Hello dear readers! I missed last week because Mom didn’t know what end was up due to a traveling nightmare. I have never been on an airplane, and from what I hear lately, I don’t want to. Anyway, Mom and Dad ended up driving 21 hours straight from Ellensburg, Washington to Phoenix as United Airlines canceled their flight with no alternative for days. On the way up, they were supposed to arrive at 4 pm but got in at 4 AM. They were tuckered out, so I gave her the day off. Am I a gracious dog or what?
Anyway, the temps are blazing hot even up north, so we haven’t done much this summer other than stay indoors. I heard on the news this morning the Saguaro cactus are falling over from the heat and even the rattlesnakes are in danger of death. Watch shady areas and pools as the snakes are seeking cooler places.
I thought I would take this opportunity to share my two cents on getting older: “It sucks! The end.”
Okay, not really, but it ain’t for the faint of heart. I turn 15 in September, and the last year has brought some huge changes to my Shiba Inu body. I have had to learn to adjust, modify, and pivot. The hardest part is my mind is still game, but the body doesn’t cooperate. Can you relate?
Here is my advice on aging:
- Keep a positive attitude and focus on what you can We will become very sad if we continually look at what we can no longer do. Instead, enjoy what you can do and be grateful. I am still going for walks, albeit shorter ones, and I can go up and down the stairs most days without assistance.
- Embrace napping and recharging your batteries. Oh this one is easy as I have always enjoyed a good siesta, but I do find I need more recovery from adventures than I used to. Older bodies need more rest, so if you need to close your eyes for a few minutes, dream of adventures of days past.
- Never trust a fart! Hey, I’m giving real advice here! TMI, but I learned this the hard way when two poop nuggets slipped out instead of gas. My brother, Mowgli, ran over and quickly attempted to cover them up. Alas, they laid there for all the world to see. I was a bit mortified, but Mom just scooped them up without a word. Poop happens.
- Don’t pass up an opportunity to pee. I used to be able to hold it ALL day, no problem. Now I arf to go out every couple of hours, and I wake up Mom and Dad really early (sorry about that) in the morning. I may not need to go, but I don’t take chances. With this heat, I get some exercise in at the same time as I look like I’ve eaten Mexican jumping beans…”Ooh, ouch, hot, hot, HOT!”
- Speaking of exercise, keep moving! Naps are great, but we need to keep going. My joints get super stiff over night, but once I get walking in the morning, they become lubricated and feel better. I know joints can hurt, trust me. My hips give me trouble every day now. However, they need to move. Remember Point #1.
- Adjust, modify, adapt, and pivot as necessary. My days of hiking eight or more miles up steep inclines is over, especially in warmer temperatures. As I have aged, I don’t tolerate the heat as well. Mom and Dad are good about taking me to cooler places when possible, and I can leap and bound for up to three miles. We have enjoyed more picnics this year where we all relax in nature and kick back for the afternoon.
- Drink plenty of water. Did you know our brains are 75 percent water? This means they need hydrating to function properly. Combat slow brain by drinking plenty of water every day.
- Maintain a healthy weight by eating good nutrition. This one is tougher. Between arthritis medicine and some joint supplements, I’m eating more treats. I’m quite happy about it, but I am putting on some weight. Extra weight is harder on the joints, so come fall and winter, I will need to walk more. The struggle is real as we age, Mom and Dad can attest to that. They both put on a few pounds in the last couple of years, too. Remember Point #6. We aren’t young pups anymore!
- Remain grateful. Too many old dogs get grumpy and bark a lot. They are forgetting Point #1 and get upset over what they can no longer do or what they have lost. I’m spending more time indoors, but I have an awesome house! I have the best family, including a brother who always has my back…and sometimes my leg! Yes, Mowgli likes to nibble on my legs as I am walking by. It can be quite annoying, but he keeps me on my toes!
- Remember aging is a gift. Not every dog lives to be 15, which is mid-80s in human years. Those of us who are privileged to age must go with the flow. We have never been this old before! Take each day as it comes and look for the good in each day. I’ll be blogging as long as my body is able. The adventures are changing, but love still fills them.
And with that, I send good thoughts and vibes to everyone because we are all aging. If you see an old dog like me, know we may not hear you or see as good, but our hearts are as big as ever! Woof. What is your secret to aging gracefully? Let us know!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog/ and Instagram: kumaitothedog
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!