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When Your Pet Reaches the Double Digits

Last week was Sanchez’s 10th birthday! While I’ve celebrated all of his birthdays, this one felt very different than all the previous ones. I’ve known too many dogs who didn’t make it to their 10th birthdays, and it felt like a milestone and a blessing. And it is a reminder that every day is a gift. I’m fortunate that Sanchez is in good health and fully recovered from a slipped disc in his neck last year. On his 10th birthday, I counted my blessings.

I’m also aware of the challenges of having a senior pet. He’s teaching me to be more patient, forgiving, and present. These are lessons not always so easy for me. Yet, he is the world’s best teacher, as I am a crazy pet parent who would do anything to make his life more comfortable.

As years pass, I realize there are things about Sanchez that I now appreciate more than ever:

  • Hearing him snore
  • Watching his tail wag while he’s sleeping (video above)
  • Hiking off-leash
  • Having his company nearby while I play the piano
  • Having him come running to me when I call him
  • Watching his playful, puppy-like behavior

Do you have pets in the double digits? Are there things you appreciate about them more as they mature? Thanks for sharing in a comment below.

Have you seen the new Adoptable Pets page on Care2?  Please also share with your friends. We’d love your help in finding homes for these adorable animals!

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pets, Videos, , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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11:50AM PDT on Jul 27, 2013

My cats are getting old (the six surviving ones. One died of sudden kidney failure just before his tenth anniversary). They sleep much more now and they need much more medical attention. Everything - at their age (mid teens) - becomes a potential death threat. Every day is so precious. I know we are on borrowed time, after some very serious scares. It's so moving to see them becoming fragile after having seen them so full of energy when they were young. They still play of course, cats always play up to the end, but they sleep so much more. To me it's an honour to have had the chance to share their lives. An amazing honour, which I am not so sure I deserve. I know we shall always be together whether in physical form or not.

6:35AM PDT on Jun 30, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

4:48AM PDT on Jun 30, 2013


2:07PM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

elder rescues are amazing

9:38PM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

thanks for sharing

2:21AM PDT on Jun 4, 2013

My dear 17 year old cat Oscar has slowed down too, especially after an operation he had to remove his ears because of skin cancer. Today I found out he is HIV+ and it's an awful shock. he is having investigations to find out why he is throwing up and I fear a bowel tumour. I will keep him going as long as he is not suffering. After so many years together he has so much trust in me. As he sleeps on his cushion I'll ask you to give your furry companions an extra kiss and cuddle in appreciation of their love for you.

8:51PM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

Oh ... and thanks for sharing, Lisa. I love the video :-)

8:39PM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

My dachshund, Chico, is 14.5 years old. I have 3 other dogs, and Chico is the oldest. I treat him like the special boy he is. He has Cushing's disease, and gets staph infections (non-contagious) that get a bit crusty and nasty. I have learned that I have the capacity to love - warts and all. I hope he makes it to his 17th birthday!

1:44AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

thank you for sharing-2/6

7:53AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

Our doggies are sleeping more..( they'll both be 12 this year. Definitely slowing down. The sheltie, Jack, is getting hard of hearing. And my rat terrier Po is turning more white...eyebrows, face, and what used to be his bib of white is turning into a white tshirt. Love them both more everyday, my little boyos.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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