The Very Old Family Dog

by ParentCo. August 26, 2015

Our family dog is 17 years old. Spy was born in 1998. For most of these years, she was just my dog. She came and went with me. I took care of her. We were a two-person pack. I've lived with her longer than I lived with either of my parents. She knew my brother, father, and grandmother, all who have since passed. In the relentless time-lapse stream of life, Spy has been constant.

But she's no longer just my dog - now she's a family dog. I met my partner and her daughter three years ago. At first, the kid was interested in Spy, but not crazy about her. Spy was totally indifferent in return. It's remarkable to see the bond that's grown between them over the past three years. Every morning the kid runs downstairs to greet Spy with a pat on her head. She's mindful about not giving Spy too many treats, makes sure her fan in on, and almost never complains when it's time to take her on a walk. Those slow, chatter-filled walks make my morning. Having a dog has helped the kid learn about responsibility and consideration. It's gut-wrenching to know that someday Spy will force us parents to teach our kid about loss and mourning. (I can't express how I dread that day - for myself and for the kid. Reading this helps.) It's a bit of a cliché that getting a pet for a kid is one of the best things you can do for them. But for our dog, the reverse is also true: getting a kid was one of the best things I could do for her. The kid keeps our old dog healthy - moving around more than she otherwise might, keeping her interest and attention, interacting with her even when she's grumpy and achy. I'm pretty sure that the extra attention has given our dog extra years, and youth-by-association. It's wonderful for a family to have a dog. And it's wonderful for a dog to have a family. Spy


ParentCo.

Author



Also in Conversations

baby playing
Consider Wake Windows for Better, Longer Baby Sleep

by Hannah Howard

Set up your wake windows for success by making sure baby gets plenty of play and stimulation. Adjust as you go, tuning into your baby's cues. You got this!

Continue Reading

kid playing with water
3 Simple Ways Water Can Calm Your Children

by ParentCo.

As one of our most important natural resources, water provides so many benefits including improving our health and happiness.

Continue Reading

10 Ways to Better Love and Support Your Introvert Spouse
10 Ways to Better Love and Support Your Introvert Spouse

by Stephen Bradshaw

An introvert is someone whose social energy tank gets refilled by being alone. If you're married to one, supporting them doesn't always come easy

Continue Reading