This … started out as needing a boost getting in and out of the truck. It happened when Teresa and Nollind got a new truck that was higher than the old one, so I wrote it off as being just that, a taller truck.
This … is a wooden step being added to the bottom of the fifth wheel stairs. They raised the fifth wheel axle last year, to better match the truck when overnighting without unhitching, so, again, I chalked it up to equipment changes, not aging.
Partway through last winter in the desert, this … was a small staircase added to the bedroom so I could get up on the bed and, more importantly, have an alternative to jumping down.
This … is the plethora of pills and supplements that I get fed on a regular basis to keep things working. Two medications for my arthritis, three for the heart condition, Legend and Cartrophen injected every couple of weeks, and a joint supplement tablet as big as my foot that I really don’t like the taste of. Hide that in a pill pocket! And then there’s the renal diet. Yes, you read that correctly. A low protein diet, for me, a dyed-in-the-wool meat lover!
This … is being assisted up and down the basement stairs and being blocked at night from going on my own. How embarrassing.
This … is missing most of the day because I’m sleeping all but a couple of hours.
This … is being left behind when Teresa goes to town or for a walk and takes Chico along.
This … is not hearing them leave.
This … is having my walks cut to 45 minutes, then 30, and now sometimes just 20. I rarely leave the property anymore.
This … is being lifted out of the fifth wheel (actually carried down the stairs!) during our latest Sid trip.
This … is words like prognosis and life expectancy popping up in conversations with the vet.
You could say this kinda sucks. But I’m adjusting, it’s what we dogs do, live in the moment, take life as it comes. We don’t dwell on what was, only enjoy what is.
This is just life, this dog’s life, this dog’s getting older, this dog’s journey. So …
This … is a walk around the back forty on a warm, fall day.
This is playing with my favourite toys (and tiring myself out).
This is cuddle time with my people on my magnetic therapy mat.
This is spending time with friends.
This is a tasty treat (even tastier now that they’ve added an appetite stimulant to my pharmaceutical cocktail).
This is that rush I get when I stick my head out the car window while driving.
And best of all, this … is a free pass, a get out of jail free card if you will, a license to do just about anything I please. Want a breath of fresh air at 2 am? Just make a little noise. We old guys can’t hold it like we used to, especially when you give us a diuretic for our heart condition. Best let me out. Feel like some quiet time alone in the yard? Just give them that look from wherever I’m lying, the one that says, “Are you really going to make me come in? Hard to say how much longer I’ll be able to do this.” Don’t feel like eating dog food? “Gee, my stomach doesn’t feel so good but I could probably force down a bit of that chicken you’re eating.”
As with everything in life, this is all in how you look at it.