Old Dog

Dusty is suddenly old. He was a young 13 two weeks ago and now he’s an old 13 (which is to say, 13). Dogs his size and the two breeds he seems to be made of have much shorter average lifespans than that. He’s restless and frightened at night. He can’t see. He’s scared (his basic nature) a lot of the time.

Tonight he’s kept me awake at night pacing on the hardwood floors, panting, looking for me. He has challenges controlling his bowels that he never had before. I don’t want to drag this out, either.

I know where this ends. I know it’s considered wrong to jump the gun. We have to wait until he can’t move under his own power and is urinating and pooping everywhere. I hate this dilemma. But we’ll visit the vet this week and see if there’s relief for Dusty’s nighttime anxiety.

Then we’ll see. He’s been a hard dog to love since the beginning, but I do love him. His early puppyhood trauma left him scared and aggressive (sounding). He was hard to train and ultimately needed a professional to see that he was properly socialized and calm enough, in general, to ride in a car or go for a walk. I also don’t think anything or anyone has ever loved me as much as Dusty does.

I’ve drugged him (mildly) hoping we can both get some sleep now. I’m very tired from my trip to Colorado Springs. I slept badly Sunday night and went to bed early tonight (9!) and went right to sleep, to be awakened by Dusty pacing and generally freaking out.

Anyone who rescues a dog from a shelter (which I highly recommend) could face a challenge like Dusty T. Dog. Some dogs are just easier than others.

He’s lying here at my feet, finally calm. I don’t know if it’s the drugs finally kicking in or whatever was disturbing him has stopped. It might have been the sprinklers (which switched on about the time he started pacing and I have now turned off) or maybe it was a bad dream. There’s no question in my mind that dogs have more access to our thoughts than we to theirs.

He’s finally asleep. Dare I? ❤


17 thoughts on “Old Dog

  1. It is so hard when our furkids suddenly get old. It is the hardest, yet kindest decision we have to make. I’ve had to make this a few times and have also learned that you can let things go too long. Hope you both get some sleep

    • Thank you. I wish they just didn’t SUDDENLY get old. I put down my Aussie this past spring, one day she was pretty ok for an old dog and the next she had a stroke. It so sad for me and scary for her.

  2. Such a difficult moment… What you say is so very true, though: they do seem to have more access to our thoughts that we to theirs. ❤

  3. Martha, I once had a little dog with dementia. She used to go round and round in circles. And stayed up much of the night because she didn’t seem to know night from day anymore. She was put on some medication to help her cognitively and it did seem to work. I’m afraid I can’t remember the name for it.

  4. Aw, Dusty. Our dog suffers from anxiety to certain scents, that we cannot smell, and I know how hard it is to comfort them; next to impossible. I hope he and you got the rest you needed.

  5. “I know where this ends”–that so saddens me, Martha. Reminded of my dogs toward the end. It is so hard. Poor Dusty–I hope you both get some rest.

  6. We are dealing with much the same with Bonnie but at least she isn’t frightened … yet. She is, however, unsure and hates going outside, so cleaning up after her is getting to be a big deal. We don’t know what to do, either.

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