Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Retirement Years

I'm slightly sad to say that Kibeth is really slowing down lately.  I know she turns 9 in October, but wow.  She prefers more leisurely walks, and doesn't want to jog anymore.  She hardly ever has zoomies, except for a few brief strides at the dog park last weekend -- those were the first in quite a while.

I am growing more and more aware of the risks of old age with her.  It's weighing heavily on my mind.  She's my first dog.  This December 10th will be 6 beautiful years together.  I remember when she first came home, she slept all the time.  She slept like she'd never slept a good night's sleep in her entire life.  She was 3 when I brought her home.  After that, we worked on her insecurities.  My touching her ears did not mean death, nor did touching her paws.  Though she now trusts me with "Shake" I have never clipped her toenails.  However, she is more permissive with the vet techs or groomers.  She never used to seek attention, but she always reveled in a good neck scritch.  We do "Car Wash" where she will walk between my legs, slowly, while I scratch/rub/massage all along her sides and back until I get to her hips... where evidently, the car wash breaks down because I always have to push her the rest of the way through when I can't give her anymore because my hands hurt and my arms are sore!  Haha.  She's a tough love kind of Mama, but she's wise.  Her face gets grayer and grayer, and all I can think is how little time it seems we've been together.

I remember it took her 2 weeks to learn how to sit, and to sit on command.  She is one of the finnickiest eaters ever.  We must have tried every kibble on the market before going raw 2 years ago and loving it!  She loathed a crate, but she's always had her giant leopard bed.  That bed will be hers for the rest of her life, and I swear it will go with her to the grave.  She chose me by laying in that bed, and it seems only fitting that it be hers forever and in heaven.

Gosh, I'm so scared of that day.  I'm so worried it's drawing ever nearer.  I'm not good at making tough decisions, so I pray that she will let me know when it is time, and there are no alternatives -- it'll be the best thing or just her time.  She's my rock... always there, always a firm presence, and definitely capable of hurting you if you handle her wrong.  I love her so much, I just hope she's enjoying life as my grey.

Kibeth, I love you.  You've earned your leisurely retirement, and you will continue to be spoiled with love, pets, the best food, and your favorite treats (bread crusts ftw!).  You've been with me 2x as long as you were at the track now.  I hope those evil days in a crate so small your butt went bald and your tail got a calous are long forgotten.  We've been on quite an adventure together, and I look forward to our new lifestyle together.

This is actually from a while ago.
This almost never happens. <3


  1. If it makes you feel better, our Blueberry is close to her age. She turned nine in January. Blueberry was always an on the go sort of girl, except on walks, but that's just one of her quirks. Anyway, in November she had a cancerous lump removed from her head, and I was really scared. No sooner did she recover from that than she broke her toe in January. She had her toe in a splint for eight weeks and didn't do anything but go outside at that time. I'd hoped she'd bounce back after the splint came off, but she has slowed down some. I think most of them do a bit at that age. The good news is that we have Blueberry's mother, Lilac, here, and she'll be sixteen in September. Slowing down doesn't mean that they're not going to be with you for a long time yet, trust me! My husband believes that Lilac may outlive us all! A lot of Kibeth's slowing down may be related to the heat of summer, too. When the cool fall air blows in, you may see a return in activity for her. I know it happens here!

  2. Thanks for this! Given her low quality of life at the track, I'm worried she won't live as long. I do know a greyhound who made it to his 20th birthday! Thanks for sharing, though, it helps a lot. We live in California, so I don't think it's a summer thing, we've got 60s-80s year round.