There’s An Old Man In My Home

Ha Ha – fooled you. You thought this was another one poking fun of my husband Gary, didn’t you? The old man is actually my Doodles, just yesterday an energetic pup, and today he’s a14 year old poodle.  Doods kept a youthful demeanor throughout his entire life but in recent months has morphed into an old man.

He is acting like he is hard of hearing, and he sleeps like a corpse – impossible to wake up and then it takes him 5 full minutes to come around. He spends approximately 23 hours sleeping these days, most of them in that sound state I described above. (He goes to bed earlier than me in a spot in my bedroom. He used to wait for me to retire for the evening. No more.) Instead of his spry step, he’s walking like an old man. His cute bowled legs are moving slower.

He used to be a light sleeper and spent a good amount of time observing his family and the world around him. He used to look forward to awakening in the morning – springing up to greet me when I awake. Now much of the time he sleeps straight through my getting up.

When I get home, instead of greeting me by jumping off the couch, he sometimes stays sleeping, and if he does awaken, he wags his tail shyly at me and stays put. He rolls over for a tummy rub so he knows I will come to him, and maybe it uses too much energy to jump up and down off the couch.

At his last annual about a year ago, the vet commented about how youthful  and healthy Doodles seemed for a senior citizen. Maybe that was his cue to give in and become an old man. It’s just in the last few months though that these changes have occurred.

He has his good days and his geriatric days. He’s feeling okay I think, because he eats and drinks the same amount and isn’t complaining a bit. But who really knows.

He’s been slightly hard of hearing for a while and uses it to his advantage to do selective hearing. He’s had some accidents too. His anxiety is more pronounced – and especially when we leave town.

So of course I had to Google aging dog symptoms and every one of his behaviors is listed on a variety of sites. It’s nearly time for his annual checkup and I think I will pay the extra amount for the geriatric workup this time.

We lost his sister (Litter mate) Pebbles several years ago and she was the much livelier and social of the two. Still Doodles had quite a special personality – my favorite trait was when you spoke to him nose to nose he would move his mouth up and down like he was trying to converse back. (It was a riot watching his jaw and tiny black lips move like he was trying to talk) He was always a shy cuddle-bug and if I put him on my lap for cuddles, he would pin himself against my body and stay very still, completely zoned out. He could spend hours in what our family referred to his Zen Buddah pose.

Dogs and their personalities are all so varied and precious. It is sad to see them slip away like this. However, I will take the old man around the house over losing him any day.

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