Taking Care of an Elderly Pup


Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chessies, Dogs

Sadie Lou Simba Nala.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chessies, dogsThe girls each wanted to name her and neither could decide which was willing to give in, so I let them both name her. She was both of theirs anyway so it made sense. And it fit.


We have been amazed at her tenacity. Her strength, courage, and ability to fight. She struggles every day with her hips and joints, but she still has that ‘puppness’ that lets us know she is maintaining quality. I often look at her during our morning time when we share my toast. I mean really look at her. She does look older. Her body has lost weight and she has a curve to her back-end. She creaks when she gets up or settles for a nap. Rarely does she have accidents in the house. If she does, she lowers her sweet head as if embarrassed. She stumbles and has trouble getting back to her feet, often waiting for one of us to get to her. Forget stairs. The two that lead from the deck to the yard are too much. Occasionally she will try to go down them if we are not there quick enough, and trust me, we race to get there. It is heart wrenching. But she turns to look at us, and the stairs, and I would swear she is saying, “Ha! Look at that. I still got it!” Even though she basically slid down them. She gains some footing and takes off to the best of her ability, trying to run and finds a spot to do her business. Then she barks at the wind and talks to her toys. She plays with Stella and they ‘talk’. If only I knew what wisdom they were sharing with each other!


In due time, she waddles her way to the stairs and barks. She has given up trying to go up. No effort. But there is also no look of defeat in her eyes there either. Pure Chessi stubbornness, durability, and strength.

meds for aging dog

We have had her on some meds for a while. We did something similar with Maggie Mae. She has a dose in the morning, and a while back we added a mini-dose late in the afternoon. There are no problems other than arthritis and aging issues and these meds have helped her for some time. A few months ago, we noticed the stumbling and difficulty getting back to all four paws increasing and knew that time was getting more measured for our girl. With our hearts still, we called our vet and discussed the steroid shots we had used with Maggie Mae. They seemed to work wonders for her, even if only a few were used.

elderly dog

At Thanksgiving, we pretty much knew that it was getting to be ‘that time’. Once you have been there, you never want to go back. Ever. We took her to the vet and decided to try the shots and just take it moment by moment. And we have been. We have gained a month with our sweet girl. She has brought laughter and fun to each day. She has reminded us of our own need to find the will and strength to open the door you thought was closed on the ability to laugh and smile. All of us have been on that side of the door, the one which feels as if it is no longer going to be good. Yet it can be. There has to be hope and strength and a willingness to try. Giving up is not an option. Sadie lets us see this each and every day. She reminds us to find it in ourselves each day. Her strength and spirit are truly amazing.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chessie

Each day is a gift with her. Some days she mostly sleeps, others she is more talkative and tries to be up and about. No matter which, she is a true gift wrapped up in Chessie fur.

Just Ramblin’

8 responses to “Taking Care of an Elderly Pup

  1. This was so hard to read. Our old pup Dexter is going through the same thing – old age with cranky hips. It is hard to watch them get old but they love us so much just as we love them. Give her a gentle hug for me.

  2. My sweet black lab is 10. This post tugs on my heart strings. I don’t want her to suffer. I don’t want her to get old. She is still my big baby. I sure wish they lived longer. Sadie has the sweetest face. Glad she is doing better.:-)

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