Saturday, February 5, 2011

older dogs still need love and attention

An older dog can be a loyal companion and friend, yet will need additional attention to potential health issues involving cataracts, bone problems such as arthritis, hearing, to mention just a few. This is not to say that younger dogs don't have these or other health problems because they do. But for an older dog, even so-called minor problems can become a big deal, just as they would for an elderly person.

At the same time, an older dog will likely survive that much longer with love and affection. It shouldn't make any difference what health issues he or she may be experiencing. Such a dog is and always be a good friend.

The older dog that comes to my mind is Princess, a mixed breed "mutt" that my sister gave to my father years ago. That dog went nearly everywhere with my dad and enjoyed riding as a passenger in his van. She'd sit up and quietly observe as my dad drove. As she aged, Princess reached a point at which she could barely get in and out of the van without some assistance, which my dad always provided. She never barked or acted aggressively toward him or anyone else. A short time later, Princess passed away from natural causes and my dad had her remains cremated.

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