Aging
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  • Okay I know I am overreacting. But Arwen is about to turn nine and every time I think about it I cry.

    She was the most standoff, not very affection (wanted to have her back/above tail rubbed but you weren't rubbing, she moved far away) until we got Cara. Her personality change this last 15 mos is unreal. My daughter says pod people got her, it is that dramatic. So now I have this affectionate creature whom I loved but you know, never ever bonded with before. And now I adore her and I keep thinking of the wasted years that she got care but not adoration. I doubt she knew.

    Understand that with Rotties, most are dead by 10. We tell owners if they get to 8 without cancer, it's good. Make it to 10, bless every day. Old rotties are so rare they are doing a study on those who make it to 13! So for me, I know that 9 really isn't ancient for a Basenji, but it feels old.

    Realistically, how long do most live? She has CUPS, which means low dose steroids (which the vet said is good since CUPS means an autoimmune issue in general is probably behind it so the low dose helps keep it all at bay); and she usually flares up gum areas and needs antibiotics every few months. But otherwise, very healthy. Of course, I lost Sayblee before she turned 8 to lymphoma and Arwen is a double niece (half siblings)– so I worry about that too.

    I know the old saying, you can't keep trouble away but you don't have to give it a chair to sit on. I think I have created it's own bedroom, lol.

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  • Breathe.

    I know exactly how you feel. When Digital my brindlewonderkid turned 10, OMG, I could not figure out what I would do without him. So much of my world revolved around him. We were just coming off his best year as an agility competitor, but I knew we had more days behind than in front of us and I could not bear to think of life without him. So, I got Zest! my superstar in training. And when I had her for just a little while (like an hour), I felt better. I knew when Diggie went to the great beyond, I'd grieve, I'd curse God, I'd be crushed, but I will get through it. I have my Zest! and we will go forward.

    So, today, Diggie is approaching his 15th birthday. He is very, very dear to me. I love him and he is the most perfect dog ever. I spoil him and tell him I love him every day. I fuss over him and worry about him every day. Looking forward, I worry about keeping him warm every minute this winter. Actually, hubby does too. Just today DH brought him steak and chicken from work. He came in and said to Digital "I brought you something, if mom approves." ;-) (It was an entire takeout box full!) And if he outlives DH and I, he will go back to his breeder Mary Turner who will spoil him more than we do. (He was her keeper pup from the last litter she ever bred)

    So that's my advice - a new puppy and spoil Arwen as much as you can (as long as she's gracious about it. Digital is always a gentleman about everything.)

    I read "3 years a young dog; 3 years a good dog; 3 years an old dog; everything else a blessing." I think the numbers are higher for smaller dogs. And I think you and Arwen have some time left yet.

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  • We have had 2 live to 17 and 1 to almost 19. A couple more 15 and 16. We lost some young, around 10. You may have her up to 9 more years. Don't waste energy grieving in advance, just enjoy her for as long as you have her, which hopefully will be a long time.

    Cara is your buffer when the inevitable happens, but don't be sad now, hug her and enjoy her.

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  • Thank you both. It helps to hear about older dogs –- wow 17 and up! I guess some of it is the trauma of losing Sayblee so young. I'll buck up.

    And yes, she is gracious about being spoiled. Unlike Cara, she doesn't even beg... she KNOWS she gets some, lol.

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    Debra - I can understand how you feel but just live in the moment with Arwen - she probably has many more years with you and I do pray she does. Whatever happens any way you know that you've given her the best life you can. Remember Basenjis are very resilient and live in the moment. Arwen now only knows your present adoration, before is forgotten. Keep loving her and wipe away your tears.

    Jewel is now over her 17th birthday and so every day is a blessing although she's very slow most of the time (except eating and still attempting -with the emphasis on attempting - to chase sheep!) 2 of mine are 10 and in my opinion are at their peak although life span does seem to run in lines. Spring is 14 and I still think of her as young!!! My others (my pups)are only 7 (8 in December). I've also had some that didn't live beyond their 13th birthdays. Like humans it's really something you can't predict.

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  • TY Patty, that really is amazing and encouraging.

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  • My first Basenji lived to be 17-1/2, the second 14-1/2 and the third 15-1/2. Buddy is super enthusiastic and a real entertainer at almost 3 and people always ask "a puppy?" I say yep! 9 is young so enjoy!

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    My old boy Cody was born in 1999. His vision is pretty much gone. We baby him..but his sibs have lived to 15 or more.
    So, its early to start thinking of losing your b..imo. Really, we can lose them at anytime..just like any human. I just went to a funeral for an 18 yr old who lost his job and killed himself..only child. Sigh. We can only count on today. sorry this is such a downer I guess i am still shocked that this young person made such an awful decision…

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  • Hugs to you Debra…
    It is so hard when we get a thought in our mind about someone/something dear to us that could pass. As dogs do, live 'in the now' and marvel at every minute you have with your dogs, your family, your friends.

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