I’m sorry to report that our dog Kasey seems to be slowing down. That’s OK — it’s what happens to old dogs, and to old people, too. But it also makes us sad.
We first noticed it because Kasey is now having trouble jumping onto couches and chairs. In the old days, she could spring onto just about anything from a standing position. Then, it took a running start, but she made it. Now, she just puts her front paws on the seat and looks around beseechingly for a friendly face who might give her a lift up to one of her accustomed spots.
There are other signs as well. She limps from time to time, and she doesn’t seem to like long walks quite as much, and she doesn’t strain at the leash like she used to. Her head is turning white. Her eating habits have become more erratic. She’s more content to sit in the backyard in a cool, quiet spot. And she’s had a few of those unfortunate “accidents” around the house.
When you notice these kinds of things, the antenna go up and you begin looking for more indications of health problems. So far, though, we haven’t had to deal with any of those — aside from Kasey’s awful teeth, which seem to be more a product of bad care when she was little than advancing age.
We don’t know how old Kasey is, because she was a fully grown rescue dog when we first met her at the Erie County Humane Society. We guess that she’s 14 or so, but she’s a smaller dog, and they are supposed to live longer. We’re hoping that’s true.
In the meantime, Kish is watching Kasey like a hawk, keeping an eye out for gimpiness or apparent bowel problems, so we can get ol’ Kase to the vet at the first sign of trouble. Kish’s careful observation of Kasey for signs of aging is a bit unnerving, though. Now that I’ve passed 59, I’m squarely in the zone of scrutiny, too.