I am worried about Ollie.
Sorry to get all into this, but like a lot of older dogs, he has begun to lose bladder and bowel control in the house. Any house he is in, which has numbered three in the last month. Yes, that situation is as attractive as your imagination suggests it is . . .
It is a significant stress, for him and everyone around him. I admit I haven’t taken this development well. I bark at him sometimes when the situation is unfolding right before my eyes, especially in someone else’s home. That isn’t right. I need to stop. Ollie is a dog. He doesn’t mean it, doesn’t know he’s doing it or can’t help himself. And I take it personally, as if I am the incontinent offender. How ridiculous is that? Like Ollie, I may need an examination, too.
I got rid of every area rug – truthfully, I just didn’t replace the ones he ruined in the kitchen — so the hardwood cleanup is easier. I am obsessed with getting and keeping him outside as much as the weather permits, with utility room access and his water bowl. He cries and whines. Friends say bring him in, he’s crying. Well, I am crying for my buddy.
His cataracts are worsening and typical lab arthritis or dysplasia make navigating the steps to my bedside to sleep each night difficult. The irony is Ollie prances like a pony by the door when he sees me grab the leash or a plastic bag, knowing what is in store. If we go to the field and no other dogs or people are around, he chases down the bouncing lacrosse ball like it’s the most important thing in the world to him. The joy in that is palpable.
Yet those who love him are on constant edge, I am sad to say. Ollie’s world is closing in on him, by necessity. When I am away, and the dog sitter texts an update regarding a mess they walked into and then did their best to clean away, above and beyond the call, well, it breaks my heart.
Ollie has a quirky personality — unknown fears and behaviors were embedded in him before I got him — and has always been a handful, especially these last few years. And yet he has been indispensable throughout. And I know we are not alone in this challenge; the web, as ever, is full of similar anecdotal stories, advice and results. I will keep scouring for guidance. The vet will continue to be consulted. Vigilance is demanded in an effort to ease everyone’s burden.
Aging has its advantages, but also its poignant challenges. Human or canine, it makes no difference, the life changes come and you just have to deal, bottom line.
This is one big change and challenge.
I am sorry, and worried, for my best friend.