Everything was going just swell. The injury above Sam ‘s eye suffered at the hands of brutes when he was no doubt sharing his special ‘brand of love‘ at the kennel, was healing reasonably. His appetite has been improving daily, we were [mostly] over the jet lag from the return trip that lasted 87 hours and settling back nicely into our pre-vacay groove when THIS happened. O.u.c.h.
How in the heck did that happen?! Well…Sam had just crawled up in my lap while I was focused on reading the latest in Blogville when his paw got hung up on my pocket and poof!! a dewclaw broke off. Wait, he has dew claws? Yeah, I don’t why he has them either; he had them when I got him at age 2 and up until now, they’ve never given him us any problems. All my other Standards had theirs removed so this was new territory for moi. He never whimpered or cried out and it mostly just broke off rather than ripped out from the paw. For a brief moment I expect blood to spurt everywhere like an episode of The Walking Dead. Gah!! Thank goodness it was nothing like that, but still…sheesh. I mean what kind of way is that to start out the weekend?! Sorry if its hard to see it through all the muppet hair. He was squirming like a 3-year old trying to avoid getting the milk wiped off his face.
Hope this isn’t a harbinger of things to come as he races forward to full-fledged senior-dom. I mean, are the wheels are coming off this model, one claw at a time? Is there such a thing as Medicare for dogs?
Has your pup ever broken off a dew claw? What did you do?
Sam here…mom’s busy doing heaven only know what tonight so I thought I’d take over the blog (it being Thursday and all so she’s probably watching Scandal, the slacker). We recently had our semi-annual checkup/evaluation at the hospital where we get tested twice a year to make sure we’re still good and can handle the whole hospital vibe thing-it’s good to measure the dogs regularly so everyone knows they will continue to do well with the patients. But I think sometimes they need to check the humans more often than us but that’s a story for another time.
I was patiently waiting for my turn when I spied Truffles! No not the yummy treat kind, the chocolate-brown Newfoundland dog kind. I have such a crush on Truffles though most of the time she doesn’t pay much attention to me. Any-who…there I was, there she was and my name was called and I started bouncing up and down to go see her and her mom, Lyn. The volunteer vet was a nice enough lady, she smiled and giggled at my bouncing and her and Lyn both were ooh-ing and ah-ing about me. I love Lyn almost as much as I love Truffles because she always has a nice word for me and some great treats. So the vet was checking my heartbeat (it must have been going pitter-patter like crazy!) and I could barely contain my enthusiasm. I was focusing all my attention on that gorgeous brown girl. Hubba-bubba! When all of a sudden, I hear: “So I see that Sam is a senior, any problems?” Wait. What?! Senior? Are you kidding me, I’m the spriest 9-year-old she’ll ever see! WTH does that mean? I mean here I am bouncing like a cotton-picking jack rabbit to impress my girl and the vet’s calling me a senior? Oh puleez. I’m as young as any 4-year-old and I can bounce and hop with the best of them. Truffles kind of rolled her eyes and turned her back toward me.
Wait-no, don’t listen to that stupid vet. I’m a real dandy, in fact a super catch. Just look at this handsome dog! I got my poms all groomed, my toes nice and trimmed, nice conformation, even my whiskers are all waxed into place. I’m a mean, clean, fighting machine! How could she not be taken in by me?
Apparently Truffles listened more to the vet than to my whining and pining over her. She kept her back to me and laid down. Egad–noooo, not the cold shoulder! My little heart was crushed. I couldn’t understand why the vet would sabotage my chances with Truffles. I’m trim (no spare tire on this killer bod), sharp as a tack (well ok, sharp as an ADD pup can be), why I’m a veritable stud muffin with no health issues. What is this senior thing? It sounded so derisive and judging from Truffles’ reaction, not a good thing. 🙁
The vet finished checking me out and gave me a clean bill of health saying I was good for another 6 months so I pranced and danced around trying to impress the Truffles girl. But alas, she wanted no part of me. But I’m not giving up just yet; there’s always the next exam or the summer get-together when I’ll see her and boy, I’ll totally be all ‘Rico Sua-ve’ when she does. Meanwhile, I think I’ll practice on a couple of the ladies in the ‘hood,’ just to keep in practice. Wouldn’t want to get rusty like a senior now, right?
