Saturday, January 29, 2011

Second Puppyhood?

There's nothing like life with an elderly dog to really humble you.  If you're not familiar with our blog, Lilac is our senior Greyhound here and she's fifteen and a half years old.  I believe the average life expectancy for a Greyhound is from twelve to fourteen years old, so our old lady really is quite aged at this point. 

It's been an interesting week at our house.  To start with, Lilac has gone on strike.  When the weather gets cold it's tough on the older hounds.  We try not to leave them out longer than we have to and to make things as bearable for them as we can.  It seems that we've come to an impasse in this area.  Lilac is suffering from a lot of weakness in her back end.  She does okay when she's walking around, but standing in one place is tough for her and it doesn't take long to see her back half start to sag to the ground.  To get in our back door, you have to climb five steps.  These steps are difficult for the old lady to climb.  She would really prefer to avoid them.  This leads to a stand off at the back door every night.  I am more than happy to carry her up the back steps.  However, Lilac's pride can't accept this.  So, I reel her in gently with the leash and we have a little chat at the back door as I hold it open and try to cajole her to just walk in the door so I can help her.  Once I push her in the door, she gives me a dirty look and hauls herself onto the steps before I can maneuver to stop her. 

Tuesday night I arrived home to see that Mr. Taleteller was home early.  I thought maybe his excitement about going to class that night with Morgan had motivated him to leave a little early to get ready.  It turns out that it was not the case.  He'd stopped by home late in the afternoon on his lunch break and had to call the office to tell them he wouldn't be back in.  It turns out that one of our breakfast dishes in the sink had something irresistable on it.  Lilac decided to counter surf and broke one of her bad toenails in the process.  She has SLO so this happens on occasion at our house.  Mr. Taleteller bandaged her up to keep her from bleeding on anything else and set to work on cleaning up the kitchen.  He tells me that it looked like a scene from a horror movie with blood all over the sink, counter, kitchen floor, dog beds, living room carpet and probably still hidden in some nooks and crannies that we haven't discovered yet.  It was so much fun wrapping Blueberry and Lilac in matching IV bags over their wrapped up feet for turn out.  Fortunately, we only had to leave Lilac bandaged up for a few hours until the bleeding stopped.

Thursday night we had steak for dinner.  Lilac, Blueberry and Morgan all gathered around to gaze at me adoringly as I began to eat my dinner.  None of them is ready for an Academy Award yet because I didn't believe for a minute that any of them was more devoted to me than they were to the steak I was cutting.  This steak had a bone in it and as I sat trying to cut it on a tray, Lilac walked up and decided to take matters into her own, erm, mouth.  Right in front of me she reached up over the edge of the tray like a Great White Shark surfacing to attack its prey.  I pulled the plate away and scolded her.  She smirked at me and went for it again.  I feared there would be a wrestling match between the two of us over my steak, and I wasn't sure I'd be the victor.  In the end, I did eat my steak, and there was a bite for each of the dogs after it was over.

Lilac seems to be really feeling full of herself this week.  I'm not sure what has brought about her burst of fiestyness, but she's definitely sassier than she's been since Old Man Winter came knocking on our door.  I have to wonder if she's entering her second puppyhood as she fades into her twilight years.  Alright, I confess, a part of me wonders if she ever completely left puppyhood.  It's tough when she talks back to you like a teenager and then reminds you that she's old enough to be your great grandmother in dog years.

We're participating in this Saturday's Pet Blog Hop, hosting by Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume.  If you'd like to participate, please follow the rules and follow your three hosts, add your blog to the Linky and copy and paste the html code into your html editor.  Thanks again to our hosts for putting on the hop!

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  1. We had two greyhounds who lived to 16 and 17, and our back steps were a major area of anxiety for us towards the end of their lives. We dealt with it, but next time we move, no steps anywhere :)

  2. Lilac is a beautiful senior lady, so it's ok for her to be a little prideful and not want help with the stairs!! Love it when those seniors are feisty enough to keep us humans in line!

  3. Lilac is so sweet. One of my cats sits in stealth mode and tries to snag food off of my plate right in front of me. Sometimes he actually succeeds. It's not very relaxing to eat trying to guard your plate like a hawk, lol.

  4. Oh Lilac, I wuvs you!

    Big slurps, HoneyBuzz

  5. Lilac sure is a lovely lady.

    If you don't have steps out the front of your property, couldn't she go out on the lead out there?

