In Praise of Elder Dogs

This blog is created in celebration of the elder dogs, of any breed, who've touched our hearts. You are invited to add your own reflections, or, if you wish, track the progress of your own elder dogs. ("Elder," BTW, is defined here as 10 years or more, except in breeds known for shorter lifespans, such as the Great Dane.) Send your stories and photos to me at branta(at)

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Location: Hunt, Texas, United States

I've been privileged to share my life with five unforgettable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. This blog was inspired by Cooper, my first, whose indominatable bright spirit triumphed over his limitations. Every day of his life, till the very end, he woke joyously, happy to greet the day. I would wish the same for all of us!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


It's happened again -- for a second night, at about the same time (~4:00 a.m.) Tessie's had another seizure. It's a "shallow" (my word) seizure again, without the heavy, rapid snoring of last night. But the foaming is the same, the staring, relatively little rigidity. I wrap her bottom in a towel (she's lost urine again, this time lots), set her on the bed and let it happen. When it's over, she who rarely wants to be held, rests in my arms. She asks to get down, paces a bit, then comes back to be held again. The pacing is less this time. At first her front legs, as last night, won't hold her. But she quickly regains her stance and paces more -- less than last night. Unlike last night, she keeps returning to me almost as a checkpoint. She wants to lie down, does so, then rises again to walk some more. Still, the pacing doesn't have the automotonic quality of last night. Throughout this morning's seizure, she seems less "possessed," more present. These two nights' seizures, while close in time (closer than ever before), seem somehow shallower, shorter than the previous ones. After about an hour of neurological oddity, she's ready, I think, to go back to bed ... and so am I.


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