“I think Molly’s getting more feeble,” Hubs said yesterday morning, gesturing toward my 15-year-old Australian shepherd, who sprawled, oblivious, on the kitchen floor.
“She seems the same to me,” I said defiantly. “She’s old. Of course she’s feeble. She’s been feeble for the past few years.”
(We’re talking about a dog who’s so deaf, you can step over her in the morning on the way to the coffeepot and she never flinches. Somehow, however, she knows each morning when the mailman has arrived and barks at him. Go figure.)
“She keeps walking in circles,” he continued.
I, too, had witnessed a bout of circle-walking, so I did what I always do in times of mental panic. I ran for the computer and my beloved Google.
After some hasty research, I concluded that Molly either has itchy ears, which she’s been scratching a lot, or is experiencing a bout of vesti…something-or-other, which sometimes afflicts old dogs. It usually resolves itself within a week or so.
I ruled out a stroke, as there has been no major drooling or loss of bodily functions. And the Mollydog still eats. A lot. In spite of her deafness, she remains alert. And in spite of her arthritis, she struggles with stiffness only in the morning.
I know Hubs is just trying to prepare me, but the man’s been telling me the dog is aging (duh!) for the last three years now. I even wrote about this same issue on my old blog!
If there’s ever any evidence that Molly’s in pain, I will intervene. But at this point, she seems to be growing old quite gracefully.
I know she probably doesn’t have much time left. And I know I’ll totally lose it when she dies. Molly’s been my faithful companion for 15 years.
But for now, I don’t want to stress over every little thing that might signify that end.
It’s tough, when your pet becomes a geriatric. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember the Molly of old, the agile pup who could catch a Frisbee mid-air or run low to the ground after a football.
But when I stroke her head and look into those familiar brown eyes, I can still see my mischievous Molly in there.