Our dog, Jester, is a Keeshond. She is 12 years old, and she is feeling her age. We are working hard to make her last years with us comfortable, and she is rather enjoying her premier status. Although she does take advantage of it more and more.
Right from the beginning as a puppy she was never an inside dog. That coat sheds and sheds, both hair and dirt. So when we moved into our new house, our biggest change has been having her live permanently inside. The cleaning is sometimes overwhelming, but not impossible. The mud with all the winter rain has made things a little more challenging, she has had to get used to having her paws washed after her morning and evening “constitutional”.
We keep her fit and healthy as much as possible by giving her some Arthritis supplements, a green lipped mussel concoction made especially for dogs, and normal human fish oil capsules which she loves like lollies. Her food is made at home, boiled pearl barley mixed with equal amounts of cooked vegetables – potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, carrot, whatever we have most of in the fridge, with a healthy dash of olive oil and a clove or 2 of garlic.
What has amused us the most about her antics lately is the intelligence she shows. She knows which door she goes in and out from. When she wishes to go outside (she eats her breakfast in 2 or 3 sittings now), she simply positions herself in front of that door until someone pays attention to her. She knows perfectly well that silver thing halfway up the door is how it opens, she will look expectantly up at it waiting for your hand to reach it, timing it just right so she always gets through the door before you.
She loves dinner time, and will slowly work her way from the outside of the kitchen bench, down to the middle of the kitchen floor, so you end up chopping vegies standing straddled over her. She watches my movements at home, and will wait until she sees me settle at the table to eat, or on the lounge for a rest, and will come and sit at my feet for a nap. She will be most displeased if I disturb her and don’t stay there long enough, and will then come and follow me to where I might sit next. I catch myself staying somewhere much longer than I planned, just so I won’t wake her up.
Her joints are failing, her eyesight is slowly going too, but she is so full of fun and life, and I just wanted to capture some of that forever. We are well aware that due to some health concerns her time with us will be limited, but we are spending that time making her feel like she’s the princess that she is.
I know I’m not the only one out in the blog lands that has a furry member of the family that makes you feel like this…. I’d love you to tell us something smart or funny that your dog has learnt over the years.
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Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
We finally had to put down our two old farm dogs this year – at separate times, but when they had reached the stage where they couldn’t walk any more. Harold and Maude.. We got them within two weeks of each other, both were yellow labs, and constant companions for us and each other for almost 16 years. That’s a pretty ripe old age for dogs. Now we still have Chester, who’s 6 and still going strong. 90 lbs of Chesapeake, but submissive to the housecat..
16 years! That’s a fantastic innings for dogs, you must have taken excellent care of them. Rofl about your 90lb dog – cats have a way of getting their own way, don’t they!?!
Oh this is such a fabulous post Cass, what a gorgeous girl Jester is. My mum’s oldest girlfriend who they are still friends today over 50 years later, they used to have a dog like Jester. I haven’t seen one since so it’s like looking at Kimba all over again seeing these photos. Anyway, I was going to say it’s hard when they are getting old isn’t it? You know how I feel about my old Molly girl. At 14 she is classed as geriatric. Honestly she’s becoming like the old lady in the room, she groans very loudly and then kind of chews her mouth together in a slapping sound. Most unladylike!
Lucky on the other hand does was Jester does. He sits a the door and just watches and waits, never barks, just to let us know he’s ready to go out. More often than not though he doesn’t go out, he’s just letting us know that the cat is on the other side waiting to come in. Funny things they are.
Carol you made me LOL…. They are funny things indeed. Lucky is very clever, and Molly and Jester are at that same delightful stage. She lays there making licking noises and snuffling away, very un-ladylike, especially for a grand old dame!