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!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Signs of Head-Rubbing

I'm not proud of these photos as evidence of my housekeeping prowess (or interest), but it seems appropriate to share them. I didn't realize the extent of Tessie's head-rubbing until I noticed that the back of our couch, adjacent to an outer corner of wall and woodwork, was in perpetual need of cleaning and vacuuming. As a test, I left the wall uncleaned, the woodwork unscrubbed, and the couch unvacuumed for a few weeks. (Uh, months.) This is what I saw: brown goo on the wall and woodwork, and dog hair embedded in the couch -- so deeply embedded, even masking tape hair lifters didn't work as well as I'd hoped.

The photos told me that Tessie was rubbing the right side of her head far more, and more often, than I thought she was. Watching her more closely now, I have the sense that her head pain comes and goes. It's probably always present, but sometimes it seems to be worse than others.


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