Stone was about 8 years old when this photo was taken. He is a big, wide chested boy, with a swanky gait. He’s one of the few big boys that we’ve had that goes up and the down the stairs one step at a time. He used to be the community “pillow” and all the dogs would lay next to or on top of him. But, aging and arthritis has made him a little grumpy around the other dogs and he’s very cautious about getting bumped. Pain meds and joint supplements help, but there are days when he just doesn’t want anyone else around him. So, we do our best to give Stone his space. He really likes the new house, as he has many places where he can rest undisturbed.
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Stone is 10 years old now and his once black “cow patches” are now graying significantly. He’s always been a shy, nervous boy and rarely ventures out of the safety of his home. His separation anxiety, although controlled as best as possible, has taken its toll in some ways, too. Stone needs the comfort of a predictable routine and can tolerate being alone for 4 hours, once a day. Any more and he will become stressful and urinate and/or start destroying anything he can get his mouth on. We’ve found that he does not like to be crated when we are gone, although he often sleeps in a crate when we are home. We are fortunate that we have flexible schedules and can accommodate his needs.
It always amazed us at the positions that Stone would get himself into. In his younger days, he’d lay down with both front legs bent at the knees and tucked under his big broad chest. He can’t seem to do that anymore. Advanced age, arthritis and a recently sprained wrist have taken their tolls. The sprain gave us quite scare … at first it looked suspiciously like cancer. Thankfully, the radiographs showed only a soft tissue sprain. Several weeks on anti-inflammatories did the trick, but Stone still can’t move the way he used to. But, for a 10 year old greyhound, he is doing pretty well.
At almost 10 1/2 years old, Stone gets around pretty well most of the time. But, when the weather changes, his arthritis starts to act up and we need to give him pain medication to help him feel more comfortable. He’s been getting daily supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin for years and those supplements have helped tremendously. But, days like today are harder on Stone and he does appreciate his special pain meds during these times. We are careful about using NSAIDS, as he has a history of irritable bowel disease, so we sometimes use homeopathic formulas that are easier on his digesting system. Like many big boys, Stone has some pain in his shoulders and sometimes his wrists. Stone also appreciates his comfy dog beds especially made for old joints.
In the greyhound world, a black and white dog is often called a cowdog. Many times, cowdogs have or develop little black “ticking” spots in the areas where they are white. Stone has quite a few ticking marks and they have gotten more numerous and darker as he has aged. Yet, at the same time, his big black spots have all turned gray and he is really a salt and pepper cowdog now. But, a greyhound’s color really isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. It’s the sparkle – the spirit – that each dog has that is the key. If you can let the sparkle touch your heart and your soul, you have received a special gift. Cherish it … forever.
Stone was 11 years old on June 11th, 2014! Although he’s doing fine for his age, we are starting to see the effects of his age creeping up on him. He’s getting slower, taking more time to get up and down and having a harder time controlling his bowel movements. Those “accidental poops” tend to happen while he’s eating his breakfast in the morning. It’s not his fault, of course, so he’s never scolded or corrected. We have to be more vigilant in letting him out several times in the early morning hours.
Stone is a big, tall boy and we’ve found it vital to keep him slim and trim. Extra pounds do nothing positive for him and put more pressure on his already arthritic joints. Stone loves to sleep and he dreams almost nightly. We often wonder what he’s dreaming about as he twitches and grunts during REM sleep.
We wish you many more dreams and birthdays with us, Stone!
Old Man Stone is getting old and showing his age. He’s got stenosis and has been having accidental bowel movements, especially when he’s eating. He’s lost weight, and sometimes his back end “sags.” We tried the Depo-Medrol injection last month and it has helped a little. Some dogs are more responsive to the steroid injection than others. Most pain medications don’t do much for the nerve pain that is associated with stenosis, but we are trying some options.
Stone will be 12 years old in June and recently started exhibiting some new symptoms. He was withdrawing from us and the other dogs, sleeping more and getting a bit “growly” when another dog approached his space. While some of this behavior can be explained by the pains he has from the stenosis in his back, we felt that he might also be losing some of his cognitive function as a result of aging. We were so fortunate to be part of a trial for a new dog food made by Pro Plan, specifically formulated to counteract the effects of aging on the brain. After about 3 weeks eating the Bright Mind formula, Stone started to interact more with us and started laying on the dog beds that were nearer to the other dogs. He’s a little less sensitive about dogs coming into his space and he seems a little “brighter” and more alert. Stone LOVES the taste, too! His stools are firm and he has had no digestive issues since starting the formula.
For more information about Pro Plan Bright Mind Formula, check this out … http://bit.ly/1DsOP3Z
Happy Birthday, Old Man! There were times that we didn’t think Stone would see his 12th birthday, but he did and he’s doing pretty well, except for the stenosis in his back. His 12th birthday brought a trip to the vet for his bi-annual wellness exam, and steroid injections for his back. He’s feeling a bit better now, and can negotiate the two little steps off the back deck with ease again. He still has some bowel control issues, but he is in less pain. We’ve also started him on the new Dasuquin Advanced formula for joints and we’re hoping to see more ease of movement in a few weeks. Stone’s lab work came back surprisingly normal for a boy his age and that is encouraging. We are looking forward to celebrating his 13th birthday!
… Three beds can be better than one!