Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ashley's Story - Part 6

Welcome back to our guest blogger, Ashley! 

Well, I got the shock of my life the other day. I overheard someone say that at 9 I was a SENIOR DOG! Since when? When did that happen?

It's all in how you feel, I think, and I feel terrific! I can run as fast as ever, jump up on my humans' bed just fine, can see people walking on my street through the trees to bark at them, and can hear a food bag opening in the kitchen from way under the porch…what more could you expect? I've got to say, if anyone thinks a doggy at 9 is over the hill, they have to think again. And look at my sister, Cappy. I think she is going to be 16 this fall and she is doing great, too. She doesn't catch those tennis balls on the fly like she did for a zillion years, but she can still run, bark at the neighbor dogs if called upon, and doesn't miss much. She always follows my mom around, so that means she has to get up and down a lot! And Junior who came to live with us last year is 11 and has plenty of energy, too. So this 'age' and 'senior' stuff is something I don't really understand. I plan to always be young at heart!

Now for some news! You'll never guess what's happened in our family (since I brought up this senior stuff)! My mom and dad read about the sad plight of an old dog named Sophie Ann staying in a shelter, hoping for a home. My dad suggested we go get her and my mom agreed. But we never got to meet Sophie Ann after all, because she went to the Rainbow Bridge about that time. HOWEVER, we did get to bring home another senior doggy, Ellington, because my mom and dad were ready to take an older foster, so he was able to come instead. I heard them say he is about 14, but he doesn't move quite as well as Cappy, so maybe he's even a bit older or maybe he wasn't cared for as he should have been. He is the smallest of all of us and was very quiet when he first came. We were all nice to him and tried to make him feel at home in our 'doggy' ways. After being here about a day and a half, he got really sick though - he slept all day and wouldn't eat or drink and coughed all night - so off he went to the vet early in the morning and when he came back later in the day he was much better. He went back the next day for a short time and after that he made steady progress.

Eli learning the backyard ropes from Ashley
After that little hurdle, I showed him the backyard and my mom and dad propped the doggy door open for him, (so the flap wouldn't hit him in the face). Now he goes in and out easily, loves his food, and has begun to make noise! Every time he sees his food bowl, he barks! (When Junior sees dinner preparations for us, he starts to 'sing', so doggy meal time is a bit noisy at our house!) I have tried to play with Ellington a little, but he is not too interested so far, but he does hang out with the rest of us now - he figured out quickly that there might be treats involved when we're together in a pack…and he's right! (Here Junior is getting his eyedrops - a project we all get involved in - and hanging out on the porch.)
Time for Junior's eye drops

Another thing that I don't understand is the word 'foster'. Mom and Dad told us that Ellington is a foster dog, but we don't see that he is treated any differently from the rest of us. He has his own bed and bowl, a new collar, and he has found all the napping places around the house (and made one of his own one day…in a pile of laundry!) He seems happy and content to be here. I'm sure feeling the breeze in your fur, walking in the grass, sunbathing on the porch, and having a nice soft bed to sleep is a lot better than spending your days in a cage in a shelter without much human companionship, or worse, being a stray, which he was when

Hanging out on the porch
picked up. He still backs away sometimes when mom and dad try to pet him, but he is getting to like being loved on a little more as he gets used to being here. The rest of us are trying to show him by example how nice it is to be petted, have your tummy rubbed and to give kisses, so I bet he'll be getting the hang of that soon, too. After all, he has only been with us a few weeks and had another life his first 14 years.

Now that I've recovered from my shock of being labeled 'senior', I don't think much about it and just live my happy life with my big family as I've been doing. I haven't told the others (except young Copper) they are 'seniors', too. No need to alarm them.

Signing off for now!


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