Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 1210 - Aging Pets

Max our gorgeous blond Lab is not getting any younger.

Maxwell TP The First - our blind dog
He is twelve and a half years old, with arthritis and is fully blind.  Yes, our "seeing eye dog" requires a seeing eye human.  He doesn't actually need glasses of course.  That's just for your benefit. Isn't he cute!

Having an aging, blind arthritic dog means he requires quite a bit of additional care and lots of attention.  Particularly in the heat of our summer. There are days we leave him indoors with the air conditioning on while we head off to live our life.

Yesterday was a particularly tricky day.  It was over 30 degrees, he had gastro, we were going across town to an Australia Day party, and we didn't want to come home to a house full of doggy diarrhea. It was too hot for him to be outside, but he needed access to the grass to relieve his bowels.  We thought of leaving the umbrella up for him outside to provide loads of shade, but there was 95% possibility of a torrential thunder lighting wind storm so leaving him outside was even more of a problem. The umbrella would fall over and could end up going through our windows or French doors.

Perhaps I should stay home?  No says Derek.  We'll work this out.

We decided to give him options. We found the grey area ...

I cooked him rice and boiled chicken to sooth his tummy and bowels. We left him inside and barricaded him so that he couldn't leave the tiled area (lest there be poo accidents).  We also left the French doors open to the back deck so he had access to the outside world.  (Yes robbers, our house was left completely open. New TV anyone?) We put the air conditioning on.  We left the umbrella up so that he had a shaded walk outside. We took the iPad to watch the weather radar on line so that we could get home before the storm hit and not only save our windows but also sooth a freaked out pet.  Thunder? Gastro or no gastro, he would shit himself.  It worked perfectly. We were home before the storm (with 20 minutes to spare) to a clean house and a happy waggy dog.

And that's where our life with Max is at right now. Our beautiful-waggy-tail-smiling-gay-forever-puppy Labrador no longer jumps, runs and goes all hip gyratey in the presence of other male dogs, but has become a tender and very precious pile of old. We love him more right now than we ever did.  He doesn't have long to go.  He may not even live out the year.  So we're going to make bloody sure it's the most affectionate year of his life.


  1. Owww bless what a loved and looked after pooch. He is a huge part of the family and Im sure hes going to give you a year of love and affection too :)


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