Growing old... getting grumpier!

26th Apr, 2019


Illustration by Jenny Lamont

In which DD feels anxious about embarking upon those delicate “golden years” with little Sammy Bear.

The “golden years” with fur kids isn’t easy (for us nor for them!), and after many years of untold cuteness (when they were babies), lots of laughs and fun (as they grew up) and then the mellow and mature years… we all know that far too soon for our liking, our precious pets WILL get old.

Ai, I’ve been through it way too many times, and each time I say, “I can’t do this again!” but, being a crazy animal lover, you just do!

Our Sammy has just turned 13 and, for a Morkie, I’m hoping she has many more years in her, but I can already see little subtle changes in her.

For one, I can’t be sure whether she’s either suffering from selective hearing (she is known to be a bit of a high-maintenance Morkie) or whether she’s gone deaf. So I’ve moved swiftly into using more hand signal instructions… in the hope that both us will be “fluent” for when needs be.

Of course, this only works if you actually HAVE her attention… if she’s outside moseying about in the cold, dark night while you shiver and wait eagerly at the door for her to return at pre-bed-wee-time, all is lost! When she’s scooting across the lounge like a toy wind-up dog in front of rather horrified guests (this usually to indicate that it’s time for her monthly anal gland clearing), you find yourself having to leap up and tap her on the shoulder to “PLEASE refrain!”.

I also wonder about her eyesight… she doesn’t seem to recognise anyone until they’re right in front of her. This is a more worrying thing. It could also be why she’s taken a midnight tumble down our stairs more than once. I’m already thinking of solutions, but I know she wouldn’t approve of a change in circumstances: she’s very set in her ways.

She also has become even more demanding and is so driven by routine… she won’t eat dinner UNTIL she’s first played ball. She won’t settle down after dinner until she has a comfort item of clothing, and she’s taken to staring down Aaron or The Dad until they relent and swiftly remove their socks (or worse, their underpants!). And, even then, she literally herds me to Aaron’s bed to lie down and watch TV so she can get comfy and snooze.

Some nights are even more challenging – just two nights ago, I was at a complete loss for what she wanted!

She whined and pawed and pumped her little front feet at me from the side of Aaron’s bed, where I was comfortably watching TV. I couldn’t understand what on earth she wanted. She’d already frisked The Dad for his socks (which were on the bed where she HAD been). I got out of the bed to pick her up, and as I got out of the bed… she literally RAN AWAY from me, leaving James and Aaron in stitches! I had to chase her around the bed, and then, just as I got to her, in true cartoon dog fashion, she dramatically fell onto her back with all four legs in the air. She does this because she knows if she’s in this position it’s impossible for me to pick her up. Argggh… and so I couldn’t. I got back into bed (we were all more than irritated by now – we were watching Netflix, you know!), and I simply tossed the socks at her.

And then she promptly picked them up in her mouth, jumped on the bed and settled down with a “hmmmpfff”. Leaving me to think that I really do need to brush up on my doglish!

And so we keep on keeping on… with me reminding myself that every day spent with her, and being her trusty 24/7-on-call-Momma, is a blessing indeed. Together we can do this!