My old dog does this amazing thing where she just exists and makes my whole life better because she is here.

                      -Anonymous

We dedicate this post to Sugar The Golden Retriever of Golden Woofs 

I met Sugar and her mom, Rosalyn, at my first BlogPaws conference where they made it their mission to make everyone smile. 

A Day in the Life of a Senior Dog

 

Zora will turn 14 at the end of April. I honestly don’t know where the time went. It seems like just yesterday that this sweet, gentle soul joined our family and I was explaining to my, then 7-year old daughter, that our new puppy would not be sleeping on the bed or hanging out on the furniture. About six minutes later, my little yellow lab of cuteness was snuggled up against my side… on my bed…where she spent the next 12 years sleeping next to my head… when she wasn’t lounging on my her favorite purple chair 😉

About two years ago, Zora decided that she no longer wanted to sleep on the bed. Her bad hips and arthritis make getting up on the bed a challenge and even with assistance, she doesn’t seem to enjoy the softness of the mattress, only staying to belly rubs for a few minutes before seeking out her chair or a spot in the sun on the floor.

A rare moment with (clockwise from top left) Zora, Simon & Piper all on the bed

With two younger dogs in the house, it’s hard not to notice that Zora is slowing down. She is still a puppy at heart with bursts of silly energy and a zest for life. Her tail continues to “helicopter” when she is really excited. She can’t go as long or as far as she used to but she still loves to head out for short leisurely walks or a ride in the car and she continues to greet people with typical lab enthusiasm. But, it’s different. Beautiful but different. 

We’ve all heard heart wrenching stories about senior dogs being discarded at shelters, often because they are no longer “puppy like” or because the health needs of a senior pet can be a challenge. There is no question that as our dogs age, the daily routine changes a bit. Where I can head out for a hike with Simon (10) or Piper (2), Zora really can’t join us for these highly physical activities so we plan special outings that include some of her favorite activities.

Zora LOVES riding in the car.

 

We start with a trip to PC’s Pet Pantry!

 PC’s Pet Pantry

So many treats!

Zora, picking out a new toy!

No outing is complete without visiting with old friends.

Zora visiting with our good friend, Karyn 🙂

 

No matter what we do for our special outing, we always make a stop at Lake Viele before heading home for some much needed R&R.

Photo credit: Bryn Nowell, A Dog Walks Into a Bar

 

We encourage everyone to make the most of each day with your dogs. 

In honor of Sugar’s passing, we will be checking a few items off the bucket from Sugar’s 15 Ways to Celebrate Your Dog’s Birthday recommendations. We are also celebrating Sugar’s life with a donation to Izzy’s Place Senior Dog Rescue in Sugar’s name. 

Please consider supporting a local senior dog rescue in honor of Sugar.