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!
World’s Oldest Dog Reveals 3 Secrets to Long Life
By: Laura S. January 24, 2016
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.”
1. Am I Listening to My Dog?
No, 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?
- 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?