Maggie has owned us since Friday, March 11th 2005.
Her predecessor Barney was lost to us suddenly the Saturday before, aged 9. He would have been 10 years old that June.
My parents dogs always lived to be a good age, 15 plus, bar one which was very poorly before she was a year old and nothing could be done at the time. I don’t remember much about Kim apart from her being terribly travel sick and Mum had to walk her the two and half miles to the vet then come back alone on the bus.
Shortly afterwards we (Mum, my sister, cousin and I) came back from the pictures and a puppy was secreted under the table.
Mum was adamant she didn’t want it after Kim, refused to take her coat off, and us kids were told in no uncertain terms to leave it alone.
The pup worked its own magic into Mum’s heart though, was loved to bits and lived to be 17½.
For myself, any dog I’ve had in my adult life hasn’t lived to that kind of age and ten seemed to be the usual figure before losing them. When we got Maggie, I foresaw around 14 years as she was a first cross and both parents were young and healthy.
Apart from the current saliva gland issue which seems to be resolving itself now and a sore spot on her face where she’s been rubbing it periodically (I’m bathing that in warm salt water since discovery and it’s healing over though we are keeping an eye on it), Maggie’s in good health for her age, which is now fifteen.
Photo November 2019
Talking with other dog owners on our walks, some are elderly too and have similar issues to our furbaby in respect of joints and loss of their faculties.
We walked up to town this morning, taking a breather in the cafe before making our way back. Dogs were everywhere and I must have fussed at least 16 today. Walking her round the block this afternoon she had a spring in her step, but the occasional ‘slip’ in her back legs, but as always, I let her set the pace, and had she been in distress, I would have phoned Hubby to come and get us with the car. On bad days, we have the anti inflammatory medication on hand which helps take the edge off and she sleeps which is good because she is resting her joints.
I realise that we have less days in front of us with her than behind and although I try not to think about it too often, it hurts. The hearing’s going already, but the little jacket idea is working wonders as people give her space and make allowances when they approach to make a fuss of her.
Photo June 2018
The eyesight isn’t so hot now either, her peripheral vision is poor and distance undetermined which is why more often than not one of us will wear our yellow jacket so that she can see us and respond to our hand signals. The vet says there is a little cloudiness down to her age and not cataracts, so that’s a blessing.
Photo Dec 2018
Bless her she can’t cope with fast movements, puppies or playful dogs, so we are wary of strangers and explain that she won’t play, especially as she is more than likely to snap a warning which could be mistaken for aggression.
She was funny in the cafe today though. Sitting under the table out of the way, she’d been fed cake by us and was on alert as one of the staff collected the dishes and trays from those vacated. Sitting up, she tilted her head to one side and watched them carry the trays into the kitchen, knowing that the goody smells of bacon, burgers and sausages came from that direction. When the lady came out with a cloth and spray cleaner to wipe down the tables concerned, Maggie went up to her and nudged her pocket. We laughed and said she was on the lookout for treats. All that was on offer was fuss but Maggie was content with that.
She may be stiff in her joints, need a hearing aid and glasses, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with her nose.