As my dog is getting older, I noticed she’s limping more often. But I also noticed she’s gotten heavier. My mom, being the mother she is and never ever wanting to admit that any of her family members are fat, gives excuses like, oh it’s just her skin hanging down. (No mom, she’s gotten fatter.) And just like how overweight people start to have joint aches and knee pain, so do other animals.
And so the past couple of months have really opened my eyes into realizing that my dog, who is now 10, is not going to live forever. She still plays with her toys just like a good ol’ puppy. (Dogs with genetics of boxers seem to stay playful and young and never ‘mature’ until their last half year of their life!)
My family (myself included) has gotten lazy in regards to taking the dog out for walks because they seem to think she’s quite content with sleeping all day. Well, actually, she’s a dog, stuck in a house. She has nothing else to do. She can’t go on the internet. She can’t read a book. She can’t watch TV. She can’t go out for a drive. She can’t go out for a random walk cause she feels cooped up. She can just lay down and get used to doing nothing but falling asleep. Lots and lots of sleep. I would too if I were in her paws.
So I think to myself, that she has only a few years left to live most probably. I could be optimistic and think she will live 20 years old but being realistic is a bit healthier in this case. And if she’s getting fatter, weaker and we’re walking her less, it will only go downhill from here. You know, like senior citizens who start to deteriorate and have to deal with degenerative disease. (By the way, I believe the society and culture pushes this degeneration to occur more rapidly than it needs to, because old people, in the USA, have no functional place in society. They get pushed out and into nursing homes, so it’s no question why they deteriorate mentally and physically.)
So screw all that noise. I’ve started taking her out for walks more often, treating each week as if it might be her last. This isn’t morbid to me whatsoever. She is happier than ever and I feel good that I’m going out for nice walks and I’m sure she is thrilled to be young again.
I’ve noticed she’s losing weight and she’s getting stronger, too. Before she was having trouble jumping into the car or jumping up on top of certain platforms during our hikes that tend to veer off the road and into the woods. I take her for the same walks and she jumps up onto the places she used to struggle with just a few weeks ago. Before I used to let her take all the breaks she wanted to ensure that the pace is not going to injure her or cause her harm since she can’t talk to me and tell me to stop. But progressive overload is the name of the game and we are taking less breaks and she’s keeping up just fine!
So that’s great, right? RIGHT!
The moral of the story is. GO WALK YOUR DOG.