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Hard to imagine that when I brought him home, I wasn't even old enough to go to buy alcohol. I remember bringing him home and thinking that I'd still have this dog when I was old! Well, here I am, what I thought of then as old :rolleyes: and watching him slow down is killing me.

You probably wouldn't notice it if you didn't know him.

His place on the tile by the big front window is abandoned now, forsaken in favor of the nice soft sofa.

He still gets up on the couch just fine, but he doesn't get off it unless he really has to, and then he takes care of all his needs at once-- potty, drink, snack, visit mom, visit dad, then back on the couch. No more hopping on and off at a whim to chase birds.

He still gets in the back of the Suburban just fine, but you can see him thinking about it, rolling it over in his mind before the jump. I've offered to help but he just gets offended.

He can still put in that burst of speed to beat his brother in a race to a Kong ball, but his baby brother has earned my undying gratitude for holding back a little more every day.

In short, he's growing old and while I can keep him as comfortable as I can and as healthy as I can for as long as I can, there's not a thing I can do to stop him from aging. My mother-in-law lost her Shadow last month, and he was only two and a half years older than my Rocky. Two and a half! I had a long talk with God and said that after the betrayal of taking my Cashdog so early, he at least owes me 14 good years with Rocky.

He just said, "We'll see."

Is anybody else having a hard time dealing with watching your best friend grow older? How are you coping? Share here.
 

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It SUCKS!! I am in tears reading your post. I am sure I didn't cope with it well, so I have no advice. Our situations are different as K had developed so much arthritis by 10...but I just made sure that I left no stone unturned if it could help him or make him feel young even for a bit. So no real advice, just understanding I guess. It was so hard to watch K age:cry:

All I can say is cherish every lick, every sparkle in their eye, every time they do get up the gumption (sp) to chase a squirrel. Take it all in. I truly hope you get 4 more years with your Rocky.:wub:
 

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I lost my Shadow 4 months and 3 days ago, my Xena the year before that and my Duffy 2 years before Xena and since Shadow my Buddy has slowed down dramatically, It never gets any easier!!! :teary:
 

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Not coping well. Old dog is 14. DM hit her this time last year. Hard to believe she is still here. She sleeps a lot. She can no longer do the steps. I keep her on one level. There are two steps out the front door, so we limit her to that and walk her around the house into the yard. I support her rear to help her up the two steps. Sometimes she has accidents in her sleep. Or, when she is awake, if she doesn't realize in time. She can't hear. She no longer plays with toys. She still eats, enjoys her short slow walks, and seeks attention. She still barks at people and other dogs - most excitement of her day.

I can't remember who said it. I think one of the mods. "It is hard to watch them fade." It really is. My kids are 14 and 18. They say she doesn't seem like their dog any more. My son was hanging out with a friend who had a lab. He said he had forgotten how much energy a young dog had. Annie has been a great dog and a great friend. I have to admit though, that there is more taking care of her needs than actually enjoying her. And THAT makes me very sad.
 

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I lost my 12 year old on 12/8/11. I felt all the same things you are knowing she was getting old and having a hard time getting around. Still on our last day she wanted her walk, which had gotten shorter over the years and later that day she just died right in front of me, just like that and I knew she was getting old but she had'nt been sick or anything, so I still was'nt expecting it. I thought in my mind, i knew our time was getting shorter , thought I was preparing myself but your never ready for it. Treasure every moment you have and I hope you still get a long time with your dog.
 

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Da_n! This string brought back memories of Abby - our OLD GSD who lived to almost 14 but the last year or so much marked by "old age" (spiced up with DM!) and watching her get slowere and slower and deafer and deafer.

It is VERY hard (SAD!) to watch an old friend age like that!

All that helps (a little) is all of the memories that one has of the dog!

Our curent guy is only 4.5yo so we have a number of years with him (we hope!).
 

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:'-( bless you for taking care of her in old age. i fear the day i realize the things that you're noticing in your GSD. but i hope to have the patience and the blessing to have my dogs live with me as long as God permits. i think about this kind of stuff all the time. but the thing i fear most is not having them meet me at the rainbow bridge. i pray dogs have souls. i pray they will at some point be with me forever, healthy happy and agile as they can be.
 

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Way to brighten up the evening emoore.

I instantly thought of Ginger who we lost about two years ago of cancer.

She had bad hips and spinal arthritis before the cancer.

She was my BYB bred fifty dollar GSD that was the best and sweetest dog I ever owned.
She was an old soul from the get go. She potty trained herself, never destroyed anything and she preferred to sleep outside.
She was protective but sweet and won over everyone she met.
She barked when you would want a dog to bark but never unnecessarily.
At the end I had to try to adjust her pain medication based on looking at her expression. Too much of it made her worse but having none was not good either.
I still can hardly look at pictures of her.
I'm sorry that I didn't post anything to mysweetkaos during their loss but I couldn't read that thread without thinking of Ginger
I am however very sorry for your loss my sweetkaos.
 

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The only comparison I have is Tessa and when I got her she was old, old past her years and in such bad shape physically. It was still hard watching her decline even further. I can not imagine watching Dharma and Pippa do the same although I know if the fates allow, that is what will happen. It depresses me to think about it.

There is a guy at our dog park, he has a beautiful sable named Addie. She is everything the breed should be and he has bred her twice. She turned 10 this year. We have talked about how he has noticed her slowing down but she will still chase her ball on a string and work for a treat. I hope everyday that he gets 3-4 more years with her as she is an AMAZING dog. I really wish I had known him years ago as I would love to have had one of her puppies. He says that several of her puppies have gone on to be titled in Schutzhund.
 

