Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Bo is a senior dog. We are not certain of his precise age. He may have just celebrated his 11th or 12th birthday. Regardless, we celebrated this past weekend with a few treats and new dog bed.
Yet, Bo still uses the couch.
Here are five things to know about Bo, since Bo and I will be blogging (about him) throughout the month of March. He is snoring next to me on the sofa as I type...we need to discuss his participation grade tomorrow.
Bo doesn't see very well anymore. Often, he flinches when I call his name I and am standing right beside him. He doesn't flinch like he is frightened. He flinches like he is startled and he thinks I am playing a practical joke on him, like I am a magician, appearing and disappearing at will.
Bo walks in circles around the house and the yard. That is all well and good, except my wife, Karla, and I suspect that he just doesn't know how to find his way back home. He can't see the door. We call him. He follows our voices like a beacon and he is our laboring, lost ship.
As I have been reading a bit about senior dogs, I learned today that Bo might have canine cognitive dysfunction (aka as senility). He matches the three major symptoms: pacing, restlessness, and an inability to settle at night. Bo will wake up when I go to bed. I am usually up and down every two hours or so every night. Sometimes I sleep on the couch with him. Sometimes I take him out back to let him walk a bit. We will be trying a supplement called Neutricks which may help support some healthier cognitive functions in our little, clumsy friend.
Bo still eats well, but he isn't a fan of soft fruits. He chews on a piece of a banana for about ten minutes; yet, he chomps and swallows anything solid like a gator in the Everglades.
This has nothing to do with age, but Bo is a messy drinker. He leaves a trail of water around the house, sometimes puddles. Studying him, I know that Bo finishes his drinking by not swallowing the last four or five laps of water. He lets them pool in his mouth...and then off he goes as if his jaw was numbed with Novacaine.
Bo doesn't chase much of anything, but I will share that on his first day in our house he chased the cats. For hours. And they weren't too thrilled with Bo. We had rescued Bo from a kill shelter in Ohio. We drove to the western reaches of Maryland to meet his initial rescuer...but back to the chasing. Imagine a chubby, friendly dog waddling after cats 10x faster than him. That was Bo. He was curious and happy and couldn't understand why the cats wouldn't keep still. Now, Bo doesn't bother with the cats--the thrill is gone--but one cat does come close to sniff Bo's head and paws when he is safely asleep.
Tomorrow, maybe I will write about his snoring...