Well, it’s now May, 2020 and there have been some changes in my life & the world. In the world, as you know, Covid-19 is present – it is definitely curtailing my choice of walking venues. For example, at my favorite location, Crissy Field, the parking lot is closed and on street parking is severely curtailed because of, it appears, a construction project. So, for any senior dog like myself, it is seriously inconvenient if not impossible to get to the beach.
In my case, not only am I a senior with the typical aches & pains, but I’ve been suffering from hip dysplasia. I’ve been dealing with this for several years and it’s now quite advanced – if I lie down, I have trouble getting up; down is a hassle too. My days of running fast are behind me. Navigating the stairs without a helper is out, but when outside I can do whatever needs doing.
A second condition I’ve developed over the last year or so is called Laryngeal Paralysis – it’s complicated, but the bottom line is that, for no apparent reason, I begin gasping, which is troubling to my guardians and me as well. The gasping comes on, sometimes lasts for 5-10 minutes, and then I return to normal. Even during the night, when I’m quite comfy in my donut bed , I might need to stand up and gasp. This can be very distracting for my guardians, who would like to be sleeping.
As to my being a senior, I definitely qualify. Although my birthdate is unknown, I’ve been with my guardians for 13 years, and they’ve been the best years. I may have been 1-1.5 when they adopted me, so I’m old – earlier this year I overheard the Vet say, in so many words, that my days were numbered, but of course I already knew that. So sad but, as they say, nothing lasts forever.
One of the bright sides of getting older is that I seem to be appreciated even more than before. I’ve noticed more frequent park visits – the Presidio Golf Course was special on all 3 visits, especially the last with Sudie & Pippa. (The golf course was kindly open to pedestrians for a couple weeks during Covid-19). I’ve also noticed more variety in my diet which has always been largely kibble. Lately, my kibble servings have been improved with raw carrots, barbequed chateaubriand, or my favorite addition, roasted salmon.
In addition to the limitations of my several afflictions and advancing age in general, here in San Francisco the mayor’s order to “shelter in place” began March 17th – since then my walks have been almost uniformly out the front door, with only an occasional car-enabled expedition to a nearby city park. Since I love new places, it was a major treat two weekends ago when my family drove up to Healdsburg for an afternoon visit with cousin Peggy and her husband Richard. I exempted myself from following the social distancing protocol, and exchanged fond looks and tail wags with Peggy & Richard, who reciprocated with sincere affection. I knew them well from other visits including the weekend I hosted them at Wally’s Place last autumn.
It’s now May 31st – we’ve been pretty much homebound by the virus since mid-March – the nearby pet store, Pet Food Express, my favorite place to get a bath, has been open for product sales but its wonderful self service bath department has been idle. But my guardian began to feel I needed a real, complete bath – so she called PFE yesterday & learned the bath department just opened again, so we went for our appointment this morning. I’m now clean & brushed, feeling good if a little tired. But I’ll rally this afternoon for a meeting we all have in Marin.