She Still Has Some Kick Left in Her

 It is so difficult having an aging pet.  Teddy is now over 12 years old.  That's 84 in people years. The tip of her proud Chow tail is bald.  She has a lot of trouble going up and down steep stairs in the house.  We have to go up behind her and down in front of her just in case she stumbles so we can catch her. Quite a few years ago she refused to get in the car to go to parks and on long drives.  Her world started to shrink.  She occasionally will go an a short walk in the neighborhood but they are less frequent.  We have had horrible heat and humidity so she mostly spends her days laying on the cool stone floor in front of a fan.

One thing she does enjoy, is walking down to the upper pond to get a drink.  Nothing like a good shot of pond water. She has stopped gong all the way down to the lower pond because it is a long trek back up for my old girl.  So, innumerable times a day we go out for a drink.  She slowly descends the steps.

 She mows through my hostas to get to the pond.

 She carefully positions herself to get a drink.  We scrub that stone she is standing on with a wire brush to get rid of the algae so that she doesn't take the log jammer ride.

 Hi Teddy, I'm talking about you.

 She very carefully turns herself around watching her footing so she doesn't slip.

 Then she has to dry her paws off because Chows hate having wet paws.  First the left one.

 Then the right one, this never varies.

 Time to water the ivy because who doesn't have to pee when they just had their feet in water?

 Once Chows pooh or pee, they run for the hills.

 Why this is, I will never know.

 But even at her age, she is a blur as she heads back home.

 She does stop for a rest partway up the steps.

 By the time she reaches the upper garden, she is panting.

 However, do you see how she is turning her head here?  She smelled something.  Perhaps a bad kitty? What you don't see is that she spun around, flew down the step and across the rocks heading into the woods.  I followed screaming and reached to grab her which made her turn around and snap at me.  She was separated from whatever the unknown smell was by the pond and thought twice about diving in to get there.  Plus I had two handfuls of hair that I was hanging onto and was trying to pull her back so she wouldn't get hurt on the rocks.  Jesus. Could you hear me screaming from where you are?

 She reluctantly gave in and came home, both of us panting. Maybe slowing down a little isn't such a bad thing.  I don't need this kind of excitement in my life anymore.


You take such good care of Teddy in her golden years!
Susan said…
I agree - how much excitement can you take? I do believe I DID hear you. Honestly, it's amazing how quickly they can move when motivated. Glad you both survived.
Mary Locklear said…
They are our babies - family members and we love them and do all we can for them. I totally relate. . .enjoy your time with Teddy.
kymber said…
all of our rescued cats are getting up in age and we have built little stairs for them to get up on the ottoman, the dining table, the kitchen table, etc.

you take such good care of teddy and she knows it. you are a very spiritually- and love-filled person jaz.
it's so hard to watch our loves grow old...knowing that one day.... This is why we take such good care of them and spoil them and appreciate the unconditional love that they give. There is nothing more special than the love between a dog and his/her person.
That sweet baby girl. I hope Teddy lasts another 8 years and that they are wonderful memories for you. I still find myself calling Pebbles for dinner or asking David if she is outside. It makes me think I'm going crazy but I know better. Lucy still shows signs of missing her too.
Cottage Tails said…
I think that is the hardest part of having pets is seeing them age.
Alicia Foodycat said…
Such a lovely girl. I sometimes I wish I was more interested in turtles or parrots so I could have a pet with a long lifespan. Instead I adore the big dogs with their short lifespans, or cats with slightly better ones. Teddy seems to be having a lovely life still.
Linda said…
Oh was that what I heard? It did sound frantic and far away. Maybe dogs hurry away after the poo or pee because they feel vulnerable in those positions. How does she dry her feet? I loved this post.
Guillaume said…
Such a sweet girl your Teddy is!
greekwitch said…
Teddy is such a lucky dog to have such a sweet mama. And may I say again how much I love your gardens?
Kay said…
Teddy is such a beauty, no matter what age and your garden is just gorgeous. It's so lush and beautiful!
dear sweet teddy. the perfect companion. getting old is a pain. no doubt about it.
She is moving..making you move. Yes, I've been there. I didn't hear you scream but my hearing aids were probably out. :) This is such a lush time of year for your lovely yard. I am enjoying mine too..though nothing like yours. I need to write I am off to do that.