    I have updated my Dog Gallery with newer photos of your pack, including Morgan. I'll update Lilac with one of the photos from this post.

  6. Lilac looks like a grand dame in her wonderful coat! She's still got it! And she shouldn't feel bad about not liking the cold much. I don't either and I'm just over 1 year old. I wish I could come and give her nose a nice lick!

    Your pal,

  7. Aw Lilac you little terror! hehe
    She really does have a sense of entitlement doesn't she? :) Barbie has no pride, she prefers to be lifted into the car even though she can jump into it fine! :P

  8. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww! HUGE soft scritchies for the lovely Lilac! What a grand old lady she is - still beautiful, too!

    She sounds so much like my old Jack! He was feisty to the end. He had problems with his back end/hips, too, but because he wanted to trot along as usual, he developed a gait a bit like a show pony. He'd trip along as fast as he could, head up, ears flying in the wind, and his little short back legs (yes, he had funny little straight back legs for a grey) putting in a little extra short stride now and then to keep up with his front ones! I miss that dear old dog! He hated to be helped, too, and definitely gave us the dirty 'stink eye' look if you tried!

    May you have your beautiful Lilac with you for a long time yet!

  9. We all know that Lilac is the queen of the house but she knows it better than everyone else.
    What a beautiful and elegant lady she is!

  10. Lilac, we enjoyed reading that you can still get up to a bit of trouble, despite advancing years!

    Reminds us a bit of our great grandad who although 96 could still act like a 'teenager' and create all kinds of mischief when he felt like it!

    Have a good weekend
    Clive & Co

  11. Lovely Lilac! Glad she's still keeping you on her toes. Such a great personality.

    I want to be Lilac when I grow up!!

    Winnie (a mere whipper-snapper at 8) xx

  12. Isn't it fun how behavior we'd hate to see from a 5 year old is the most precious thing in the world from a 15 (wow!) year old?

    When my Agatha was 16 years old, she managed to climb up on the kitchen chair to get to the table, to get a loaf of bread off the top of the refrigerator! Normally I'd be horrified but at the time I was really impressed with her chutzpah.

    Hope Lilac has lots of feisty days ahead of her.

  13. You go Lilac! I luv fiestiness in a lady! :P

    Waggin at ya,

  14. Lilac, you sure are a feisty old lady, climbing into the sink! We don't even do that now at 8 and 5 years old! Way to go...

    You are such a lovely lady in your winter coat!

    Hope your paw/nail heals quickly.

    Minnie and Mack

  15. We have a hard time imagining countersurfing at our house - short legs, you know!

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

  16. My friends with Greyhounds say it is frightfully difficult to find warm jackets that fit their slender, long pups. I'd love to tell them about Lilac's jacket in these photos. Share? I'm at

    On another note, Tanner and I want to invite you to the Super Dog Sunday Blog Hop. It's a football-themed photo post. You can read more here:

  17. Lilac must have had a good reason fur behaving dat way. ;) Puppy prayers are on da way to her to helps her toe get better.
    Happy weekend my furiends!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  18. Lilac is such a beautiful old girl! I love that she keeps you guessing. I hope her toe is on the mend! And I hope the ataxia improves a bit when the weather gets warmer.

    Snuggles and wags,

  19. She is a beauty! It is so adorable when they get "spunky". I sometimes refer to our house as the "toe" house. I hope this isn't the case with you all! Enjoy that spunkiness!!!

  20. Dear, sweet Lilac. When you get to a certain age why not just go for it ? In this case steak !

  21. Lilac looks really good at 15! At least she has a good appetite, bless her!

  22. Lilac you know how to LIVE Large!!! Go fur it Girrrrrl

  23. Our older dog, Chloe (12), is getting like Lilac in her old age. She can open the refrigerator, so we have to keep a latch on it. In the past, she would only try to open it when we were she tries to open it right smack in front of me. She's always had bad bathroom habits (peeing and pooping in the house sometimes), but now she just does it on a whim. She doesn't go to the back door anymore, she'll just come right in front of me and pee on the floor. She's getting brazen in her old age!

    Maybe Lilac figured since she was the senior in the house, she deserved the finer things (steak) right off your plate!! It is kind of nice to see them get a second wind though.

    Elyse and Riley

  24. I love that lilac's coat is, um, lilac! ;)

    it's so great to have a human partner to help out with our passions gone wrong huh? sigh. do you wanna join my group? Bad dogs and the Women who Love it is from an old post when we first adopted juno:

    way to go Lilac! 4 paws up from Wild Dingo!

