Oh Gayle. Oh Ringer.
I know. And I'm sorry that he's not doing well.
I've been there before (just over a year ago) and I know how terribly hard it is. Right now, I know that my little senior's age and life expectancy are on a collision course, and I panic when I think about it.
Our seniors have given us so much. And every day they stumble or hurt, we hurt because we can't fix things for them. When they were young, they were hungry, so we fed them. They were squirrelly, so we exercised them. They had crusty ears, so we changed their food. Even when they had weird ailments, most of the time, we could fix those, or at least, manage them fine.
But as Ruth says, Zamboni enjoys rubs and being held; she's still competitive when we have training sessions with Camper and gets into sits and downs first (and therefore gets her snack first). We bought her a trailer/stroller; when she gets tired on her walks, she hops into her trailer, and Camper is happy to pull her around the neighborhood. This is my beagle that used to go on backpacking trips, 12-miles each day. We'd arrive at our site exhausted. As we were setting up camp, she'd be off chasing squirrels, as though she never hiked that day at all. So yes, things have changed. Her ACL surgeries weakened her hind end, and she's arthritic. But she still enjoys her life a lot.
Her vision is deteriorating; her hearing is significantly reduced. But she has a strong devoted GSD service dog that she relies on to tell her when to bark and when Mom is calling. That beagle nose tells her when dinner is ready all on its own.
I know that Ringer loves his humans and his Hooligan pack, and enjoys every day thoroughly. Yes, adjustments have had to be made, but he probably hasn't noticed them too much. If he's like my dogs, he is handling his seniorhood MUCH better than his humans do.
We worry about the future. (And I, for one, am brilliant when it comes to obsessing about what can go wrong in the future!) Our dogs live in the present. And while we're worrying about tomorrow, they're appreciating today.
As Tammy said, enjoy Today with Ringer. It's easier than it sounds. But Today is all we really have anyhow....for ALL our furry kids, the young ones as well as the seniors.
Try not to worry too much about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself.