Ageing Gracefully – Rudy’s Story

In much of both my human and animal practice I talk about living to be 100 years old (or our animal’s equivalent of that).  I often ask “what do you need to do now to make sure that you have an optimal quality of life throughout your lifetime?”  I regularly see young animals and work on either overcoming a history of injury or other stress, or for pure wellness, ensuring a healthy long life for our beloved furry family.  Today, I’m thankful to also be able to help at the other end of the spectrum.

Rudy is a 12 year old German Sheppard.  He is still overall a very happy guy and just loves attention.  He has had a history of hip problems and starting last summer, his owner Maureen started to doubt his ability to carry on.  How do we know when to let our dogs go and when to help keep them going?  We discovered that chiropractic adjustments every two weeks help to keep his mobility at its best, and I’m thrilled to play a part in keeping him healthy and strong.  But that’s not all Maureen has done!

Rudy has a little bit of incontinence, or dribbles, through his day.  A story I hear all too often about older dogs.  So he has a little diaper (dubbed the “Man Band”) that wraps around his belly and catches the dribbles through the day, ensuring that there is no mess to clean up and he is free to lay and wander wherever he pleases in the house.  And for the very reason that he might want to wander, she has great grippers that go on his feet to help give him some traction. With poor hip strength and mobility he was struggling on hard wood floors!  Now he can trot up to the door to greet a visitor with his tail wagging and a big smile on his face, and not worry about slipping at all!  And what a greeting for any visitor – a happy dog wagging his tail to see them!  In this state, you would never know he was a dog in anything less than his prime!  His little getup might give you a smile as well!

The bottom line though is this:  Rudy is still as capable of giving and receiving oodles of love. And isn’t that the whole reason we have our animals?  Both humans and dogs need special care at different stages of our lives.  For non-animal owners, it’s a tough one to understand, but for those of use lucky enough to have that bond, what WOULDN’T we do to see them happy and feel their love for as long as possible?  It’s an incredible source of pleasure for us, to care of the animals who have given us so much unconditional love!  Still giving love… now that’s ageing gracefully!

Here is what Maureen had to say: I just love him to bits, right now he’s happily snoring away on the floor at the end of my bed, meaning….he can still make it up and down the stairs.” This just reminds us that it’s the simple things that make life and relationship worth it!  Our animals teach us that at any age.Rudy Dixon.jpg