June 13, 2011

We Could Learn A Thing Or Two...

There is just something so wonderfully sweet about an old dog. Kes will be fourteen in November. She's already lived a long life for a Labrador retriever who spent her younger years working.

Kes can't hear as well as she used to, or perhaps she has just decided that it's not as important to come when I call her now. She might have another agenda that she doesn't care to share, but that's really alright with me. Perhaps I'll learn something new by following her for a change.
She's always watching, even with eyes that don't see as well as they used to. I might drop something that she'd care to eat, or maybe she'll see me grab her lead, which means I'll offer to take her for a ride in my car, or we'll head out for "walkies". Her legs are stiff and arthritic, but that doesn't stop her from wanting to take a little stroll. There are still so many things in this vast world that she wants to smell.
Kes still rolls her toys across the floor and chases them. She's not as steady on her legs as she used to be, but that never stops her from wanting to play. When I return from a night out with the girls or a trip to the grocery store, she pops up from her "waiting place" in the hall and runs to me with her tail wagging. "Where have you been?", she'll ask. "I've missed you." She's always rewarded with a "Hi, Kessie Bear. I've missed you, too." and a pat on the head.

Dogs are blessed with a "live in the moment" mentality. They don't feel sorry for themselves over something that happened yesterday, or lament aches and pains. They don't hold grudges. They don't mourn losses. They love unconditionally - always.

Having an old dog isn't easy. It's getting up in the middle of the night when she needs attention. It's lifting her when she falls. It's crying when she doesn't feel well, and it's fear about tomorrow. It's the price we pay for all the gifts they give us during their lives. It's why we keep doing it. You know, getting young dogs that (hopefully) turn into old dogs. Who share their sweet lives with us and make us richer for having loved them.

21 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Carol at Serendipity said...

Donna,
Beautiful and so true.
Carol

Twyla and Lindsey said...

What a sweet post. We could take a few lessons from our dogs. May all our dogs become old dogs. I wouldn't trade all the love they have to give. Twyla

DeeDee said...

Oh what a very sweet post, a tribute to Kes. As you know I am such a dog lover...and they bring so much to our lives and yes they can teach us so much about life too. I want to be a dog in my next life with a good dog family...:D allmy heart loves them. I have Bentley who will grow old with me... Lvoe him more everyday..big hug today for Kes..

Donna I love how you blog about your loves in life... thats why I return always...

Jan M said...

Such sweet, and very true, words. Our schnauzer turned fourteen last December. In many ways, he is still a puppy in an older body -- and one that still needs to go out in the middle of the night! Wishing you and Kes a beautiful day!

Kris said...

Dearest Donna - I am very blessed - all my precious dogs have grown old with me and I, like you, have learned so many life lessons from my "kids"!! And like you, I am having all the emotions that go along with taking care of my 93 year old darling father!! He's kinda like an old dog and just as precious!! I wouldn't give up this experience and opportunity for anything!! Give Kes a warm hug for me, will ya?? Kris

Createology said...

My love to Kes Dear Donna. Your tribute to her is so heartwarming. You have written exactly how I feel and am dealing with my beloved fur child Sasha. She is an Absynnian cat that Mr. C and I pre-ordered before she was conceived. Connie the cattery woman made us by a book and take a test before we were allowed to purchase one of her cats. We literally have been through all the joys and woes of raising a child (which we both did before we met) with this precious kitty. She is now over 17 and we know our time with her is limited therefore every moment is a joy to experience. Kes is a sweetheart...I can tell by her peaceful soul I see in her eyes. We are so fortunate to have the unconditional love of our fur children. Thank you for your beautiful post...

Claudia said...

Beautiful, Donna. Both of my dogs are older and I see them slowing down, with achy joints. It is hard to see but I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. Hey, Don and I are slowing down, too!

xo
Claudia

jovialjudi said...

Hi Donna! Your Kes looks so much like our Taffy and they are nearly the same age! (she will be 15 on Valentine`s Day)Everything you mentioned resonates with us and I kept saying "So true! So true!" A lovely post about a lovely dog on a lovely blog from a lovely lady. Taffy and I are both sending hugs and doggie kisses!! Judi :-)

Shirley said...

Hi Donna, Your post is so very true and you get so attached to your pets. They are part of the family. My daughter has a thing for blue healers. Her Cheyenne was her protector at night when her hubby worked. She, also, protected her little boy. They have got him two puppies to grow with that he can chase and they chase him. Have a great day. I got to get back to work. Your Missouri Friend.

sudukc said...

Beautifully said.

Angie said...

What a beautiful tribute for our pets. Kes looks like a sweetheart!

Quiltin' Sandy said...

Hi Donna, I couldn't agree more with your sentiments. Love the pictures of Kes, she has a beautiful face, and seems like a nature to match. :)

Whimsey Creations said...

That is just so true and what a beautiful dog she is! Our Lucy is almost 11 and while slowing down, she is still top dog (or queen of the house as we call it) and keeps her two "brothers" in line. Dogs are so wonderful!

Minimiss said...

You can't beat a good old faithfull dog. Always there when you need them - unconditionally.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That is really a beautiful observation, Donna. Our first dog had her troubles and passed just before her 11th birthday. She was part lab part shepherd and had that hip dysplasia that shepherd's are prone to. We have a Husky now - she was 11 in March and thinks she still 5! You're right, they just want a pat on the head when you come in and a kind word and they're happy.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

what is really precious is you don't even have to be a nice person to get that unconditional love. I don't know how anyone can be unkind to such a faithful creature.
you've brought back good memories for me, we were blessed to have a sweet, funny and loyal half lab half chow for many years .. (())

Michelle May (Shell) said...

she is just a sweetie deece. Yes, we do it over and over because the love we get is greater than anything in this world. Unconditional love. the best!
xx, shell

Patty C. said...

So true
Blessings ;)

Karen said...

THis is such a sweet post. Thank you for reminding us.
I have a 17 yr old kitty.
Miss Priss sleeps more than before. When its cold she is a bit slower than usual. She is so happy each morning when we get up. She enjoys spending time with me in my sewing room, And happily took over a fabric lined basket (formerly my sewing basket) as her night time bed. I think its because she cannot fall out of it.
Thank you for caring for your gal, she appreciates everything...Karencg

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Precious post, Donna. I'm having many of the same thoughts as you as my precious Sissy ages. She is 12 and in the last year we've started giving her 5 meds a day for arthritis, her heart, etc. I love her more than ever and cherish every day with her. They DO teach us so much.

Love,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

Faerie Moon Creations said...

I couldn't have said this any better. Kes is a beautiful dog. Thank you for a wonderful and moving tribute to Kes and to all of us who love our elder furry babies. For they will always be our babies - no matter what. xoxo

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