Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cut the Old Dog Some Slack

Lester as a youngster.  Back then, his greatest crime was a bad attitude about getting his nails done.  A couple of nail sessions wearing a muzzle cured that.

Nowadays Lester is just a little slower to react, even to the offer of a cookie.  Habits that were once tidy, have become lax.  He misses crumbs in the bottom of his bowl.  He whines if he isn't promptly released from his crate after a meal.  Around my house, dog elimination is called "dirt".  All good dogs do dirt outside.  Dirt in house is NO.  

Dirt in house.  Not only did Lester do dirt in house, something he hasn't done in over thirteen years, but after doing so he laid down next to it!  He was all of six inches away from dirt in house.  He even fell asleep!  My first thought was oh no!  Lester has lost his mind! He must be senile.  Poor Lester!

We were scheduled to see the vet a few days later, springtime means heart worm check.  While there, I mentioned Lester's transgression.  Let's rule out a physical cause, suggested Dr. W.  She slipped on a rubber glove and had at it.  Results:  good anal integrity. 

So, there is no apparent physical reason for this crime. 

Alright then.  Lester's butt is fit.  Good, we won't have to buy diapers.  Could he be senile?  There are other symptoms besides bathroom mishaps to qualify for senility, such as getting lost in familiar places, not recognizing loved ones and staring into space.  Lester has displayed none of these behaviors.  I know this for sure because for the next few weeks I watched Lester closely.  I watched him as though he was a scientific experiment requiring constant monitoring.  Several times, he stared at me, pointedly, as if to say, "what is your deal lately?"

I observed that Lester sleeps deeper than he used to, he sleeps more than he used to, he has to go potty more often than he used to.  And he still has the clarity of mind to notice when his darling owner is being a ridiculous worrying lunatic. 

OK Lester.  You are an old dog who had an accident.  That's all.  One day you did dirt in house and bizarrely plopped down beside it and took a nap.  It was an isolated incident.  An anomaly.

We'll just put it behind us. 

("Dirt is an inherited term. My grandmother was very proper, some words were just not used.  See:


  1. Lester's getting on, but he doesn't sound senile. I think that you're a ridiculous worrying lunatic sometimes might amuse him though...

  2. What has happened to us? Pets used to be just animals. Now we act like they our human. Yeah, I'm guilty with my parrot, Gumbo. He runs the house it seems.

    Still, I'm glad you didn't rub his nose in it. That's the way we used to do it. ha ha.

  3. Lynn, this brings back memories of some of my elderly dogs who couldn't control bodily functions in their twilight years. I miss them...dirt and all.