Life with an older dog (and other fun stuff)

Lately, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend with the furball.  In the last two weeks, he’s had at least a half dozen accidents in the house of the solid variety.  Yeah, I know, gross.  Unfortunately, I’m coming to realize that as a senior dog (12 years old), this is going to become a more and more frequent thing.

At first, I thought it was simply a matter of not getting him outside in a timely fashion.  The first couple of times happened around the usual time of his second walk of the day.  No biggie, I thought.  Then, I started to think it was deliberate.  We’d go out for a walk, he’d walk and sniff and pee, we’d come back inside, and he would poop on the floor.  This would infuriate me, because WE WERE JUST OUTSIDE!

Then he had a couple of incidents over the weekend where he was asleep and went.  Yes, dogs can do that, and no, I didn’t believe it was possible until now.  I’ve come to the conclusion that at his age, he just can’t “hold it” like he used to.

I take him on at least four walks every day.  First thing when I get up, again around lunchtime, another at around dinnertime, then one last before we go to bed.  If he doesn’t go during one of the earlier walks, I know to watch him closely.  If he starts acting agitated, I know he probably needs to go and I hustle him out of the house as quick as I can.

The problem is that the fuzzbutt doesn’t always want to cooperate with my plans.  There are days (sometimes multiple times in the same day) when he only wants to go out, pee a couple of times and come back inside.  I literally have to force him to continue the walk to make sure that he doesn’t have to go.  I don’t want to have to clean poop up off the floor if I can help it.  I know that some days, his arthritis is really bothering him and it hurts to walk very far or for very long.  So I’ve been making sure to keep him medicated with the pain meds the vet gave me.

Anyone else have an elderly dog with issues, health or otherwise?

In other news, the house build is moving forward.

I went out to our lot today to check on things and had a chance to talk to our builder while I was there.  The rainy weather a couple of weeks ago slowed things down a little, but our builder is making up for lost time.  Our lot is being cleared and he’s planning to have the house location staked out tomorrow.  He’s planning to start working on the footings for the foundation next week.

So I’ve called the brick guy and we’re supposed to meet next week while he’s in the area.  I want to get the brick choice figured out pretty quickly, because that will dictate our window and roof colors.  Windows will be ordered once the foundation is poured, so by the time the framing is done, they’ll be delivered and ready for installation.

I can’t wait.  I’m so ready to get our house done.  I hate our rental with a passion.  I think the only thing I hate more than this awful house are my neighbor’s two obnoxious dogs.  But that’s a story for another time.

Am I the only one?

I hate walking my dog.

Chaos, the pain in the ass Akita (image by me)

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my dog.  I will do whatever is necessary for his well-being.  I just hate walking him, mainly because he’s such a pain in the ass.

I didn’t always feel this way about walking Chaos.  When we first got him, we lived on a dead end road a little way out of town.  There weren’t many dogs in our neighborhood, and the ones that did live nearby were kept fenced in so they weren’t running loose all the time.  We could walk unmolested, take our time, and enjoy ourselves.  The only time I disliked having to walk him was when the weather was nasty out.  Have you ever tried to convince a dog to use the bathroom when it’s pouring down rain?  Trust me, it isn’t fun.

I don’t remember when I realized that other dogs were going to be a problem.  I just know that I started noticing that if we were walking past a fenced dog and that dog started going ballistic, Chaos would stop and start concentrating hard on sniffing a spot on the ground.  Then he would pee and look at the other dog, almost as if he were taunting them.  A barking dog was guaranteed to make Chaos slow his pace to that of a snail, almost as if he enjoyed seeing those other dogs completely lose their shit.

More than once I’ve been forced to drag him off because he just wouldn’t move on.

As he’s gotten older, Chaos has developed other quirks.  One of these quirks is stopping to sniff something and if I take even one step past him, Chaos tries to dodge behind me and go to the other side of the street.  Several times he’s nearly walked in front of a car.  It drives me crazy, because I have visions of him getting hit as a result of this foolishness.

In the past year, Chaos developed arthritis in his back legs, and it’s like he’s on a mission to get himself into places where he can’t easily climb out.  Deep drainage ditches are my newest nemesis.  If I don’t pay close attention to where he’s walking, Chaos will beeline into the nearest ditch.  Then when he tries to exit the ditch, his back legs give out and he just sits down.  Sometimes I’m able to climb down into the ditch with him and push him out from behind.  But more often than not, Chaos chooses a ditch that I can’t get myself in and out of without help.  Then I end up having to drag him out, which isn’t fun for either of us.

These behaviors (and others) make it really difficult for me to enjoy the walk, let alone my dog’s company.  Does anyone else have a dog that they love, but absolutely hate having to walk?