Thursday, June 14, 2018

Caring for an Older Dog ~ Fonda, RVT

It is amazing how fast time goes by! Our third black labrador, Sam, is eleven and a half years old, and he has been a wonderful addition to our family. He is Mr. Easygoing--a laid back (almost to a fault) gentle giant of a dog. Not to mention he is so very handsome. 

Our daughter, Hannah, has had a black lab in her life since she was born twenty-nine years ago. After our second lab, Molly, passed away, we were so lost without her. It was only a few months before we were driving to Charleston, SC, to pick up this cute lug of a puppy. Hannah was just finishing her junior year in high school.


Now we are sharing Sam with our grandbabies! Little did we know at the time that Sam came into our lives that he would be loved by Sadie and Briggs as well.


 


Caring for an aging dog has once again become part of our lives. These dogs have brought so much joy with them; their unconditional love and devotion is unlike any other, and now Sam deserves the care he needs to make life more enjoyable for him.

Sam has developed arthritis in his joints over the last year as well as a heart murmur of unknown origin. Dr. Alley and Dr. Kleisch have helped me to navigate through this with suggestions on medication and with regular examinations to check his progress. As with any aging dog, in the day to day care, it is important to limit activity that can cause pain or more joint injury. We only take short trips outside now that the weather is warmer, and he gets lots of fresh cool water to drink. Good nutrition also plays an important role in keeping him healthy in addition to giving medication as prescribed by his vets. 



This big black bear of a dog gets lots of time with us, lying at our feet during dinner or while we play cards. Sam is the first thing that Sadie asks for when she comes to our house. He is part of our family. It is always my prayer that I have the wisdom to know when he is no longer comfortable and life has become to hard for him to endure. Until then, we will cherish every moment of our time together. 


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