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Half of His Days

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This is Oliver. Ollie. According to my records (okay, a posted photo on our way home that day), we brought him home on 02 June 2016, so he was not quite 5 ½. We knew that the average lifespan of his breed was 8-10 years, so it was entirely possible we were just going to have him for two or three years before we’d have to say goodbye.

He turns 11 in January, which is pretty good considering the stats say that only one in five Saints make it to 10. Every day is a bonus.

Yes, he’s a lot slower than he used to be and his energy level is a lot lower. He sleeps a lot of the time. He’s on three different medications (2 for arthritis) and gets a monthly (or maybe every three weeks) shot of Cartrophen for joint support. He’s starting to have issues with stairs (the back porch steps are too narrow for him to feel comfortable coming up so most of the time we go through the garage and up the front). He’s often out of breath almost as soon as he stands up.

But he’s still super happy to see me every time I come into the room and he’s at the door to make it hard to get into the house every time I come home. He’ll roll over for a belly rub if he thinks he can get away with it. If you’re not patting him with your full attention, he may throw a foreleg over your arm to remind you he’s still there. He still eats and drinks like he wants to maintain his weight, and there are treats that can always get his attention.

And he’s still with us. Every day is a good one in that respect, but today is a little bit special. Some quick arithmetic tells me that based on the day we brought him home and the birth date in his vet records, today he’s been with us for exactly half his life. From now forward, we’ll have had him more than we didn’t.

I strongly suspect there will be dog cake at some point. But I’ll be making them smaller this time around. Maybe cupcake size.

Be well, everyone.

Be well, Ollie.

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