Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Growing Older

If you read this blog with any regularity, you are familiar with my canine children. My doxies are old. Twelve years old. Oscar has always been the alpha male of the pack of animals here at the kampground. No democracy here, he has ruled his kingdom as a tyrant. He can be exasperating and annoying. He has been called many names ....... spawn of Satan and Osama are among them. I am quite sure he must think his middle name is Dammit. In twelve years we have yet to break his annoying habit of marking his territory.

His little wife-dog, Emmy is his polar opposite. Her sweet disposition and gentle nature makes her a favorite among my grandchildren. She broke her back at a young age and in her later years has become somewhat of an invalid. She has to be lifted onto the couch to sit next to me. She tolerates the indignity with as much grace and dignity as any regal being. She will remind me that she has been left out and I will rush to remedy the situation. Her whines can be annoying, but it is so easy to forgive such a sweet and tiny girl.

For about a year now Oscar has had trouble jumping up on the couch. He will whine loudly, but refuses to be picked up. His whine has to be the most annoying sound in the world. He is loud and obnoxious. He will approach and try and whine and cry. If I attempt to lean down and give him a hand up he will back off, out of my reach. If I get up and chase him (even Oscar will go only so far, as it will not end pleasantly should one run from me) and pick him up he will protest and wiggle the entire time. He has even jumped down to make another attempt to jump up. Like a recalcitrant toddler.

Oscar is as protective and loyal as he is annoying. He is fearless and will try to attack the largest of men or animal if he thinks his family to be in danger. He is a very handsome specimen and I love that dog. He is a one person dog and he chose me. Emmy is happy to accept the affection of all those who want to give it.

Just lately, I have noticed Oscar relinquishing his kingdom. He doesn't play catch with the same vigor. He was quite the canine athlete in his time and could not be outdone. I have heard the younger male dog give him a warning growl and have witnessed him backing down. It made me sad. He is now allowing the other dogs to dine along side him. Not too long ago, he would insist they all wait until he had culled all the chosen morsels before allowing the others to eat.

This morning when I brought my coffee to the couch to sit and man the laptop, he approached and made his presence known. Then waited patiently to be lifted to the couch. He has succumbed. He is old and he recognizes it. I picked him up and held him in my arms for a time. We had a talk while he licked the tears from face. I know what comes next and it makes me so sad.

15 comments:

Carol said...

I call this our "neutral" time, as in neutral, waiting for the inevitable. I cherish the neutral time, it sure beats the sudden loss of one of our partners. I did not originate the term, another dear friend who is in neutral with her fur kid did.

Brian Miller said...

oh i dont like to think about what is next...i have a cat, miko, that is def showing her age...she is 13 years old...she has perk up with the kittne coming in, but...

ellen abbott said...

oh. the bad part of having and loving animals.

Joanne said...

He'll be well petted, and will enjoy it.

Linda O'Connell said...

It is heart breaking, but he feels the love, I am certain.

labbie1 said...

Oscar is truly a cool dog as is Emmy! They are with us for such a short time but so much love is not to be missed!

joanne said...

Gracie goes in to have more fluid drained from her liver today...these are comfort measures only and we know what comes next. And it breaks our hearts.

Sandi McBride said...

You made me cry...and Caroline does not cry easily...get Oscar some Glucosine Chondroitin and see if it helps...Mamon gives it to our old Uncle Pye...because his joints hurt and it makes him better. Please do not give up on Oscar because 12 is not that old...Uncle Pye is soon to b 19...gentle hugs to Oscar
Caroline (One Cat Shy of Crazy)

Mamma has spoken said...

I totally understand what you are saying! After having to put two dogs down, I now have an older dog that I know that some day soon I'll have to make that decision on too. That's why I enjoy her more and more each day, even when she has 'mistakes' on the carpet.

Cathy said...

Hello Kathy
Oh how I hated and yet loved that time - for nearly 2 years our old burmese boy lived with all the love and attention we could give him so when 'that day' arrived I knew he felt loved and even more cherished than he had for the previous nearly 19 years.
Take care
Cathy

Cathy @ Still Waters

Cathy said...

Forgot to mention I've had some posting issues with Blogger so am now on Wordpress
You can find me here -
Cathy @ Still Waters

luksky said...

:(

Val said...

Oscar has lived a long and happy life. He's a canine octogenarian! In his younger days, I'll bet he was as cute as the little dachshund pup I saw this afternoon, standing on his hind legs trying to view his human daddy still inside the car after he got home.

Rae said...

My heart aches for you and Oscar. I know how hard it is to see your beloved friend get old and frail. They age too soon.

Rae said...

My heart aches for you and Oscar. I know how hard it is to see your beloved friend get old and frail. They age too soon.