The Underestimated Elderly

They’re cute, fluffy, and have adorable bellies. They squeak a lot, are clumsy and will sleep just about anywhere, in any position.

I’m either talking about some hybrid animal in a Harry Potter movie, or puppies. Let’s go with the latter of the two, just to keep the theme of the blog. Shall we?

Puppies, man.

Puppies. Does it get much better than a snuggly, warm, tiny ball of fur? I don’t know, man. I don’t know. They even have their own signature “puppy breath.” They fill Facebook feeds, they’re the rulers of YouTube content, and they’re adorable enough to make even Kristin Stewart crack a smile. That’s a big deal. That girl does not smile.

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*screams*

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*YELLING AND SCREAMING AND FAINTING*

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*calls 9-1-1*

*Wipes tears away* Yeah, he was too cute for our own health. Show me a human baby that is even remotely as cute.

Moral of the story: puppies are cute. I didn’t tell anyone anything that they didn’t know.

And just like humans,

puppies grow up too. They grow into their clumsy paws, their barks get deeper and more intimidating to the intruders that walk on their humans’ land to deliver a package. They lose their puppy fluff and their little puppy bellies, and they might grey a little bit. Unfortunately, rarely will someone goo and ga “OMG SO CUTE LITERALLY GOALS,” over an elder dog, with their grey face, maybe a few fatty tumors, hobbling around on their old legs that once ran faster than the blink of an eye.

But I’m here to challenge the status quo and say that maybe older dogs are where it’s at. I mean, yeah, they aren’t amused by your laser beam pointer (Human, I learned what that was many, many years ago. It simply cannot be caught). Maybe they’re missing a few teeth and have gained a few pounds. But they’re mysterious, peaceful, and more loving and loyal than ever.

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Missing you, old friend.

Cooper lived to be 13. Towards the end of his life, he lost his teeth, eyesight, and hearing. Despite his degeneration, he loved more than any other dog I’ve ever known. He knew which of his humans were which, even though he could hardly see or hear them.

Cooper, like many other elder dogs I’ve met, was full of wisdom. (Okay this is where some of you close your browser because I just described an animal to be wise.)

But they are wise. They have been in your household for over a decade. They know that on Monday mornings, the humans are more cranky than usual. That on Saturdays and Sundays, the humans don’t go away to their mysterious duties all day. They know that staring at the humans as they eat their delicious human food each night will not land them any scraps of their food. They know that the evil human who brings papers to the front of the house each day is actually not that evil and just wants to pay some sort of homage to your humans with a bag of…paper. They have been there through all of the family fights, new neighbors that don’t necessarily like four-leggeds, tears and laughter, and all Christmas mornings: Why do the humans take a tree from the outside and then put all of the shiny things on it (which I did learn many years ago not to eat)? And I cannot pee on this tree, but I can pee on any other tree on the outside?

He knows just about everything about you and your family. You all are his humans, after all. He may not be able to see you or hear you. But he will love you until his very last breath.

With a wagging tail,

Hillary and Humphrey (and of course, Cooper too.)

 

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