Getting Old Isn’t For Dogs.

It didn’t seem so long ago that I didn’t give getting old much thought. If I thought about it at all it was to vision it in the far off future. Well the future is now and not just for me. Abby turned 14 in March and she has gained even more of my respect. Before you blink your eyes and say, — “14 what are you talking about?” Abigail or more affectionately, Abby, is a Jack Russell. She’s the short-legged breed. The long legged ones are now called Parson Terriers. And, there is a world of difference. Okay I digress except to say that Abby is a credit to her breed. Unrecognized by AKC, she is a unique little person. She doesn’t fit a standard in conformation, doesn’t have papers and doesn’t care.

What she is; is smart beyond the imagination, courageous, and funny. She has convinced us that we live with her, not that she lives with us. From time to time I tell her this isn’t true but she doesn’t hear so good now and even less if she doesn’t want to. She still greets people at the door, and she knows beyond a doubt in her little head that they are here to see her, not us. So much so, that within a short time of meeting a new person she has trained them, like us, to give her a treat. She also talks a strange dialect of English.

They say the winter of our lives are the Golden Age but I don’t know who ‘they’ are. Probably someone south of 40. ☺ But Abby is teaching me how to age. She doesn’t see well, some days better than others and has gotten confused and lost a few times. So now she goes to the end of the patio until she hits the flowerbed, then goes just a little bit further so that her hind feet are barely off the patio to do her job. That way she knows she’s away from the house but she can just turn and stay on the patio back to the door.

Another compensation she’s made because of her eyesight came after she got caught on the wrong side of our French door. She was standing so I couldn’t open it and she didn’t want to leave the security of being close to it. I could have gone out the garage and came back to her from outside but I didn’t want to stress her so we worked at it until she finally moved down a step. Now as soon as she realizes that someone is at the door she swings to the left door which is the stationary one, and presses her side against it. When I open the door she walks around the door and comes right in. AND, it only took one time.

At 14 we don’t measure her life in days, months or years. Instead we measure her life in memories. And what she gives us. Lessons in patience, courage and love. From the youngest in our family we all take time and care of this amazing little lady. When you see our little 3 year old grandson come and the first thing he does is to squat down and gently pat her head you know it’s a great world we live in.


12 responses to “Getting Old Isn’t For Dogs.

  1. Ahhhh sweet post. I remember when our family dog got older, no longer the lively little pup that first graced our house. You could tell he hurt when climbing stairs as well as going down them. He sort of did a one step at a time like I do now (sometimes). I think we are all thankful for the special 4 legged family members we’ve loved over the years.

  2. Your post made me cry, Abby is amazing and I just love her.

  3. Oh, Lavada. I read your post with a lump in my throat. Abby is a little darling and a very clever lady! How fast she worked that out about the French door. I hope I’ve still got those smarts when I’m her equivalent age 🙂 Such a lovely post.

  4. Valerie J. Patterson

    What a lovely tribute to Abby, and a true testament to her place in your family as well as her place in your heart. Princess Leigh, our cat, was 1 month shy of her 15th birthday when she was diagnosed with feline lymphoma. Everyone says cats are aloof and not the same as having a dog, but Princess was different. If Steve or I were ill, she never left our side. If we were sad, she seemed to sense a need there, too. She had a fantastic personality. She was very perceptive and very loving and a huge part of our family. She was also an international traveler, and usually there was a stream of people knocking at our hotel doors to see the “pretty kitty” as she was often called. When she died, we didn’t have the heart to get another cat. That was in 2004, and we still don’t have another one. We’ve looked, but have never taken one home. Abby has a special place in your heart, and you have a special place in hers. Abby sounds quite remarkable. I’m glad you have one another!! 😛

    • I’m not going to get another dog or cat so Abby and Rue better live to a really old age. I know I’ve said it before. And, your right about cats. Everyone we’ve had has been quite a character with a personality all their own.

  5. Beautiful animal and such a sweetie. I know you treasure her- the way you write about her tells us that. She’s precious. Enjoy her lessons in aging. I love that she’s so smart, too!

    • Smart is really important to me. We had a little schnauzer that was one of the sweetest little guys but oh my gosh not to smart. That’s rare for a terrier breed. When I think back to him I realize that smart wasn’t a deal breaker and I really loved him. The guys in the family, not so much. But what he lacked in brains he made up for in loyalty.

  6. Ahhh. What a sweet tribute to a sweet little lady. I’ve knelt down to pet Abby myself, having fallen under her spell. I’m so glad you’ve got her, for whatever time is left, eh? She’s precious.

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