My Dog Can’t Hide It Anymore — She’s Gotten Old On Us

The heat has come back as it always does, settling tight and thick just low enough to coat us in a layer of sticky sweat. It’s July. You should have seen it coming.

I did. I welcomed it.

It warms bones still stuck in spring thaw mode.

But it’s not me I’m worried about. This is the first summer since my dog went and got old on us.

A year ago she was still an aging puppy, leaping at the doorbell, stealing food from the table when you weren’t looking.

What a difference a year makes.

Her muzzle is still black but flecked with grey. Her hips are uneven now, arthritis setting in.

She tries to keep up with the puppy, tries to run ’round the backyard as he leaps and frolicks and goads her on, and when she stops she seems confused. “Why” she seems to ask. “Why can’t I do it?”

Or maybe she’s wondering why she even tried.

She knows she isn’t a puppy anymore.

And as much as we’ve tried to tell ourselves it isn’t true, as much as any dog owner tries to convince herself that her boon companion will always be the rolling ball of fur she brought home on day one, this summer has made us face that fact too.

Our girl is getting old.

She can’t hide it anymore.

She moves slowly, her tongue almost always out, even after dipping her face in the bowl of water always full and waiting near the door.

She hides in the house, settling her aging bones on the cool of the floor closest to the air conditioner.
She is good. She doesn’t complain.

She just patiently waits for summer to be over.

And I pray it won’t be her last.

How do you help your dogs in the heat? 

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  1. I leave the A/C on for her. All day. She's the only one home, and she generally just tries to lay in the sun, but the fear of her being alone and hot? Kills me.Meanwhile, I am currently sleeping "alone" with her on a king size posturepedic bed, and last night I almost ended up on the couch because she hogged the whole thing.I spoil her. A bit.

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