The Challenge of Aging Gracefully

On Monday, Doc took me to see Dr. Balazs for my yearly wellness check to see if I am in good enough shape to continue working as a therapy dog. Turns out I am. Since I will be turning 10 in July and considered a senior dog, she really gave me the once over. I was there for well over an hour before all the tests, procedures and the consultation was done and to tell you the truth it wore me out. It was also kind of annoying when the doctor kept talking to Doc about helping me stay healthy now that I am a getting older and that it would; entail some changes I don’t like.

It started with the physical exam, you know the normal stuff, like listening to my heart, lungs, looking at my teeth, how shiny my coat is and she even looked in my eyes. They then drew blood to test for heart worm and gave me two shots that I did not like, but I tolerated it. After all, they gave me treats for being such a good boy. Then Dr. Balazs came back in to talk about the importance of keeping my weight healthy. She told Doc without even asking me, to substitute some healthier snacks for the Milkbones. Although I do like strawberries and blueberries, lets face it, nothing is much better than a Milkbone, so I didn’t like hearing that. She said keeping my weight down will help to keep my hips from hurting as I age. The she and Doc talked about the large mass on my chest.

You see, certain dog breeds get fatty masses called lipoma’s. I have a few here and there but one on my chest just keeps growing and now it is about as large as a tennis ball. It doesn’t hurt, it’s not cancerous, but because it continues to grow, the doctor thinks its time to have it surgically removed. Doc agreed and then asked so many questions about the surgery and recovery time I could hardly keep track. It’s always good to have someone you love advocating for you and I am lucky to have her by my side. The doctor also said they will do a dental cleaning during the procedure to keep my teeth white just like all the celebrities you see on TV. So they scheduled my surgery and then we got in the car to go home.

To say I was exhausted after all of that poking, prodding and talking was an understatement. Doc must have felt sorry for me because on the way home she turned into my favorite drive through at Dairy Queen and got me pup cup. I didn’t dare remind her that the doctor had just talked to us about keeping my weight down. Sometimes you need a treat after a tough day.

Moving forward, I will continue working up until my surgery date at the end of June and really try to change the things that the doctor talked to Doc about. After all, it really is about quality of life, even for this pup.

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