Tag Archives: older dogs

Something’s Up With Badger.

Something is up with our ex-racing greyhound, Badger. Badger is a people kind of dog. Whilst the other dogs we meet up with regularly on the local field enjoy romping around and playing together, Badger can always be found standing by the human company, usually getting his super-soft velvety ears stroked by anyone willing, and as he has his own little fan club amongst the local dog-owning community, their is always someone willing!

He is the epitome of calmness and gentleness, and although he now suffers with arthritis (blogged about here) he has been in generally good health.

But lately certain symptoms have been showing and they’re worrying me. These include:

  • Vigorous shaking of the lower jaw.
  • Dribbling. He’s not usually a dribbly dog.
  • Lots of blinking and squinting.
  • Not getting up to greet us anymore.
  • Less responsive to commands.
  • Randomly barking when he was previously a silent dog.

After blood tests and a thorough check-up, it would seem he is physically well other than he’s arthritus, so it’s a bit of a mystery. The vet has advised that her initial guess is one of three things:

  1. Pain related behaviour. His pain relief has been increased to see if this makes a difference.
  2. Some kind of mini-stroke/seizure.
  3. The onset of dementia.

The vets best guess at the moment is the onset of dementia. I guess there is nothing else I can do except monitor him closely, show him lots of patience and TLC and see what happens. I have no experience of dementia in dogs, but I will be arming myself with as much information as possible to help my old boy.

Gosh it’s hard when they get old.




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You Have Only Us – A Post For Fizz

This was written over on my parenting blog last year (WaterBirthPlease) but now I write a pet blog too, it seems appropriate to share it again with a new audience. I’m sure a lot of people who have older pets will identify with it. . .

Fizz x

Today my lad, you fell over. And it broke my heart just a little. Oh I knew you were getting older, but maybe I’d got too used to telling fellow dog walkers your age, then standing back and looking proudly at you as they marvelled in how young you seemed. I was just saying a number, not really comprehending your age.

The fall didn’t hurt you. You looked to me a little panicked, but with a reassuring word, and a little help, you recovered yourself and you soon forgot. I didn’t forget though. You are a dog that could walk all day long – a companion for my husband on his long treks up hills and peaks. You have climbed mountains and run for hours with the wind in your fur and joy in your eyes. You swam rivers, chased squirrels, and fetched sticks . . . over . . . and over . . . and over.

fizz running

But today, you ran up the garden steps in your glee to greet me, and your wobbly old hips gave way a little, and you fell. Even the people that love me most in the world never run to me in shear joy the way my dogs do, each and every time I see them.

When I have a bad day, I can speak to my husband, or a friend, or a relative.
You have only us.
If I am ill, I can call a doctor, take a painkiller, maybe call family for sympathy. . .

You have only us.
If I am bored, I have friends, relations, a daughter, a husband, colleagues, books, films, neighbours, phone calls, and video calls. . .
You have only us.
I’d like to say sorry Fizz, for the times I forget this, and for the times I can’t give you as much attention as you deserve. I’m sorry too for when I may get a little impatient, forgetting your hearing is bad now, when you have shown us and our little tail-pulling toddler nothing but patience. (Thank you for that.)



And yet you never tire of us. Your trust and love is unwavering, despite not all your dealings with the human race being happy ones. A gentler soul than any person I know, you are a credit to the canine race and we are blessed to have you. Sometimes when I lie by you, I like to trace my finger along your scars. Your awful mystery scars. Because I like to know that that little bit of you has also known the touch of kindness, not just cruelty.


You are at least 13 now my lad. Your have arthritis and cataracts. You are slowing down, but there is a puppy in there still! The walks may be shorter now, but you relish them. You still put up a pretty sparky chase to your Greyhound companion. You still surprise people when I tell them your age, and you still have the wind in your fur and joy in your eyes.

Long may that continue, my lovely gentleman.

My friend.

Long may we be there to catch you when you fall.


Sadly, Fizz’s old legs finally gave up on him just before Christmas and we said goodbye to one of the best dogs in the world. We still miss him.

Night night God bless my lad x

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