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It is very hard indeed. I see My Ginger getting grayer and grayer. So far shes very healthy, and hope she stays that way. Shes helping me teach Jonas. Since he came home, it sparked some life in her. Everyday before I go to work, I give her a goodbye hug. and when I come home I give her a hello hug "Jonas too" Because Life is a time bomb , and you never know just when it will go off.
 

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It sucks. I'm watching my 9 year old (non-GSD) go blind with cataracts. Trying to research whether I should have the expensive surgery done. I love my girl and it breaks my heart to see her have trouble seeing and getting around. :(
 

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This makes me think of Chief. We lost him at age 12. He slowed down, but his death was a complete surprise. He had been at the vet a week earlier and got a clean bill of health and the vet remarked at how well he looked and was doing for a dog of his age. He went out in the yard, on a hot summer day, laid under a shady tree, went to sleep and never woke up. It was a peaceful way for him to go. He never suffered with an illness.
 

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I haven't had a senior in such a long time. We lost Sneaker at 14-1/2 years old back in 2000, and although she was in pretty good health up until the end, the end was never far from my mind either, so I know what you're talking about. There were many times she was sleeping so soundly and her breathing was so slow that I thought she had died. And then another second or two went by and she took a breath, and so did I.

I wish we could have watched Cassidy and Dena grow old, that's a luxury we never had, but it would have been a different kind of sadness watching them slow down and start to fade instead of losing them too young. :(

I truly hope you have many more happy years left with Rocky. No matter how long you have, it's never enough.
 

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Way to brighten up the evening emoore.
Sorry. :eek:

This makes me think of Chief. We lost him at age 12. He slowed down, but his death was a complete surprise. He had been at the vet a week earlier and got a clean bill of health and the vet remarked at how well he looked and was doing for a dog of his age. He went out in the yard, on a hot summer day, laid under a shady tree, went to sleep and never woke up. It was a peaceful way for him to go. He never suffered with an illness.
If you've got to do it, that's the best way.

I haven't had a senior in such a long time. We lost Sneaker at 14-1/2 years old back in 2000, and although she was in pretty good health up until the end, the end was never far from my mind either, so I know what you're talking about. There were many times she was sleeping so soundly and her breathing was so slow that I thought she had died. And then another second or two went by and she took a breath, and so did I.
For over a year after I lost Cash I would get up in the middle of the night and check to see if Rocky and hubby were still breathing. Sometimes Rocky's sleeping so soundly I go lay my head on his chest to hear his heart beat. This wakes him up and makes him grumpy. :cool:
 

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:'-( bless you for taking care of her in old age. i fear the day i realize the things that you're noticing in your GSD. but i hope to have the patience and the blessing to have my dogs live with me as long as God permits. i think about this kind of stuff all the time. but the thing i fear most is not having them meet me at the rainbow bridge. i pray dogs have souls. i pray they will at some point be with me forever, healthy happy and agile as they can be.
It's like you've read my mind.
 

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My girl is aging faster due to the seizures. The drugs have taken their toll on her mobility, and somedays hit her harder than others. She is such a sweet smart dog and had so much potential as a young pup.
She has ataxia that makes her back end weak and loss of muscle control and now has developed sleep incontinence.
She still has her moments, she'll be five next month, but yes watching her age faster than she should be is very hard.
I believe that she'll be taken from me in less time than I feel is fair.
She's taught me so much.

I take it one day at a time. (cliche, I know, but I don't know anything easier)
 

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I felt the same way, watching my labrador grow old. I kept saying to DH "We won't have him next summer", all the fall, winter and spring of 2010/11. He died April 4, 2011.

The vet said to me the day we took him in, that he had something that no matter what we found, we couldn't cure, and that was "Old Age". In my eyes, though, it was one day, of being exhausted (it appeared to me, because he had hemosangiocoma? where he must've had a tumor on his spleen that was bleeding out they figured) and a peaceful, quick ending with his entire family surrounding him and stroking him. A fast day for sure, but no doubts, no agonizing and IMHO, a peaceful and non-painful ending.

What more could a good dog ask for? I wish you many more years of a slow aging and a peaceful end when that day finally arrives. :)
 

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This has been the week that reality kicked down my door. Daisy at 10 and half was still a she devil at heart barking chasing small animals running the fence when the niegbors mowed. Things slowed down in the past year at 12 and car trips require her ramp and she finally will use it. Her latest trip to the groomers proved a bit more then her back legs could take. In November she took the chuckit out of my hands at least once a week. Now she and I walk around the fence. She is the first dog I raised from a puppy.I love her and have learned to appreciate her gentleness and her at a slower rate. We are doing everything we can to make life easier but I know my girl isnt getting old she is there. I pray that she goes quietly and that I dont have to make the choice. I also worry that Lucky who has been with us 9 years and was probably close to a year when we got him is also getting older. So I pray for a gentle slide down and that when it comes it is peaceful.I know I have been blessed w/ my two and their relative health as well as the time we have been allowed.Sorry that my post is a downer.
 

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I hear ya. My little shih tzu has an infiltrative lipoma, and while that is not malignant, it s ure acts like a malignancy. :( It's definitely altered her behavior even though she's only 7 years old. :(

In her particular case, surgery is "iffy," there's a 50 percent chance it grows back, and it's ridiculously expensive, so we're doing nothing but waiting. :(

Interestingly, Teddy has given her a new lease on life. She doesn't seem depressed anymore.
 
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