Saturday, September 1, 2018

Aging with grace

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” ~Winnie the Pooh

Odin in his cart enjoying the day 

This describes my heart's feelings about my best soul-dog, Odin J. As his 14th year is approaching in November I write this, sometimes choking back tears, to help those dealing with the same struggles that I am. If you own a pet inevitably there will be one day.
Odin and I hope that sharing this with you will help make your path easier. Hopefully you'll have more quality and time to make more magical memories.
As a good friend of mine, a canine guru, Tonya Christiansen, from, Must Love Dogs Boutique and Spa states, "The big thing I want people to remember is empathy. I see where sometimes people treat their dogs like they are two years old their entire lives with the same physical and mental expectations. I had to put out night lights, area rugs and install a dog door for my dogs as they aged. They can’t climb stairs like they used to or may not see or hear as well. We need to be aware of those changes for them and help them age gracefully."
 Handsome Hudson Tonya's dog now at the Rainbow Bridge

I have to agree with her 100%. Since Odin turned 13, at times reminds me of my dear dad before he passed. He wanted what he wanted and he wanted it immediately . It is humorous when Odin barks at the dehydrator with his organ treats on it, like it is an automatic food dispenser.
At other times not so much. Odin now does not want to walk when we leave home, but turn around and head towards home and he is like a horse galloping to the stable, happily and quickly. My compromise, I found a Burley Bike trailer on ebay, and with the help of lawn chair bottom, it is his cart. He happily goes in it and acts like the king of awesomeness that he is.
Once I turn around to go home he will get ants in his pants, barking and start straining at the halter to be released.
I have found that thinking creatively, compromising, and watching their body language will help you help them.
We still walk, we still play, Odin just needs more consideration and an old fashioned ear trumpet to aid in hearing. I am thankful I taught him hand signals for behaviors (something to keep in mind when teaching any age dog.) Another great idea, I am thankful I taught him, is to come to a stomping foot or a light flashing on and off.
In the past I have written about holistic ideas and practices that have assisted Odin and my Cheyenne (now at the rainbow bridge) with aging and things we face as pet parents of seniors. They can be found at Look for the titles  : You Are What You Eat, Canine Nutrition with Paula Smith, Helping Your Furry Friends Age with Grace,"Nature Itself is the Best Physician." -Hippocrates, TTouch , a Second Look, Keeping Your Furry Friends Joyous and Pain Free, HONORING OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS LIVES WITH LOVE.
 When you are researching what is best for your senior pet, I also suggest giving CBD oil a try. It has helped Odin immensely when I added it to his regimen. It can be purchased at Must Love Dogs in Grand Haven MI, along with many items that can help your aging dog.
There is a difference in quality of this, so do your homework.  According to Medical News Today, "Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it does not change the state of mind of the person (or dog) who uses it. However, CBD oil does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and some research suggests that it has medical benefits."  It has various other health benefits, such as inhibiting cell growth in tumors, aiding seizures and more, that are worth researching and reading.
In my personal opinion, I also cannot reiterate enough how important that incorporating whole healthy foods into your dogs diet can be. It can nourish healthy organs and give the body the defenses and nutrients .

Above all, cherish, and make every day a special day, a happy day with your pet, a day full of moments that one day you will hold in your heart as special memories.