Watching your pets age is a bear.
Those of you who have read here for a while know our dog, Butterscotch. She’s approaching 13 years of age, has Cushings Syndrome, and a very small heart murmur. Today she is having dental surgery, a surgery more on the routine side than the high-risk one, but with her age and conditions, it is in the modestly high-risk category. It is a necessary operation; without it the plaque on her teeth could infect the gums, her blood stream, and ultimately her heart, so it must be done. She’s in great and highly-skilled hands, and all precautions are being take, but it is hard not to worry.
She’s been showing her age more these last few months, or perhaps I’ve just noticed it more. Nothing dramatic…little changes, but noticeable. She used to run when I would (occasionally) put her on a flexi-lead in the fields, but she doesn’t do that anymore. When she does try to run, even for a short distance, she pays for it with fatigue and some arthritis. She limps for awhile after she’s pushed herself, and so I keep the walks closer to home than I used to. Just in case.
The stairs started getting difficult for her a year or so ago, and we put carpet runners on the wooden ones. That worked pretty well for a bit, but the stairs are back to challenging her. She likes to sleep upstairs with us, and she used to be on the bed non-stop, but now she finds it tough to climb up, and she won’t use the doggie stairs I bought. She prefers her dog bed and the floor more often these days. And someday…maybe not for a year or so…the stairs will be too much for her. I won’t like that at all. Neither will she.
Butterscotch is nowhere near death’s door, to the best of my knowledge. She’s just aging. (So am I, truth be told!) She still loves her daily walk, even if it is shorter and less intense. She never skips a meal, and would probably prefer a few more of them each day. She still gets up on the sofa and the bed when she wants to. She forgets all about her age when there’s something to bark at…unless she’s asleep, which happens a tiny bit more often than it did in the past. But she’s got some years left in her still, I think.
Still, it is hard to watch her get older. I’m gonna spend the next few hours thinking good thoughts for her and her surgeon, and will be glad to have her home tonight.