  25. 15 1/2 is nothing when you're loved! She's beautiful.

  26. Lilac models her coat so beautifully! She deserves that steak bite.

  27. Hi Y'all,

    I can't imagine bein' SO OLD! I want to woof to Lilac, 'cause I want to stay a puppy forever! Maybe she can give me some pointers.

    Y'all come by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  28. You go Lilac! At 15 years old you should have steak!! (and CAKE!)


  29. Stopping in to say hello from The Pet Book Lady. Lilac is one very classy senior indeed. Looks very nice in purple too. That's her color!

  30. Wow, 15 1/2 is amazing! You go girl!

  31. Oh but she's such a pretty girl! What's a steak between family, anyway? :-)

  32. Awww...I am sorry to hear about Lilac's broken nail! We know that feeling all too well!
    I am sure what was on the plate was well worth it:)

  33. It's good to hear she's gotten her spunk back!

  34. Lilac is truly a great queen!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  35. I hate to sound conceded and say that it has something to do with me. But lets just say that when Morgan is away, Alien and Lilac doth play! That and I hear Puddles has been shipping crates of Kool-Aid to your house in preparation for the race.

    But, seriously, I hope my girls are better soon.


  36. We had a similar old guy named Astro. He'd go through outbursts like Lilac's past week. I love it! Tell her to "go girl, go!".

    So sorry about the toe nail incident though. It must have hurt her in addition to the bloody scene to be cleaned up.

    I'm learning about SLO from my blog-reading here and at one other site. R has split his nails many times, and every time I clip them I notice that they seem more "crumbly" than any others that I've encountered. I need to ask my vet about SLO... and whether R might have it.

  37. I found you from Saturdays Blog hop and Im now a follower ..Id love if you could follow back

  38. What a sweetheart, Lilac is. Maybe it is a second puppyhood!


  39. Dear Lilac, I am entering my second puppyhood, too - that's what this whole race with Bunny is about. Just kidding! I sure hope there are no stairs in our race, otherwise I am in trouble. I usually need a boost or lift up the stairs.

    Your pal, Pip

  40. I love a naughty dog, they have so much character, and Lilac is a prime example. I know she makes you laugh every day and here's hoping there are lots more days (years even?) with laughs from Lilac. She's one staunch girl!

  41. You know, my old geezer sis, Dixie do be getting that way. She has the attitood like "So wot is you gonna do about it?" when she has her second puppyhood/senior moments. I is taking notes and is watching furry closely wot Lilac duss coz I is gonna be an old geezer afore long and I want to has the routine pawfected.

  42. Nothing like an old lady with moxie, is there? I think dogs get better with age and Lilac proves it with her feisty and charming ways! Honestly, I think she looks terrific for her age and it's all because of your loving care of her, in my opinion.

    By the way, I am hosting a SILLY SATURDAY PHOTO CAPTION CONTEST today until midnight in preparation for tomorrow's 300th post so please visit if you get a chance!

  43. Lilac is not going gentle into any night, good or otherwise and good for her. It's an old lady's perogative to outrageous sometimes. I know I plan to in just a few years.

  44. Lilac this beautiful, even if it is an old lady. Like us, they hurt themselves more easily and care are redoubled!

    Kisses to all.

  45. Lilac... mischevious??
    Wow! Sure she feel so well to do that!
    Happy Saturday to all of you!
    Kisses and hugs

  46. God, I love Lilac. She's full of piss and vinegar and had diva down pat. How could you not just love her to death???

  47. and you are beautiful Lilac
    Benny & Lily

  48. Way to go, Lilac. One of the benefits of your senior years is you can get away with anything.

  49. Countersurfing at your age - way to go, Lilac!!! BTW, did you see the question on today? It made us think of you Grey Ladies!

    The Road Dogs

  50. Goodness, seems like she has a case of the puppy badness breaking out!

  51. Lilac has some spunk in her, I love when the seniors show their spunky side. :)

  52. Awww, lilac. She is beautiful especially in her own colors. I'm glad she is still fiesty coz that says she's doing well.

  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. Lilac, you are a very pretty lady!

    The important thing is to never let your age get the better!
    I am no longer young too, but I'm always ready for adventure! =))
    And yes, mom is always saying that I behave as if I was a puppy!


  55. Gotta love a sassy senior!! Kitty is so proud of her right now for taking that bone. Ha.


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