I have had the pleasure of knowing some of the most wonderful elder dogs. It’s remarkable how truly soulful older dogs are. Sure, they have trouble getting up and down. Eventually we all do. They don’t hear well (or at all) and their field of vision can be pretty limited. I’ve worn glasses since the 7th grade so who am I to judge. Their walks are slow and they linger longer. Sometimes mid-walk, they lay down. It’s cruel really, their aging happens so much faster. Think about how fast a puppy grows, during that time you really understand the whole seven years to our one. But when a dog is at the other end of their life, the aging process is just as swift. The beauty of it is, dogs handle it so gracefully. If I aged seven years in one I’d have a complete mental breakdown. Well to be honest I’ve been twenty-nine for a couple of years now so technically… Anyway, from what I’ve experienced, as human’s age, we tend to be a bit crabby. We live by the ‘been there, done that’ view and we for some reason see less opportunity and seek more scrutiny. Grumpiness often prevails.
Elder dogs, to the contrary, are peaceful. They seem to take great pride in the road traveled. They don’t dwell on the regrets, or the failures. They don’t constantly boast the successes or live in the shadow of the good old days. They embrace the right now. The spot on the floor where the sunshine hits. The love of their human. Dinner.
Here. Now. Bliss.
They are in our lives for such a short time. We train them and teach them tricks, but perhaps we should spend more time being their student. At the very least, when they are too tired to hop up on the couch, we should lay on the floor with them. It’s really all they want. Well, that and dinner.