For more community-driven stories, visit our archive.
I would like to be a dog for a day
We currently have two dogs, a nine-year-old black Lab named Lulu and a tenyear old Miniature Schnauzer, Tilly, both in their golden years.
Tilly has developed arthritis over the past few months so she requires a little more assistance in getting around. A daily dose of an antiinflammatory medication has helped. Unfortunately, Lulu has been battling blastomycosis over the past few months – her second bout with it – so she has been under the weather.
Despite their health issues, which has only caused us to notch up our pampering of them, they are doing well in training us humans how they wish to be cared for.
Tilly used to be able to jump up on our bed. Yes, they both sleep on our king-sized bed with us and somehow, my husband and I still manage to find a sliver of room to get some sleep at night. Because of her arthritis Tilly is no longer able to either jump up on the bed or off once she is there, so we need to lift her up or down at her beck and call. I considered getting a dog ramp but the manual method seems to be working well.
Another way in which Tilly has us trained is that, since her arthritis has kicked in, she is skittish about walking on flooring that is not carpeted. This is problematic since our whole kitchen and back and front entry have concrete flooring and happen to be the only way to access going outside when nature calls.
We now have to pick her up to get her to the door to go outside since she won’t walk on the concrete. However, she seems to have no problem walking on the concrete once she is back in the house since the journey to our pantry (across concrete floor) means getting a dog treat and getting fed. She’ll have her treat, eat, and then stand in the kitchen until one of us picks her up to carry her to the carpeted portion of the rest of the house. Mind you, the trip from her dog dish to the carpet is only a couple of feet.
We have occasionally forgotten to assist her from the kitchen area where she has become “stranded.” She has since devised a couple of ways to get our attention. One is to continue to paw at the sliding glass door until we notice that she is stuck.
Another tactic she uses is to hit her metal water dish with her paw causing it to ding on the concrete floor, as well as spilling water everywhere. Alerted to her predicament, we will rescue her from the dreaded concrete floor, clean up the spilled water and refill it with fresh. The irony of this is that her water dish is literally inches away from the carpeted floor; close and yet so far, apparently.
Lulu loves to sleep, and she loves to sleep the day away on our bed, typically lying on her back with all four legs in the air and ears flipped back. She went for an early-morning ride with my husband the other day and I jokingly mentioned that it was the first time I could remember not having to make the bed around her. No, I don’t make her get off the bed when it comes time to make it. I’ve tried and get a dirty look in return – as much of a dirty look as a cute brown-eyed Lab can muster anyway.
Tuesday of this past week was a yucky rainy day. One that makes a person want to stay tucked in under the blankets and read the day away. It was however a work day. I lifted Tilly off the bed so she could tuck in on her favorite cushion (on the carpet), made the bed around Lulu and gave them both a parting hug, jealous that I was not able to be one of them that day. Lulu the Lab that enjoys a life of luxury, and Tilly, the spoiled Schnauzer. Photos by Kirsten Reichel.