As every gangster movie has shown, gambling is bad for you. In our book, puppies are for risk takers, while senior dogs are kind of a sure thing and a good bet.
One year ago we discovered that our dog was diabetic. It was a huge surprise to us. She ate well, we avoided processed people food, she wasn't fat and she got regular exercise. Our early warning sign was her sudden increase in water consumption.
When she kept up the excessive water drinking so that we were taking her out to pee every few hours, we knew something was wrong. My elderly father had developed diabetes a few years ago, and his sudden increase in thirst had been a big sign to all of us to push him to get tested. The signs of diabetes are similar for pets and people.
What's so great about Cleo?
This Shepherd-Husky dog is a force of nature. From day one, she demanded that we participate in her life, and in return, seven years on, she etched herself into ours. As a senior dog Cleo is slowing down, but her personality remains at full tilt.
Kittens and puppies can be a lot of fun, but they can also stress out their owners and cause some sleepless nights.
While the Panhandle Humane Society wants to see all its shelter animals find forever homes, Cathy McDaniel, executive director, said it has a number of older or senior dogs and cats that often get overlooked when someone comes in to adopt a pet.
McDaniel said they often have people come in looking for a senior pet that is still playful, but doesn’t have the high energy level of a puppy or kitten. Plus, she said, an older animal is more likely house-trained and can adapt easier to a home because it’s used to that environment.
I'm happy to be again contributing to Pet 'Net Adoption Event 2012 sponsored by Petside.com. This is the fifth year Petside is linking bloggers together celebrating pets as part of the family, and encouraging adoption.
Last year I wrote about my new life with a senior dog. Now that Cleo is well into her golden years, she continues to change my life and I gain wisdom daily. It has been a gift to experience everyday life for the first time through the eyes of an old dog. I don't know how this adopted dog is able to give fearlessly to me an unending amount love, especially when I am giving her an insulin injection twice daily.
Editor's note: Visit the Pet 'Net Hub Page to read special adoption-related content from all the participating participating blogs.
I don't always know what she is going through, but her patience with me can be humbling. From the first obvious changes to her mobility and diet due to her advancing years, I've been learning to have more compassion for my elderly mother and father. When she bumps into chairs or gets lost in the house because her vision is too poor, my heart swells when I call out "Cleo" and her face lights up with joy and recognition. I'm like a mother with a toddler, cheering her on as she hustles directly to me.
Today with her limited eyesight, she struggles to find a toy to chew and squeak out her frustration after smelling another dog on my pant legs. But once she does, look out! Even with a few teeth, she squeaks that toy loudly, showing me how much she has missed me and loves me.An adopted dog gives you an indescribable measure of love
"For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog." ~ Roger Caras
This is one of my favorite quotes, because it reflects how it has been since we adopted Cleo. The amount of love that our dog has given us for the past seven years is indescribable, and without measure.
The musician Fiona Apple recently shared on Facebook that she would be canceling her tour in order to stay home with her dying dog Janet. She wrote,
"I know that she's not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people. But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go. I just can't leave her now, please understand. If I go away again, I’m afraid she'll die and I won't have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out."
Like many people, these words touched me. Our dog Cleo has been with us seven years, but it feels like forever. She is completely incorporated into our lives. Given she was already about three when we adopted her, it now feels like the aging process is speeding up for Cleo. It's difficult for me because I'm not ready for her to "stop being a dog" as Fiona puts its.
However, it is Thanksgiving Day, and my reminder to focus on the positive rather than my worries.
Ever wish you could feed your pet from afar? Meet Pintofeed, a device that lets you feed your pet using your smartphone.
Once connected to the wireless network in your home, you can activate the feeder from anywhere using a mobile app. Feedings can also be automated. T
How is it my older dog seems to know when I need quiet time with her? She can sense when my need for affection is front and center. What if you're feeling a little low on affection, where do you turn?
This month is about celebrating senior pets, and I'd add, celebrating the love of a senior dog.
Former Mayor Willie Brown and 49ers running back LaMichael James will unveil the 26th Annual San Francisco SPCA Holiday Windows at 5:00pm today!
Each year the SF SPCA fills Macy's holiday windows with adoptable animals, and last year was the most successful yet: more than 325 animals found homes and $80,000 raised.
Come on out to Macy's Union Square, on the corner of Stockton and O'Farrell to start the holiday season with a grrrrrr and a purrrrrr.
It isn't Thanksgiving yet but I'm ready to give thanks! Typepad, where we host this blog, gave Grouchy Puppy an unexpected Featured Blog status recently. What a nice surprise, thank you Typepad editors!
If you look at the screen shot above, they wrote some awfully kind words about why they think you will love reading this blog every day.
Before I take Cleo out for a walk in the 'hood, let me say that I'm very thankful for you. It means a lot to know that after two years, readers enjoy our message enough to keep coming back for more, and that you also share it with your friends and family. Thank you.
Editorial note: If you miss our daily posts or prefer to get just the highlights in your inbox, we now have a monthly newsletter we deliver straight to you. Sign up at the top of the page, or use the tab on our Facebook wall.
All the best,
- Sharon (and Cleo too!)
"Give Fearlessly. Influence Positively."
Can senior dogs get overwhelmed from birthday wishes?
We feel lucky every day that we brought home this @grouchypuppy from the @sfspca. She's our good luck charm. From day one, she has been busy giving more than receiving.
Join us in celebrating Cleo's homecoming with us. Share her with your friends and family.
Join our special 25th Anniversary fundraising for Pets Are Wonderful Support. They're a wonderful privately funded San Francisco nonprofit that has spent the last 25 years preserving and nurturing the human-animal bond.
All our thanks,
- Sharon and Cleo
Living in a state and a city prone to earthquakes, let's take a moment, and thank all the people and agencies who are there to help us during a natural disaster. Anyone remember San Francisco in 1989, during the World Series? I do. I will never forget what it was like during, and after, that devastating quake.
Today as I watch the newest storm hit the East Coast, it seemed like the right time to stop and recognize first responders and search dogs working post-Sandy. We didn't have a dog in 1989, but I know how easy it is to become separated from your pet in a flash. And how scary.
We're celebrating 84 months with Cleo, our adopted dog. I prefer to calculate our time together in months because in a good way it feels like forever, and eighty four is bigger than seven. The number seven seems way too short and brief.