Monday, August 12, 2013

Rose Learns a New Command

In a couple of months, Rose will celebrate her sixteenth birthday.  According to the chart on the wall at the vet's office, she is about 85 in people years.

Sometimes, she moans.  Oft times, Rose moves stiffly, carefully.  We're not really sure how much she can see or hear.  The baby gate at the top of the stairs remains closed.  Rose simply does not do stairs with as much alacrity as she used to.
This is where the new command comes in.  Poor Rose.  Her Terrier heritage screams out to be independent, yet she must learn to depend on others more and more. 
Therefore, when Rose must go down the stairs, we tell her, "let me help you".  Rose pauses, we grip the stair rail with one hand, her collar with the other and walk down the stairs backwards, keeping Rose on her feet and moving in a reasonably straight line all the way down.
When it's time to ascend the stairs, Rose must be carried.  "Let me help you."  Rose still wants to help herself, so she does a little hop as you pick her up.  Once in your arms, she thrusts her legs out in a rigid, almost cartoon manner.  Rose maintains this position until we've completed the climb and she is placed on the floor, on her feet.
Rose has taught us many lessons.  Such as:
Independence is relative and sometimes fleeting.
Patience and a sense of humor may not make things easier, but they help. 



  1. Poor Rose. Such a sweet-looking dog!

  2. Awww, reminds me of my Maggie at times. She does get stiff, but she's not quite as old as Rose. She sure is beautiful!

  3. Oh, congratulations! That is a wonderful age for a dog. Sadly ours died aged 12 I was not at all prepared for that. So I feel very happy for Rose and you. And I'm sure there are still many more tricks she'll learn.