Bitty Dog is 9 years old. He’s a senior, but definitely not elderly. His age is showing a bit more now. He got out the back door when the chickens were out last week. He didn’t even notice them. He walked over to their run (door wide open). He sniffed at the door but didn’t go in. He looked around, maybe thinking, “Where did they go?”. He continued to walk around the yard, minding his own business.
Yesterday, we brought Mother inside to wrap her feet (bumblefoot coming back). We usually put Bitty in our room because he would certainly attack a chicken, judging from his usual barking and chasing around the outside of their run. He looked so sleepy and comfortable on the sofa last night, we didn’t bother. He also didn’t bother to get up, even when Mother flapped and bawked. It was a little sad.
He has always had selective hearing, so his general lack of response to sound wouldn’t necessarily be a sign of aging. He still knows whether it’s the postman at the door or the postman’s wife, even though they share the same rural route car.
His sense of smell is also selective. He can’t sniff to find a treat under his nose but he can smell a piece of bread if someone walks in the house with one.
During every annual check up, the vet says, “He has great teeth!”. That’s the result of one dental she did for him a few years ago and monthly tooth brushing by our awesome dog groomer. I am certain the chicken poop he eats is why he needed the dental and not aging!
We’ve all grown older together, living our separate but routinely intertwined lives. The vet has two little boys now, our groomer has a wife, and my daughter is almost out of high school. Our groomer also has chickens now. He said we loved ours so much he wanted some too!
Bitty Dog is more hesitant to jump on and off the bed now. He still sleeps all day though. I still have to pick him up and put him outside if he hasn’t gone out by 3:30pm. He’s always been that way. He’s also aged into a perfect dog in many ways: he doesn’t chew holes in comforters anymore, is now rarely interested in eating stuffed animals, and still goes for his chew toy after being excited by the postman instead of tearing up the house.