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!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Is This The Day?

Is it love, or is it gorgonzola?
This isn't a good day from Cooper.
But while we worried, "Is this the day?"
and fed him bits of gogonzola,
his sister made sure no
piquant nibbles slipped away.

Cooper woke late this morning, agitated and looking every which way, with one eye so swollen I thought it might pop out. He ate eagerly, but kept his head cocked oddly and keep looking every which way. For the first time, ever, he is as weak in his front end as he is in the back. I gave him a warm, lying-down bath, cradled in my arms, in the kitchen sink. Then I wrapped him in warm towels and let him fall asleep in my arms, the two of us lying in a recliner. (This is the first time, ever, that he's done that, too. Lately he's enjoyed being swaddled and has been willing to sleep in the crook of my arm, but never in a chair like this.)
Post-bath, post-nap; I settled him into a wheeled cart so I could move him about as I did chores. This isn't right. He doesn't look right, sound right, or feel right. We see the vet at 4:00 today. Never has he had a day like this! I'm afraid this may be the day we've dreaded for so long.


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