Every Dog Has His Day

13 Jun


Our sweet dog Freckles, a thirteen and a half year old English spaniel, died last week. He had a good, long life.  He became part of our family when he was a wet-nosed, two month old puppy.

We were blessed to love him, and be loved by him. We miss him terribly. Dogs are special creatures capable of amazing loyalty and endless positivity!

The kindness of veterinarian Dr. Jonathan H. Salkind helped us at the very end: HolisticHomeVet.  Dr. John B. Winters is a great vet who took superb care of Freckles over the years.

Katrina Kittle‘s must-read book: The Blessings of Animals

Best selling book by Bruce CameronA Dog’s Purpose

From More.com – Loving Your Old Dog

Senior Care Doggy Style

by Barb Best

I live with a senior. He’s “up there now” at 91 years. He suffers from debilitating arthritis, shakes like a bobblehead doll, has frequent bouts of colitis and has (to put it kindly) profound nap issues. Although nearly blind, he navigates with his nose and his keen sense of smell. An untreatable fungus with mushroom-shaped growths has sprouted on the top of his once-handsome jet-black snout.

In human years he’s only 13. And, of course, he is a dog; a black-and-white spotted Springer Spaniel to be exact. If he were a human being at this age he would be bursting with vigor, his whole life ahead of him. Instead he is elderly and offers us middle-aged spring chickens many of the same lessons that aging (human) seniors do: patience, grace, dignity, acceptance, gratitude and unconditional love.

In his day, he was a party animal extraordinaire who chewed through a pair of designer sunglasses, an antique loveseat and a Thanksgiving turkey.

Gone is the frenetic puppy that attacked our toes ‘til we laughed and screamed, who snatched our ice cream cones out of our hands, whose warm body snuggled up on our pillows at night.

Gone is the hyper pup that attacked the plumber and the refrigerator repairman with sloppy kisses, who ran circles around the kids, who never met a food group he could resist, who jumped for joy at the sound of his name.

Gone is the noisy one, the constant barker. Present is the mellow one who no longer lives to fetch and play and eat, who is content to laze in the sun.

Today, a fifteen-minute walk in the neighborhood takes the better part of an hour. The pace is tortoise slow and his legs tremble, but the joy of social interaction remains invigorating and the discovery of fresh smells, the rustle of the leaves, the breeze in his face delights him. All in all, he is a happy camper.

I wonder if he get’s a senior discount on his meds? What lessons about life and death has he yet to teach our family? And – last but not least – do they make “Depends” for dogs?


4 Responses to “Every Dog Has His Day”

  1. Dawn@LightenUp! June 14, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    Oh Barb! So sorry for your loss! What a lovely piece about your dear friend, though. Hugs to you and yours!!

    • BARB BEST June 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      Thanks, Dawn! How’s the puppy doing?

  2. W.C. Camp June 14, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    A very wonderful account of a life well lived. Thanks for sharing. W.C.C.

    • BARB BEST June 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      Well put, W.C.! A life well lived.

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