Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dog Years Reflections

My dog is almost 17 years old. He only has to make it five more weeks. If he does, he'll be considered to be 119 years old in Dog Years.

Floyd is pretty much blind. I think that he can see some things but I'm not sure what they are. We have to lead him inside from the backyard because he gets lost out there. He also runs into walls and furniture and stumbles over shoes if we forget and leave them in the middle of the floor.

He sleeps a lot. A LOT. He whines more than I like. It's not irritating - it just makes me sad. There are a few things that help him relax. His floor fan is his comfort zone. It's just a cheap $20 box fan and it runs 24 hours per day. He usually sleeps right in front of it. Sometimes, he sleeps so close to the fan that I'm afraid his tail will get stuck inside. The next saving grace is Sara McLachlan or Nora Jones or Adele - any soothing female voice will almost instantly relax him. We also give him Benadryl at night with a little snack - it really helps.

Even though Floyd is blind and losing equilibrium, he still LOVES to eat. He can't eat hard food or dog treats anymore so he gets extra meals. Floyd eats breakfast, dinner and a late night snack. If he cries a lot at night, I also give him a little bowl of milk (this usually does the trick). He will do anything for fish - he gets salmon and tuna for treats and I think that he's in heaven when he does. This morning, when my husband made breakfast, Floyd got his Sunday egg over medium.

Floyd's toy box sits on the living room floor and it is filled with memories. Winnie the Pooh, Scooby Doo, Eeyore, a cow that moos, a small puppy named Charlie and a chipmunk among other stuffed animals. He will sniff his toy box once in a while but no longer plays with his toys. They are patient with him ignoring them and understand that the older you get, the more you just wish to be left alone.

Only pet people can understand how much our pets mean to us. I was 20 years old when I adopted Floyd from the Humane Society. I paid $40 for a family member who I never imagined would be a part of my family 17 years later.

My husband and I talk about Floyd dying. I think it is a way to prepare ourselves for the inevitable. We are thankful that Floyd has had a wonderful life - he was loved and traveled and went on many adventures. I can't imagine my life without him. I know that death is a part of life but it's so difficult to accept.

Until it is his time to go, I will give Floyd as much loving as he can stand. I kiss him and tell him that I love him. I'll do whatever I can to keep him at peace - even if it means stocking up on canned salmon and buying a new fan if this one ever breaks.

Here's a photo of Floyd on vacation many years ago:

Floyd on his first boat. He loved it!


And a recent one at home:

Floyd sleeping in a new spot.


4 comments:

  1. I think Floyd knows how much he is loved and how lucky he is to have you guys as part of his family and be a part of yours. He's still a very beautiful dog :)

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    1. Thanks, Jossie! I think so too - even if he's extra scruffy:)

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  2. Oh, this is so sweet. Pets really are part of the family. I love that you got him from the Humane Society. My DIL is a vet-tech and she says we should never buy pets from stores...there are so many needy pets in shelters and that are rescued. Most of the pets in stores are from puppy mills, which just overbreed for money. Sad. :-(

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    1. Adopting him from the Humane Society was one of the best decisions I ever made. Thanks!

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