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Tag Archives: Complete Care for Your Aging Dog

Feline Friday: Foiling Kitty Senility

Smokey was 19 when I took this picture--a lovely Halloween model!

Many of y’all know I now live with a senior citizen cat named Serendipity. She doesn’t know she’s old–and that’s the beauty of pet old age. They only know how good they feel THIS MOMENT–and we can keep them engaged and happy so that the year’s weigh lightly on their furry shoulders.

I took that picture of a friend’s cat. She adopted Smokey when the kitty was about four or five–the shelter didn’t know her age. Smokey had been returned TWICE to the shelter because she “scratched the sofa.” So my friend Judy adopted her, interrupted the scratching one time and gave her other options–and never had another minute of trouble from this dear girl. At best guess Smokey was 19 when this picture was taken and lived another couple of years. She had a few “senior moments” (needed to be reminded to eat once she found the food bowl) but was happy and healthy.

It’s funny–when I wrote my COMPLETE CARE FOR YOUR AGING CAT book, Seren was a youngster. Those who have a copy of the book will see her picture in Chapter 4, Nursing Care acting as a furry model to help demonstrate kitty restraint, taking a pill and more. In fact, she’s also the model in the AGING DOG book (shhhhh, don’t tell!). Can you say “extreme close up!” LOL!

Why am I talking about old age issues? Well, it’s nearly November and that month celebrates the lives of our golden oldie pets. It’s Adopt A Senior Pet Month–after all, you might find another Smokey and enjoy many more years with the love of your life!

Yesterday I was interviewed on a radio show about caring for your aging cat, today the pet columnist from PREVENTION Magazine will interview me about care for your aging dog, and my first article–about old cats– just went “live” on the awesome site:

“Cats are living longer than ever before — it’s not unusual for felines to reach their mid-to-late teens or even early twenties. A longer lifespan, however, can leave felines frazzled if their once-spry brains aren’t properly stimulated. In fact, cats over the age of 15 can develop feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD), a cat version of Alzheimer’s disease in which a starchlike, waxy protein (beta amyloid) collects in the brain. . . Here are 10 Tips to Keep Your Cat’s Brain Forever Young.

Do you have a golden oldie? I’m an equal opportunity pet lover (sometimes the weekly topic is “Furry Friday” after all) so you can share about your oldster dogs, too. And here’s why I know that I”m also in the “oldster” cat-egory–I’ve not sent out my Pet Peeves E-newsletter in ages! (my bad…) So to make it up to my subscribers, the Halloween issue will go out later today–subscribe via the link, below, if you haven’t already–because I’ll be giving away a copy of Aging Cat and of Aging Dog to randomly drawn subscribers.

Meanwhile, what are some “old pet” topics near and dear to your heart? This next month I’ll cover some of the biggies but am happy to address specific ones that y’all might have. Dooooo tell…please!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Old Fogey Dog Webinar, Ask Amy & Dogs Rolling Over

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Those who regularly read my blog know about all the cute puppy pictures and content (SQUEEEE!) I’ve been creating. Our old fogey dogs are just as–or even more–deserving of our love and attention.

I’m thrilled to offer the fine folks at the Danish-Swedish Farm Dog USA organization a live Webinar next Monday June 20, based on my best-selling updated Complete Care for Your Aging Dog book. The presentation–with Q&A and some fun pictures from the powerpoint–has pending CCPDT accreditation. And a portion of the registration goes to fund dog-specific causes (your choice). Feel free to spread the furry word– and I  hope to “see” some of y’all there.


"Rub my tummy....please?"

That puppy in the picture from last weekend’s local adoption event wanted to just chill on my lap, sleeping on his back, all afternoon. What a sweetie. When we first got Magic, he was NOT inclined to “roll over.”

Rolling onto the back and baring the tummy places a dog into a vulnerable position and not all feel comfortable doing this. As Magical-Dawg has matured, he’s much more willing to volunteer this behavior–and I’m flattered. It actually can be a sign of great trust, although many folks assumes this posture always means submission.

And no, of course I never “forced” Magic onto his back. Okay, guess I need to also mention “alpha roll” where the owner forces a dog onto his back to establish dominance. Probably a better name for it would be the “stupid roll” because it does nothing to foster submission and actually can get owners bit.

The premise comes from thinking that wolves make other wolves roll over to prove who is in charge. Uh…nope. Wolves roll over on their own to indicate deference, they aren’t “forced” to do this by a bigger wolf. And of course, dogs aren’t wolves. Dogs will show deference and respect to more potent, powerful and in charge individuals (whether that’s another dog, a cat or human). And sometimes the most powerful doggy in the group rolls over to show a less confident canine he means no threat, as an invitation to play or build confidence.

The fellow asking the question in the Ask Amy video was not happy about his newly adopted dog’s inclination to roll over. I suspect he wanted his dog to be “macho” and “dominant” and wasn’t clear on exactly what his dog was telling him–or what the dog “heard” his new owner saying.

Do your dogs enjoy tummy rubs? Does your dog flip on his back at the drop of a “hello?” When does he show his tummy–do you ask, or does he simply volunteer and request your attention?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Clueless Friends & Pet Book Launch

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 Magic homecoming 2

We love to talk about our cats and dogs, show off cute pictures and brag how smart and clever our pets are. Even when we complain about stepping barefoot on nasty hairballs or cleaning up puppy potty accidents, we do so with affection. But unless friends share our furry passion, dog and cat conversations often raise eyebrows or spark disbelief about our pet devotion.

Non-pet friends don’t understand that Seren and Magic are my family. Pets don’t fire me as an owner when I’m downsized from my job, and they stay by my side when I lose my home or human loved ones. Friends don’t always get it that it’s not “easier” to give up my pet family even in times of disaster or hardship.

Friends don’t realize that getting another animal friend isn’t like shopping for new shoes. Each dog and cat is an individual and can’t be replaced once lost. New pets honor the past furry friends, but never take their place. My latest Paw Nation article lists another eight things friends often don’t “get” about our relationship with our cats and dogs.

What about you? Are there specific things that your family or friends don’t understand about your pet relationship? My husband didn’t grow up with pets–but quickly learned that in my world, fur is a condiment. In fact, he gave me (us!) our first doggy companion at my first birthday after we got married. And after that furry-muse died, it took over a decade to welcome another furry wonder into our home–the cute puppy picture (above) is Magic the first day he came to live with us.

Pictures of my first "furry muse" are in this book, when he was a golden oldie.

Our first dog lives on in my heart, and in the books I write. In fact I’ve got to share a brag. Hey, it’s my blog, I can do that! This past week my colleague Dr. Debra Eldredge, gave a glowing 5-star review of Complete Care for Your Aging Dog.  You’ll want to bookmark her site, too, because Doc Eldredge is a brilliant writer and author who covers great dog content.

NEWS FLASH! I’m excited that the “Cutting Edge” book is back in print and a variety of Ebook formats, thanks to the brilliant folks at WhoDaresWinsPublishing yee-haw! And in celebration, those reading this blog get the first crack at a special in celebration of the print book launch. I’ve reduced Pet Care in the New Century “Kindle Version” to $2.99 for the next 100 books sold…or until the end of April, whichever comes first. Of course, I also hope you’ll share what you think in a review on the amazon page. (Stay tuned…there’s a kitty book special coming on Friday!)

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with April pet book give-aways!