Let me tell you my elderly dog has always been a pain in the ass. Sometimes her adventures can be comical and great stories. I mean after she survives them. Like the time she befriended a smelly forest dog (A coyote) Or the time she went for a Gilligan’s Island-like adventure in the Pacific Ocean. Life with a senior dog can be an adventure every single day.
We really didn’t think Carly’s shenanigans and her crippling anxiety could get worse until she lost her hearing. What is the loving dog mom to do when life with a senior dog can be so frustrating? I mean besides, take her with me absolutely everywhere like she is my toddler. She’s just too heavy to get a newborn’s ring sling and strap her to my chest like most mommies. Man’s best friend has become so much more dependent on me than normal in the last six months. Sometimes that can be draining on our relationship and on my social life. Luckily most of my adventures are outdoor experiences which are perfect for life with a senior dog. Good thing I’m not one of those Karens who spends her time at the mall or going to see a chick flick in the movie theaters. I can plan most of my life around the fact that I have this four-legged smelly infant with me basically twenty-four-seven.
Carly is over fourteen years old now and this rescue adventure dog now makes my life so much more difficult. Now it’s literally like I have a toddler with me all the time. A toddler who cannot hear and wouldn’t listen to me even if she could hear. She absolutely takes advantage of the situation twenty-four-seven. How can I even run errands when she will happily have an anxiety attack and destroy my car if I leave her alone if I need to run into the grocery store for five minutes? I’ll happily tie her leash up outside the UPS store if I need to run inside to run an errand but so many times, I’ll come back to her howling mournfully and other shoppers asking me, “Is your doggy okay?”No she’s not. She’s an old lady. Everything hurts. And her anxiety is terrible when she is not with her emotional support feline.
Pet cancel culture
I know, I know, everyone on earth is making their pet an emotional support animal these days. It’s really a huge load of bullshit how we have this cancel culture in the United States where yes your poodle who pisses on everything is also here just in case you have a panic attack in the middle of Nordstrom. Am I the only one who can read the big-ass sign on the door of Trader Joe’s that says service animals only? It’s honestly insulting to the hard-working employees who work on the meat aisle stocking shelves when your untrained Chow-Chow picks up a twelve-dollar-a-pound ribeye off the bottom shelf. I’m tired of rolling my eyes at the dumb-dumb millenials who are frolicking down the produce aisle with two snarling pit bull “Emotional support animals” that they can barely contain.
The running joke in our family is that I am my dog’s emotional support animal (And there is some truth in that) Maybe it’s just because I was raised to be an honest person, but I just think that it is a dishonest thing to do here in 2022 to flat out lie to your Uber driver and say your extremely overweight and shedding everywhere husky is an emotional support animal. As an animal lover, I think it seems a bit ridiculous to claim your barky bitey chihuahua is a therapy animal so that you can take him down the aisles of Whole Foods with you.
This wasn’t supposed to be a rant about the cancel culture of millennial pet owners. It was supposed to be about the frustrations of owning a suddenly deaf dog. But here is the thing with having a doggo who has suddenly become as helpless as a small child; Some people might just shove Fido in their big-ass shopping cart at Costco. That’s not something I can do with a clean conscious. So instead I have a lot of stories about what an asshole my dog is.
This is life with a senior dog
It might sound like I’m being a little brash, but as much as we love our dog she spent half her life being a real asshole to us. And now that she’s lost her hearing, it hasn’t gotten any better. Last week she ate part of the backseat of my car after I left her alone for thirty minutes while I was in the supermarket. This is what I get for baking her sweet potatoes and homemade bone broth to go in her kibble.
I might spend my days hiking miles of Eastern Sierra’s trails with man’s formally best friend, but she certainly doesn’t treat me like a girlfriend. More like I’m Paris Hilton’s personal assistant and I’m here just to clean up her shit all day long.
Our local hardware store is dog-friendly and my pup is well-known there. All the employees say hi to her when we come in to buy more spring flowers and veggies. Well, today she choose to pee in the middle of the paint aisle. That was beyond embarrassing. And then all the employees ignored me when I went around begging someone for a paper towel (I think it was my Let’s Go Brandon hat. They are usually a lot nicer than that) Remember when my dog was not deaf and just stupid? Yeah, those it turns out, were the good old days.
Just start drinking
It’s never easy when man’s best friend gets old. First, their snout turns white. Then they slow down on hikes. For some, they even lose their hearing and eyesight. Even if you are living life with a senior dog, fear not, because happy hour is right around the corner! Even if your old pup acted like a real asshole today because she just had to run up to that pack of coyotes, don’t worry, we are just a few hours from cocktails.
San Diego or bust!
Our running joke in our household is about taking our dog to San Diego. Our extremely awesome vet here in Big Bear Lake is a little bit of an eccentric hippie. This is totally fine with me but not the kind of veterinary clinic you would find in the yuppie cities of Suburbia. Six years ago when we had our other, senior rescue pup put to sleep our happy hippie vet told us about the process in detail ahead of time. After our pup’s ashes were packaged, her employees would drive them to the beaches of San Diego and set our pup’s final resting place at sea over the Pacific Ocean. From this time on, any time any of the animals misbehaved we joked about “Sending them to San Diego” Jokingly, some of our pets may be assholes but still, we love them all and are dreading that final day they have to go to San Diego. Even Carly.
Do you also have a suddenly deaf dog? Are you dealing with an animal who chooses or doesn’t choose to listen to you almost constantly? What is the frustrated dog mom to do besides drink herself silly?