Here’s the interesting thing about old age, dear reader, it cannot be anticipated no matter how hard we try, nor can its form be controlled. As humans, you acquire your puppy and are charmed by its youthful antics, its high energy, and evident good health. As you cuddle your precious, sweet smelling baby pug, it is nearly impossible to imagine this amazingly vital creature as a blind, deaf, drooling, limping, leaking, foul-smelling vessel of canine DNA.
For those of you who have followed me on my journey into old age, you probably are very aware of all of my physical changes and limitations but unaware of the daily toll it takes on my parents. I think humans get stuck on their memories of us as we were and find it very difficult to move forward into our new reality. My parents face a daily struggle, involving elaborate “pilling” twice a day, changing diapers regularly, and adding the protection of a onesie. These are merely the physical requirements. Add to this regimen, my constant barking upon waking, sleeping, walking, standing, and between breathing, which drives everyone crazy for some reason. And because I am obsessed with any and all food, I cannot relax for any period of time, lest I miss a crumb or morsel. There are also the unwanted accidents that occur during the diaper changing and the occasional nighttime diarrhea events, requiring a butt bath, change of diapers, onesies, and bed linens. This life stage has the power of erasing the wonderful memories of the preceding youthful years. Sleep deprivation is a constant in our house.
The irony throughout all of these changes is that my energy level and vigor remain untarnished, and in fact, are probably even stronger than ever. I can, on rare occasions, even interact with other dogs, twitch my tail gaily, and prance about as a young pup (see my video on Mason and Lizzie’s page on Facebook). Mom and Dad puzzle over this phenomenon regularly and I try to tell them by cocking my head and panting wildly that I am not leaving this life quietly or passively. This pug is going out on a rocket ship, with an earth-shaking blast that I hope erases the memories of these last few years.