Old dogs - The Book of Ramblings
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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 09:11 am
Old dogs

Last night we were out on our walk and Dahlia was sniffing around when I noticed, back toward a house, a dog tied out (to the tree). I told David to watch out as the dog started to come toward us. It moved slowly though and seemed interested in Dahlia. The strange thing? Dahlia didn't rush the dog. Usually when she sees a dog she gets so excited she has to run right over to it, sometimes a bit faster than she should. Sometimes she does a sort of border collie crouch and freezes and THEN rushes the dog (I'm trying to work on that one!).

But this time she went up slowly and the dogs touched noses and met very nicely. The dog was very calm and didn't rudely sniff Dahlia or anything. He just wanted to come say hi.

I noticed as he came into the light that the poor thing was missing patches of hair all over his body and some hair looked like it was growing back in. He looked like he might have mange or something along that line.

The owner then pulled in (her friends had let the dog out and were keeping an eye on him from inside the house -- I could see them in the window) and came over to talk to us. It turned out that the dog was named Zeke. He was a Newfie/Shepherd mix and he was 17 years old! She said he didn't have mange or anything like that, "he was just old." She had had him since she was in high school and just adored the dog.

And the really amazing thing? He still wanted to play. And Dahlia wanted to play too! She started play bowing in front of him and gently coming up to him with her play/growl face on. She would sort of dance around out of his range and then come up to him slowly and jump back. He even play bowed a couple times and ambled around her. It was like two dogs playing in slow motion and it was really awesome to watch.

At one point, Dahlia play bowed and jumped back out of his range. He came over to her and simply reached out a paw toward her. It was so incredibly sweet. I wish I had a photo of that moment. It's an image that will stay with me forever.

Tags: , ,

18CommentReply

stubberella
stubberella
Lisa Eskra
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)

17? Wow. The two of them playing sounds like a cute scene.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)

It was an adorable and amazing scene. I really wish I'd had a video camera! I told David I hope Dahlia is like that dog at 17.


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anterastilis
anterastilis
Granola Girl
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)

Seventeen, and still wanting to play? That's so sweet.

When I am old I want to open a rescue for old dogs. A big happy farm with lots of blankets lying in the grass for old dogs to stretch out on in the sun.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)

I think that would be the most awesome thing to do for an old person. Hang out on a farm with a bunch of old dogs? Sounds ideal!

It was awesome to see him want to play. I know some old dogs get grumpy when a younger one wants to play and he was all like "oh hi there! let's play?" He certainly didn't move like a young dog, but he was definitely into the playing idea. His owner said he's just a big puppy still!


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becky_h
becky_h
Becky
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)

Dahlia is a truly remarkable dog -- and dear lord I love old dogs. We've got a 17 year old shep/something mix now and she's old and a little unsteady but she's so, so happy. Tail wagging, play bowing, frolicking around outside and just... beautiful.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)

It is just wonderful to see a dog of his age playing like that. Beautiful, yes. It brought tears to my eyes.

Dahlia really is remarkable. I think she's a very empathic dog. When dogs are scared, she recognizes it and with little, scared dogs, she'll actually lay down and let them come to her. It's like she knows her size is scary, so she'll lay down to make herself smaller. Even our trainer at Petsmart was amazed at her empathy. At one point she told us that everyone who goes to a shelter wants to adopt Lassie, and she thinks we actually DID.


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becky_h
becky_h
Becky
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)

You came awfully close, for sure. She is *definitely* a dog who Gets It, and it's beautiful.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)

Yep. I don't think she'd go fetch someone if Timmy fell down the well (she'd probably sit there and stare at him like "hey get up here and rub my belly!" lol), but she's definitely a dog who gets it. How on earth did someone give her up???


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becky_h
becky_h
Becky
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)

It beats the hell out of me. I only have a few dogs here now, but even when I was full I RARELY had a clue why the people managed to give up the dogs -- and they weren't as awesome as she is.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)

It really just blows my mind when you find a dog in a shelter who is not a barker, does not jump up on people, is not out of control, is calm and sweet, loves kids, is great with cats and other small animals, and is pretty too! It's not that I understand people who give up dogs because they're a bit out of control (hello TRAINING FOLKS), but I really don't understand it when the dog has no behavioral issues.

The shelter thought she was dumped because of a foreclosure (she wasn't even brought to the shelter -- she was dumped somewhere and picked up as a stray).


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becky_h
becky_h
Becky
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)

Good god, poor girl.

and yeah, I hear you. Usually they're either ugly or in need of training. Or really, really loud.

I need to post more about the dogs that are actually still here and with me at some point. Like, oh, when I get that damned usb cable.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)

Yes! I want to see more about them! I'm always up for dog stories and pictures. hehe

Most of the dogs at our local shelter are high energy pit bulls and pit mixes. Or older. I was so happy to see a 10 year old dog that reminded me so much of Dahlia got adopted (this was her).


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becky_h
becky_h
Becky
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)

Oh she is gorgeous and that is so awesome.

Heh. One of those dogs is a high energy pit/acd mix.

Caroline was stuck with him for four years and was going to put him down because she didn't trust him with other dogs, Eery time he played she'd wig out and decide he was trying to eat someone and lock him up and decide to only let him out by himself.

He's. So not dog aggressive. At all.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)

Oh wonderful. It's great when the rescue people are freaked out. Poor dog.

Some people who meet Dahlia actually think she's dog aggressive. She does this sort of weird play/growl face where she opens up her mouth and makes this weird growly noise in the back of her mouth. It's totally her play face, but it freaks some people out. I think it just looks silly.


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becky_h
becky_h
Becky
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)

Caroline is just the most pit-phobic breedist person I have ever met in real life. She took the dog and was scared of him from go. He's FINE here.


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morlith
morlith
Wolf That Knows
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)

Awwwww! How wonderful! =D

Thanks for sharing!


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shunhuggedme
shunhuggedme
Vicky
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)

Aww. how sweet <3

My old guys still want to play sometimes.

The sad one is Thunder :( His hips are very painful so when he tries to get 'rough', he falls a lot and it hurts him. I baby-sat some puppies not long ago and the two pups were crawling all over him. He just laid on the floor and wrestled because he kept getting knocked down.


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autumn_arianna
autumn_arianna
DebraAnn
Wed, Nov. 11th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)

amazing... :)


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