a dog’s purpose |
Well we did it. We broke down and saw the controversial movie, A Dog’s Purpose. With the release of the video of the dog handler pushing the dog into the water, I had no plans to see the movie. But, as details were clarified my husband and I took our son to see it on a chilly Sunday afternoon.
A Dog’s Purpose is based on the book with the same title. The message is simple: a dog’s purpose is to help those who are hurting or in need. The movie got me thinking about ways to comfort senior dogs; our family members who have spent their lives watching over us.
more than a movie |
The he movie was a sweet, family friendly, dog loving movie with a great message. There were very few dry eyes as the stories unfolded within the movie. It stirred up feelings and memories with our 4 legged family members, Tanner and Chloe.
We are adjusting to life with a two year old Bernese Mountain “puppy”who loves to run around the neighborhood (unsupervised) and our eleven year old Australian Shepherd, Tanner who is more content to stay home these days.
The passage of time is never more apparent then when I look at photos of my children and our pets. This photo was taken when Tanner was ten weeks old.
Tanner just celebrated his eleventh birthday (seventy seven years. He was recently diagnosed with cataracts and as a result he has diminished eyesight. We think he has hearing loss, but it may be selective. That’s our Tanner.
Tanner sleeps more during the day and takes a little more effort to lay down. But, Aussies are working dogs and Tanner still has a job to in our family. If you have an Aussie you know that nothing makes them more fulfilled than starting and finishing a task. And, then doing it over and over again.
ways to comfort
At Tanner’s annual checkup our veterinarian suggested a few ways to comfort senior dogs. I wanted to pass these along to those of you with aging 4 legged family members.
- Night time tends to increase a senior dog’s anxiety level. This behavior is seen with Alzheimers patients and is referred to as “sundowning.” With diminished hearing, vision and agility older dogs experience similar anxiety when the sun sets.
- One of the veterinarians recommended Trytophan tablets to ease Tanner’s anxiety at night. Just like a post Thanksgiving meal, the Trytophan tablets causes drowsiness and has a calming effect on dogs. Unfortunately, the sample tablets irritated Tanner’s stomach; thereby trading one issue for another.Funny thing is Tanner insists on going outside to go potty with his younger sister no matter how late. He’s got a job to do.
3. Keep routines for senior dogs. Change creates anxiety for older dogs. Keep walks at the same time every day and always leave food and water in the same place. Every night Tanner sleeps outside our children’s rooms. They each leave their doors slightly ajar so Tanner can check on them during the night; watching over them.
4. Lighten up with some of the house rules. We have a no furniture policy (apparently our bed is not considered furniture). But, when I snapped this photo of Tanner sleeping, in the warm sun, on our new living room chaise… my heart melted.
5. I have a Flokati rug in my office. It’s way passed it’s prime and is not practical with two dogs. But, Tanner loves to sleep on it while I
peruse Pinterest work long, grueling hours. I put the rug away after the holidays with plans to donate it, but dragged the soft, pillow rug back out for Tanner.
It’s the little things that bring comfort to our pets; more hugs, being in the family huddle and maybe a few extra treats.
What ways do you find to comfort your aging dog? Please share in the comments. I always respond to comments.
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