Was it just a week ago I was lamenting Luke’s growing up, and I felt like I was totally missing the silly antics of a puppy? I couldn’t help but think about that yesterday morning when our senior beagle Cricket brought a ball up to bed when I woke up. She left and showed back up a few minutes later with the remnants of a fleece toy that had long ago been pulled apart. Luke had another piece of the same toy and the two of them passed the pieces back and forth, fought over them, and just generally made a big deal about what was basically just scraps of cloth at this point!
I shared one of those photos yesterday, but since they were taken with my phone, they didn’t come out the greatest. Next thing I know the dogs had all gotten up and went outside and I heard Cricket out there barking. Then she comes running in the house with the scrap of another “dead” toy that had been out in the yard in the dirt and rain for weeks. All of the sudden it was the greatest thing. She brought it back up to the bed so I followed her with the camera. She was having a ball with that thing.
I’m here to tell you that with the right motivation senior pets can still act like puppies; even an 11 year old girl with arthritis in both of her back knees. Cricket has been doing so well lately, we decided to cut her dose of Rimadyl (pain reliever) in half to see if she still does OK. It’s been about a week, and so far so good. If she shows any sign of a limp we’ll go back to her old dose. The meds are expensive, but more than that, I just want her to be on the lowest dose she can be so that if she gets worse later we can increase it without increasing the risks of side effects so much.
I don’t know if it’s the meds and supplements finally completely kicking in or the cooler weather but both Cricket and Sheba have been full of it lately (Sheba also has arthritis but she only takes Rimadyl on an as needed basis and she hasn’t needed any for a while now). Sheba has been chasing the ball more, and even bringing it back to us to throw again, which is something she rarely did. She and Luke are constantly chasing each other around the yard, and fighting over toys inside the house. My hubby actually had to tell Luke and Sheba to be quiet yesterday morning, just like they were kids. He was trying to watch the news and those two were carrying on barking back and forth over this toy!
Cricket usually calls it a day and naps for the rest of the evening after her supper, but Sheba is often up and going in and outside with Luke. I toss the ball for them occasionally up until it gets too dark. The only time those two seem to be tired is at the end of a weekend when they usually have a lot more play time.
If you’ve ever thought about adopting a senior but hesitated because you want a more active dog, you might want to rethink that. They can be active, it just sometimes has to be a bit lower key. If you aren’t looking for all that activity, a senior pet doesn’t mind taking a day off. Our girls don’t want to take one off (and rarely do), but if we get rained out of playing outside, they won’t act up like our 2 year old Luke. They don’t have to be entertained quite as much, but if you want to play; they can be up for it. They can be silly and fun and make you laugh just as much as a puppy or young dog can.