The Things We Do for Love: “We Spoil Our Senior Dog”
Published on April 23, 2012
There are plenty of ways to show our pets how much we love them — we buy them special food and treats, bring home the newest toys and, of course, lavish them with affection. Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, will share the stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love. And sometimes, the extra mile is only the beginning!
Watching our pets age isn’t easy. Seeing their sweet muzzles turn gray and their gaits get a little slower reminds us that time is fleeting. Jennifer and Don King of Sammamish, Wash., are committed to helping their 11-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog, Sydney, enjoy her golden years.
When the couple recently moved cross-country from Ohio to Washington, they were determined to make the journey comfortable for Sydney and her late sister, a Newfie named Annabelle. The Kings rented an RV so the two senior dogs and their feline brother, Shadow, would have plenty of room to stretch out.
Sadly, soon after their arrival in Washington, 12-year-old Annabelle passed away.
Making Adjustments for a Senior Dog's Comfort
Sydney’s health started to fail as well, and she eventually lost the use of her hind legs. The Kings agreed they’d do everything they could to help her continue to live a “normal” life. Working closely with their vet, the Kings monitor her condition and make sure she’s comfortable and happy and able to have a semi-normal daily routine.
The couple help hold up Sydney’s back end so she can walk when she needs to. To allow Sydney to enjoy the outdoors, Don carries her to the backyard and sets her up under a super-sized umbrella to keep the furry dog cool.
And when it's time to do her business, they help make that happen as well. “Don helps her get in the squatting position while she does her thing,” Jennifer says. “I tried for a while, but she was just too heavy for me.”
Making Time for Sydney's Favorite Things
While Sydney can no longer go on the long walks she used to enjoy the neighborhood, the couple has found a solution: They place her on a Radio Flyer wagon they’ve modified and pull her along. “I can’t even begin to describe the happiness on her face while she is going for a ride,” Jennifer says. “She even lowers her nose toward the ground to sniff out all the good sniffs. It is absolutely precious.”
The Kings continue to take Sydney on car rides to her favorite places, too. Recently, they drove her up into the mountains and let her sit in the snow that she loves so much.
Jennifer and Don think of each day they have with Sydney as a gift. “Our pets have been our family members and have enriched our lives in so many ways,” Jennifer says. “I just wish they could be with us longer.”
What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.