ve got a lump in my throat reading it as my middle aged Golden Retriever lays at my feet.
They really steal your heart don’t they!
Your boy is gorgeous – enjoy all the snuggles in the sun x
They really, really do. Somehow they seem to grow old without you noticing too and then all of a sudden there they are, an old dog. Give your goldie a big hug from me.x
Wendy ❤️ This is the sweetest most heart-felt post! You’ve captured your love so beautifully. Brought a tear to my eye! Enjoy those cuddles.
Love, Monica x
Thanks Monica – I steal all the cuddles whenever he’ll let me.x
What do these dogs do to us We had to say goodnight to our old boy last month and we miss him dearly. Nothing quite like that unconditional love.
I’m so sorry Emma. Nothing can prepare you for that moment and just how much you will miss them. My first dog was a wee Sheltie called Skye – we got him when I was 10 and he was my best friend in the whole world. When he died, I truly didn’t get over the loss until we got Karhu many, many years later. Sending you lots of virtual love.x
What a lovely post, so beautifully written! You do have the most handsome dogs! x
Thank you Hannah – I do love both my handsome bears so much
Such a heart breaking post. It reminds me of the a once share my life with… I still have dreams, sweet ones, where we’re together. I pet his white, fluffy mane and we climb mountains. It’s amazing how a dog can understand us. Lots of love to you and to him.
They absolutely can understand us can’t they? They just know. How lovely to have those dreams – I have those too about lost loved ones and they’re always bittersweet to wake up from.x
This is so sweet Wendy! Reading this as I snuggle with my almost 12 year old lab with a wedge in my throat.
Thanks Trisha – lots of love to your lab.x
What a sweet post with your gorgeous senior dog! 🙂 I wonder if our no-longer-a-pup dog feels that – he certainly sleeps more but that might be beacause the kids never let him rest as much as he was used to being the only baby in the family, sleeping all the time. He used to wake us up each weekend, ha! Now he stays in bed as long as he can, which isn’t long before the kids get up! We are thankful to still have him around, he’s adopted so the shelter could only guess how old he was when he ended up there.
Hope you are having a nice weekend 🙂 We spent the day enjoying the sunshine outside at some parks, even if it was a bit windy!
Mica he sounds so sweet – Karhu used to also be the first one up and now it’s the same here, the kids beat the dogs every morning! Sounds like a lovely way to spend your weekend, enjoy.x
This was so lovely to read and I understood it all to well. I feel as if I could have written it myself. In April we lost our sweet 17 year old Westie. He came home with me when I was a child after years of begging for a dog. He was in my life for longer than he wasn’t and there will never be a better dog. I think it almost made it harder to lose him because he was a fixture of our lives for so long. There will forever be a Westie shaped hole in my heart but I am forever grateful for the 17 years of car rides, long walks, and sharing ice cream cones.
I am so sorry for you losing him – they do leave such a giant hole in our hearts. I know this is little consolation to you right now but know that this brown bear of mine filled the hole left in my heart after losing my childhood dog and best friend – a sheltie called Skye – he was my best friend growing up and also did love an ice-cream cone :). So glad you have those lovely memories.x
Oh Wendy, you’re making me cry, bringing up all the memories of my dog’s last year, never did get the grippy socks, I figured she’d hate them more than slipping, but I remember those moments too well, holding my gaze as she slumbered, just to make sure I could still see the rise and fall of her chest, wondering which birthday celebration would be the last, which outfit photos taken together would be the last. It’s so hard to watch them get old, and you just want to appreciate all the time you have together.
Chic on the Cheap
You sure do – I guess we really are the lucky ones getting to have them grow old by our sides, enjoying every moment of them with us. Oh, and you’re right, she would not have thanked you for the socks!
This is such a beautiful post. Where does the time go though? I’ve been reading your blog since 2012 when Mr K was quite the dog about town, and well, Tux wasn’t even a twinkle! They couldn’t have hoped for a more caring owner than you, and you I hope you all have lots of happy times together ahead of you and lots of lovely memories to be made. X
Thank you Marie that is so sweet of you – and wow, the blog only started in 2011 so you really have been here since almost the very beginning! I guess MrK was only 5 then… and, as you say, Tux not even a twinkle… Karhu has been here through it all.x