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)

My Photo
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 26, 2006

With a sound like Niagara Falls...

...Cooper's heart beats under my hand. For the first time, I can almost hear it. The beat is fast and hard. I hold him close. Gradually it slows and I wonder, "Is this it?"

There are so many times like this, so many times I wonder whether we're doing him any favors keeping him alive like this, on heart medications identical to those my beloved hubby takes. But my husband's heart doesn't rumble beneath my hand; nor does his physician put down his stethescope and say, "I almost don't need this." Our vet's trained ear can practically hear my dog's heart beating without benefit of instrumentation.

This picture shows Tessie and Cooper just a year or so ago, when Cooper weighed nearly 20 pounds. Back in September, he weighed 16.5 pounds. A week or two ago, 14.5 pounds. He's lost a quarter of his body weight in about a year. Yet his appetite remains strong, and when he's not sleeping (which is most of the time) he seems happy to be alive. So we've asked our sewing friend to trim his diapers back and make us some smaller ones...two dozen this time, since the Lasix seems to be working like gangbusters. That broad back you see in this picture isn't broad any more, but only about four to five inches at its narrowest. In a way that's good, because there's less pressure on his hips and he's much easier to carry -- and he needs to be carried a lot lately.


Post a Comment

<< Home