So what exactly does ‘being a senior mean’ when you act like a teenager all the time? Is age a relative thing with us dogs?
Did you know that November is “Adopt a Senior Pet Month”? And while Sam didn’t come from a shelter, he is considered a senior. I’d have snatched this sweetheart up in a heartbeat if he had been at a shelter. Scientific research has shown that pets improve the lives of their human companions. First hand experience has underscored that fact many times over for me. Check out these 9 ways adopting a pet isn’t just good for the pet; it’s good for you as well.
Pets owners have a greater level of self-esteem than not non-pet owners. Pet owners are often more extroverted and less fearful than non-pet owners.
Pet ownership can help reduce the risk of allergies. Contrary to popular belief, being exposed to pets early in life may actually decrease your risk of animal allergies later on. A study from the department of bio-statistics and research epidemiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit suggests experiences in the first year are associated with a healthy status later in life and that early life pet exposure does not put children at risk of being sensitized to these animals later in life.
Pets can reduce negative feelings. Similar to how thinking about a good friend may help you feel less negative about a bad social experience, thinking about a pet may have a similar effect. Psychology Today conducted a study on 97 pet owners who were unknowingly subjected to a negative social experience. They were then asked to write about their best friend. The participants who wrote about their pet or best friend showed zero negative feelings and were equally happy after the negative social experience. The control group of non-pet owners however exhibited negative feelings.
Pets can reduce loneliness. In addition to boosting self-esteem, pets can reduce the level of loneliness we feel. One study found that people with pet dogs reported having social needs fulfilled as effectively by their pets as by their friends. Despite the ‘weird cat lady stereotype’ it appears people don’t rely on their pets more when human companionship is lacking. People don’t turn solely to their pets but rather enjoy their company in addition to their human friends.
Pets make us feel supported. Pet owners feel they receive as much support from their pets as they do from their families feeling closer to their pets when they also feel closer to important people in their life.
Pets make us want to stay healthier. It just stands to reason when you’re a pet owner you are more likely to move around than be a couch potato when you have a dog or cat begging for attention. Studies shows that pet owners tend to be more healthy and active than non-pet owners.
Less stress. The mere act of petting a dog or cat can reduce stress levels. Studies seems to support the fact that pets can help reduce stress and provide greater comfort than our friends or spouses. Their unconditional love and lack of judgment make pets the perfect anti-stress remedy.
Animal magnetism. Owning a pet can actually draw others to us and improve our human relationships. Pets are obvious conversation starters which may attract others to us.
Stabilize blood pressure. Sam and I have seen first hand how a patient who was petting him had a significant reduction in high blood pressure after just a few minutes. The difference was truly remarkable and even the nurse commented on the level of reduction.
Apart from all those health benefits, adopting a senior pet can often be easier. Think lack of teething on your favorite pair of shoes, or furniture legs. 🙂 They may well be pros at performing basic commands. Older pets tend to be more calm and can adapt easily with a new family routine. With an older pet, what you see is what you get. Senior pets seem to be grateful for the new opportunity at a loving home. Their personalities are well-formed and you can easily figure out their needs for exercise and attention. Remember too, you’ll be saving a life when you adopt a senior pet.
So stop by your local shelter or ASPCA adoption center and consider rescuing a pet. No doubt you’ll soon be asking yourself, “who rescued whom?” When you visit your local shelter, don’t forget those senior pets. They make great companions and invariably have so much to offer in return. You’ll improve the life of both your pet and yourself. <3
Have you ever adopt a senior pet? What was your experience?