Friday, May 21, 2010

Old Age Is Not For Sissies

Trooper at the vets. Photos with camera phone.

Trooper, as I have noted for a long time is OLD. He is just about deaf as a post now, and his back legs are so weak you can push him over while patting him on the head.

Yesterday, my daughter came up the driveway a little too fast, and accidentally hit Trooper with her car. She was, of course, mortified and the dog was rushed to the vet.

The sign in my study.

The long story short, is that there does not seem to be anything broken, and damage seems to be restricted to one paw. Of course, that's enough to make it so he cannot stand, what with his back legs being so wobbly even before all this.

What to do?

Trooper does not seem to be in pain, and I have decided to give the old man a few days to see how it goes. Time will tell.

This is Trooper, after all; he has slipped the coils of death before and remains a lamplight for hope.

There is no getting out of this world alive, and Trooper does not have long. His day will come, but as of yesterday and this morning, I am not sure his day has come quite yet.

I will not be too late, but I will not be too early either. At age 50, I have seen a few miracles. Life wants to live, and my job is simply to control pain and make sure the exit is as dignified as possible.

Trooper does not seem to be in pain, and though his dignity is bruised, he still grins, even if he cannot stand and needs help going to the bathroom as a consequence.

We shall see....

Old age is not for sissies.


YesBiscuit! said...

All good thoughts for Trooper.

Eleanor Herrick said...

Wishing you and Trooper as many more happy days together as the universe will allow and peace and comfort for you both when that time comes to an end.

Bjarne´s aquarium blogg said...

How old is the old man?

Seahorse said...

Like YesBiscuit! and Elenor said.


PBurns said...

Past 15, and I have never had terrier make it to 16. He has been in retirement for 8 years.

He may pull out of this. Trooper is hard between the ears, even if he is the most obedient and gentle dog I have ever owned. He was a terror to things in holes though. A terror. Now he is an old fighter in the chair, but he still has the heart of a lion. A lion in winter, but a lion... I will never bet against him.


Seahorse said...

Patrick, I don't know about the age range of Border Terriers, but our Jack Russells went long. Two littermates we kept went to 18.5 years, passing away within 9 weeks of one another. Yes, they were blind and fairly deaf, but they did their best to uphold the terrier code until the very end. Trooper may go longer than 16, and I hope he does.


Gina said...

Most aptly named dog EVER. I suspect he'll be the subject of a few more posts to come.

And WHERE did you get that sign? I want one!

FrogDogz said...

I hope he hangs in there, Patrick. I've often found it surprising how resilient my old dogs have been, but grandmother used to say "Of course they are - they've got more practice at living".

We just lost our fifteen and half year old girl, and I'm still gutted. Her mom made it to almost seventeen, and her grandfather to just over eighteen, and I think I was hoping for the same for her, but it wasn't to be. Do I dare point out that these are Frenchies? :)

Be well, Trooper.

PBurns said...

The old man is not rallying, but he looks happy and comfortable, and he has dragged his carcass across the front lawn three or four times today, so I have actually tied him out. I also gave him a bath, which seemd to cheer his spirits. I cannot imagine his front leg is broken at this point, and if not, it is a miracle, as I think he got nailed good on that one leg. Knock on wood!

Border terriers are among the healthiest and longest-lived terriers, averaging 14 years. Jack Russells are right behind them with an average longevity of 13.6 years. Of course, some dogs manage to live forever; I have even hear of deer hound hitting 16 or 17!

Trooper was lucky to land with me where he got to work until he begame a danger to himself, and then he got 8 more years of being fed and treated as a mascot. That's about as good a life as you get for a border.

For dog longevity data (most breeds), see >>


seeker said...

Ah, Trooper, as well named as dog as I ever heard of. If he's still smiling I'd wait also. Bless his hard little head and great big heart.

You're a good man, Patrick.

Debi in Texas

Marie said...

We are pulling for Trooper here.

I have a JRT that will be 16 in July and another that will be 15 in November, both are still remarkably perky and still act like younger dogs. Oh they sleep more than they used to, their hearing is more selective these days and why bother peeing outside? We've invested heavily in paper towels and Nature's Miracle, and are thankful we don't have carpeting lol.

My sign to let them go is when life doesn't seem to be worth living; food and treats no longer are the center of their universe, the sparkle in their eyes have long left. As long as they still show terrier ways, they'll be around.

I am sure Trooper still has some terrier ways left in him. Give him a hug from me.

Doug said...

Troopers a good ol' guy. I know how close you hold your dogs. The best to both of you.

dp said...

We have a Parson who is 16, deaf but otherwise OK. My 13 1/2 year old bitch is slowing down a bit, except for her appetite.

All the best to Trooper---long may he live!

Ruth Hansell said...

Trooper looks like his name. Give him a scratch wherever he likes it best from me.

We've got Samantha, a border collie who turned 15 the first of April, and Shoshone, who is probably somewhere in her 14th year. Sam is looking like she might last another month or so, but not longer. Shonie shows very little sign of age, except graying in her coat.

We are all lucky to have such great good dogs.


YesBiscuit! said...

Just checking back to see how he's doing today. Update?

PBurns said...

He still cannot stand. He has willingness, but the body is failing him, and at his age, three legs cannot carry him. A few more days will tell the tale, but I am only mildly optimistic. He is not in pain, but I think he may have ligament and tendon damage and those are not quick fixes like deep buise might be. I think the tire rolling over his paw twisted it and ripped things.


YesBiscuit! said...

I wonder if some type of splint could help, if he would tolerate that?

joyce kesling, CDBC said...

Sorry Pat to hear about Trooper. he must have been hell on wheels in his younger years, good he's had this long to relax and take it too 8-)

Kathleen said...

Poor guy. I hope he pulls through this. Fingers crossed.

aficat said...

Do you think one of those doggie carts could help get pressure off his joints and give him a better chance to heal?

Rick said...

We're rootin' for Trooper down here in South Texas! Shorty, my 11 year old Jack Weeny, would like to have chased a badger or two, but all she's caught are mice and rats! She's probably a little jealous of your pups. Hang in there Trooper!

Jonathan Setter said...

Crossed fingers for your Old Man Pat. Little dogs with giant hearts and personalities. Hang in there boy.