Life is a terminal disease!

What can we learn from the world’s oldest dog?

I’m seventy-one years old and aware that the ageing process is “alive and well” within me. It primarily is revealed by a degree of brain atrophy that is evidenced by very poor recall. There is no question that it worries Jean and, at times, worries me as well.  Adding to the recognition that these are my “senior” years is the awareness that the people that one knows all tend to be a similar sort of age and, inevitably, you don’t have to go far to hear of someone who is very ill, or has recently died.

So the motivation is very strong to stay as fit and healthy; both in body and mind.

Thus a recent article over on the Care2 site about the world’s oldest dog seemed more than a tad relevant to yours truly and will hopefully connect with others who know they are never going to see twenty-one again!

ooOOoo

World’s Oldest Dog Reveals 3 Secrets to Long Life

3165238.largeBy: Laura S. January 24, 2016

About Laura

It’s often said that happiness is the key to a long life, but is the same true in the lives of dogs?

Let’s take a look at the world’s oldest living dog. His name was Bluey and he lived to be an astounding 29 1/2 years old. As a puppy in 1910, Bluey joined the household of Les Hall in Victoria, Australia.

Every morning, Bluey went to work among the cattle and sheep. He enjoyed the great outdoors and had constant companionship. He ate a diet that largely consisted of wild kangaroo and emu (not unhealthy animals raised in factory farms). Retiring from his official ‘job’ several years before his death, Bluey remained valued and respected even though he was no longer “useful.”

Oldest_Animals_2a12Ask Yourself These Three Questions

 So what about your dog? Are you providing the essential building blocks for a long life? It all boils down to these three questions. Answer honestly, and if you don’t like what you find, today may be the day to turn over a new “leash.”

1. Am I Listening to My Dog?

ThinkstockPhotos-200359349-0011No, your dog can’t speak in full sentences but how hard is it to understand his needs? Chances are, it’s pretty easy. Is your dog full of anxiety because you’ve worked a 10 hour day leaving him alone in the house, or worse yet, locked in a cage? When your dog greets you with excitement at the door, do you take the time to grab the leash and go for a long walk or do you scold him for bothering you? Is your dog getting up very, very slowly from painful joints?

Try listening, really listening, to the things your dog is telling you over and over again. Try this exercise. Think of two memories of times when your dog was happiest. Chances are that you were being active outdoors together. Could you re-create those experiences, even on a small scale, each week?

2. Do I Break My Promises?

ThinkstockPhotos-1224645481Are you guilty of breaking promises to yourself and to your dog?  Do you procrastinate? Make a dedicated practice of fulfilling your promises to your dog, the same way as you would care for your own needs. It’s just like brushing your teeth. Schedule in items like these:
  • A  20 minute walk in the morning before you leave for work.
  • A neighbor to come and let your dog outside at lunchtime.
  • Adhering to a schedule of six month veterinary check-ups, especially for mature dogs.
  • Washing food and water bowls daily.
  • A long walk at the end of the day.
  • And most of all, doing those things you know your dog loves most.

3. Am I Putting My Stress Onto My Dog?

piIf you’ve had a bad day, do you let it spill over? Can you check your troubles at the front door or do you bring them with you and spread your grief? Although it is difficult, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that your truest friend in the world is not the one you want to hurt today.
ooOOoo
This business of learning from our dogs just goes on and on!

24 thoughts on “Life is a terminal disease!

  1. Nice post, John, and great headline! No one gets out alive. My dog just turned 10 and I feel she and I are aging together. I turned 76 a week ago. This is my first dog in over 60 years, so I needed to learn from scratch how to take care of one. Luckily, I found Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, with his wonderful ideas. Cesar says, the mistake most dog owners make is that they mix up the dog’s needs. Exercise is the dog’s number one need, then comes discipline and affection. The longer I write my blog on healthy living, the more I realize how similar our needs are. I hope you are getting some good cardio exercise into your life. It is the closest thing to a fountain of youth for us seniors.

    1. Tony, what a wonderful reply. Thank you. Agree totally about cardio exercise and I work very hard to do a bicycle ride every two days. Plus where we live demands a degree of physical attention. Your approach to your dog sounds very wise. I must drop into your own blogsite soon.

  2. I’m smiling Paul. As I ” are you listening?” Dilys is barking and looking for attention. She’s telling me she’s bored … And I’m telling her she needs to get a job. Seriously. A sense of purpose is so good for all of us!

    1. Sorry Val, don’t know how I missed replying to you before Jean and I went out for much of the morning. Yes, a sense of purpose for us and our wonderful dogs is critically important. Give Dilys a big hug from Jean and me! 🙂

  3. I love when my dog is happy 🙂 He’s a 13 year old Boston and the happiest I’ve seen him is at the beach with waves or in the forest walking. Hard to recreate those in the winter here in Nova Scotia but I try!

    1. What jumped out from your lovely reply was how your dog’s happiness made you happy. The closeness of your relationship is at the heart of your mutual happiness. Loved hearing that from you.

  4. What a meaningful and great post. I get great enjoyment and fun from my two very different dogs. Bob( Norwegian Elkhound of decidinglybob.wordpress.com) is very sociable and lazy so exercise to him is a gentle walk and a hug from those he meets. While Ellie is all collie and loves to work so she does search and rescue work with a local group, both dogs however constantly put a smile on my face and between them they keep me active.

  5. Brilliant Post.. and I am sure the quality of life and attitude as owners or being owned by our pets 🙂 in case of my Cats 🙂 plays a great part.. I had a 21 yr old cat.. 🙂 and I am sure she lived out more than her 9 lives.. 🙂 Have a great day Paul

  6. Paul, great post. Agree with all of it! Our dogs are treated like they are children! Daily walks are for them! (Well, for us too). We talk to them and don’t tune into music or make cell phone calls. We are aware of their behaviors and watch our stressed out emotions around them. Seriously, dogs give so much to our lives, how could we not give them a good life back! Have a great Thursday! Elizabeth

  7. Another fabulous reply to today’s post – thank you, Elizabeth. (I have a sister, four years my juinior, who is named Elizabeth!) The speed at which dogs pick up on our emotions is truly wonderful. One of our more recent ex-rescue dogs, young Oliver, always, without fail, wants to join in when Jean and I hug each other. Oliver gets up on his hind legs and gets included in the hug. Dogs give so, so much to our lives!

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