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Age Is Just A Guideline

Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that Leroy is almost 9 1/2.

He doesn’t act like Sherman did when he was 9.

He’s blessed in the not showing his age department.

He’s got a few grey hairs starting to peek through on his chin but his silly attitude is quite intact.

His current age is a guideline for me so while Leroy doesn’t show many signs of slowing down quite yet, I’ve slowed him down a bit because I can see the subtle signs that his body is older than his mind.


He’s a little slower to get up, but not much.

He still barks more and wags more.

And he’s still very active.

Despite what people think when I tell them his age, he is far from having one foot in the ground.


It’s true.

When someone finds out how old either one of the boys are they let out a sad sigh and give them a pet on the head.

This happened 3 times to Leroy at the beach last week and I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t bum me out a little bit.


I mean first, do they not know that dogs understand what we say? Let me cover his ears before you say that people!

Second, I know that both Sherman and Leroy are at the end of the spectrum but I do my best not to dwell on it. Do I have thoughts like, “What if this is the last winter we have together?”

Of course I do.

I try to limit those thoughts but I have them.

If I focused all my thoughts on living life without them then living life with them, I’d be one depressed person.


I don’t know if I’m missing something and that people on the outside see something that I don’t but when I look at these pictures of Leroy laying on the beach, I don’t see a dog that’s on his way out.

Maybe it’s because all the other dogs on the beach that day were rushing into the water to retrieve a ball and chasing each other through the sand while Leroy just watched and waited for them to come to him.

Maybe they saw him walk down the 8 flights of stairs to get to get the beach and that he took every step with care.




Maybe it was because he was slobbering and panting.

Perhaps that gave the impression that he was old and tired instead of excited.

I saw a dog that carefully walked down 8 flights of stairs because he was listening to me to take it slow.

I saw a dog that wanted to lay in the cool wet sand and let the water rush underneath him.

I saw a dog who was taking it all in and enjoying the moment.

I see a happy, healthy dog. I don’t see an old boy.

No one knew his age until they asked.

No one was sad for him until they knew.







There was this sweet elderly couple that Leroy and I met on our way out that day, the couple let out a sad sigh when they found out Leroy was 9 and they gave him an extra pat on the head

This eldery couple wasn’t following the “old people” guidelines.

They weren’t at home taking it easy. They were out walking on the beach.

But it would of been rude of me to let out a sad sigh, give them a pat on the back and tell them to avoid the steep stairs, right?

Age is just guideline.

It’s a number with a suggested course of action that goes along with it, but this action is not a rule.

It’s not mandatory.


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Andy Parsons

Sunday 12th of November 2017

I agree, age is really not that relevant. For example, my dog is 11 years old already, but he doesn't seem like it at all. He has twice the energy, that I have. I feel like he sleeps a little bit more than he did, let's say 3 or 4 years ago, but he is still full of energy. He can run around in the middle of the day and wants me to go play some ball with him. I love my dog and I still feel like he was 5, 6 years old in dog years - 25-30 in human years :)

Holly Mitchell

Sunday 5th of November 2017

Maybe you could reply "four" and see how people react then? At least then the boys would be feeling all that positive energy oozing out of the strangers! :-)


Tuesday 7th of November 2017

Hahahaha. I might have to give that a try Holly!

Monika & Sam

Saturday 4th of November 2017

What a beautiful perspective! At age 12, I know Sam is also closer to the end than the beginning. But each day I thank my lucky stars he's still with me, making me and those he encounters smile, inside and out. ❤︎ Give that sweet boy of yours and extra pat on the head but not because he's 9 1/2. Because he's one pawsome pet!


Tuesday 7th of November 2017

I agree, those smiles that they bring are priceless! You give Sam an extra pat from me too, because he's just as pawsome!

Shadow and Ducky's Mom

Friday 3rd of November 2017

After losing Callie at age 11 two years ago, I am somewhat paranoid about Shadow’s health at times. But at 13, she’s doing great. Yes, her arthritis - in more places than I can recall - flares up a bit now and then. And her reflux makes her uncomfortable at times. But the Treatibles gel caps and drops are doing wonders for her. Yes, she moves more slowly these days than when she and Callie were Ducky’s age; but she’s happy and healthy. So we are grateful for every moment we have her with us. And, we try to make every second of her time happy. I know she misses her older sister, but Ducky (usually) keeps her young and (somewhat) active. And for the most part, they get along much better these days.


Tuesday 7th of November 2017

I can relate to that so much Sue. After my first Newf passed aways at 8 1/2 I've been very paranoid of the health of the boy. When Leroy got sick I was terrified that I was going to lose him young too. We do our best.

I'm glad that the Treatibles are woring so well! We're big fans of them too!


Thursday 2nd of November 2017

It's just like people. There are 80 yr olds running marathons and other 80 yr olds who can't do much on their own. It is partially genetic and partially how you have lived your life. I'm 11 and have slowed down, but people are often amazed I'm eleven. Sometimes it makes Mom sad too that I'm getting up there, but I'm strong and healthy. Every creature is an individual and for some, 9 or 11 is the new 6!


Tuesday 7th of November 2017

I agree so much! I just wish people would realize that and think before they speak sometimes. But then again, we're dealing with people who have seemed to have lost that ability over the years.

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