Sunday, September 8, 2013

Senior Dogs Make Me Smile

By Cal Orey
I love senior dogs. At the age of 10 (about 60-70 in human years), canines get you. Simon, my beloved Brittany and I have been together for a decade. We are bonded till death do us part.

You may have heard that humans and their dogs eventually begin to look like one another. Well, I admit I get low lights in my hair to match my boy. We both have chocolate brown eyes; and while he has a long nose, I have an oval face.

But our human-animal bond goes beyond looks. We are connected. He has been there for me for 10 years. Not to forget how my Simon has flanked me at book signings, and helped me to sense oncoming quakes in California (we have been featured on He has walked with me in the moonlight on snowy nights at Tahoe and to the Lake in the summertime. What's more, during tough times, he helped me raise another Brittany--our Seth, our boy--our family. We loved and lost him together. We grieved and moved on together.

And now we have a new pooch in the house that we are grooming and adore for getting us through it all.

Simon is my "rock".  He is strong. He is sensitive. He is smart. As a sporting dog girl, I have shared my days and nights with three beautiful Brittanys. Two of them were very close to me. Dylan, at the age of 5, fell victim to epilepsy. Actually, the grand mal seizures bonded us. I ended up writing a book about holistic remedies for "shaky pup"...And within two years he was seizure free. He lived a quality, active life to the age of 14.

Seth was not as fortunate. He, too, lived and loved a good life. But at the age of 6 a neurological disorder got him like the monsters that chased my Dylan. Sadly, like Seth, the fallen angel in "City of Angels" made a love connection with me but instead of falling to Earth to be with me--the angels rescued us in time of dire need. (I get that now, the angels did answer my prayers.) Seth made a departure to Dog Heaven--a better place even though I did not get to savor more time with my orange and white canine companion.

So, senior dogs, like Simon, are like humans in their golden years. They are wise. They are mellow. They are good. I appreciate his age. I feel like he is my husband, father, brother, and dog all in one. He is dog but with human qualities. So, for people who aren't sure about older dogs (and think back to wonder years of puppyhood), I ask you to reconsider all the positives of enjoying your aging canine. Lose the ageism and enjoy the best years of a good dog and good years with good health care: check ups, dental care, exercise, and love. Old(er) dogs are one of God's greatest creatures on Earth. Cherish your canine's mellow years like a fine wine.

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