I have been reading your Agony Aunt blog and I have to say you are a good adviser and a friend to those who look for your opinions.
I’m a 13 years old female Cocker Spaniel without pedigree (I was never in possession of my papers) and my humans never cared about it as they love me the way I am. They had another Cocker before me and that one had a real pedigree however my owners never went to dogs shows with her despite the fact that anybody she passed in the street, stopped & wondered if she was a show girl.
I know you are almost as old as myself and have spoken before about your failing eyesight, but I’d like to know how you are coming to terms with the problems with yours eyes as it is something that is bothering me.
Having said that my biggest problem is the weakness in my bones. My legs and ankles are betraying me often….I take medication for my bones and eat boiled green vegetables almost every day. I’m still very happy when my humans take me for a walk especially on weekends as they both arrive from work during week very late and tired ( they are already old persons but still very active) .
I stay alone at home for 11 hours each day. I sleep a lot, I have a big balcony with plants and flowers where I go to sunbathe and where I bark at other dogs on other balconies. I bark at everybody that appears strange that passes by the building stairs. My owner and her neighbours say I’m a good guard for the houses, I am proud to please them.
If you can give me some advice on how to carry on living a good quality life despite my pains, I would be grateful. All your ideas and advice would be most welcome. I need a small sleep before dinner, so I say good bye and take care..
Yours Cuca the Cocker from Lisbon
Ola my dearest Cuca,
It is so nice to hear from you .You are my first friend from Portugal this makes you extra special to me.
I know my human without the whiskers emails your human without the whiskers nearly every day just to discuss general everyday life and issues, after all that’s what true friends are for. You and I Cuca are a popular topic of conversation in their emails, (as I have read a few when she is not around). It is plain to see from nosing around these emails that our humans love us very much Cuca and they are fully aware that we are getting on in years. Knowing that someone loves you helps anyone live a higher-quality life, we have so much to live for and so much to give !
Yes my eyesight can be poor at times, this is a combination of my age but largely due to my diabetes condition. Regardless of this infliction I still lead a very happy and healthy life. I make the most of what I have and what gets me through each day is the constant love I receive from my humans. You too Cuca are very special to your humans, and this love goes a long way towards easing the aches and pains that we feel.
Like you Cuca I eat vegetables but I eat them raw as they have more nutrients in them and they help keep my teeth clean. I would recommend introducing some green leafy vegetables into your diet, my favourite one is broccoli. Eggs are also very good as they provide us with the most digestible source of protein available, we can eat them raw and I really enjoy them lightly scrambled. Oh I am starting to feel a bit peckish now all this talk of food so let’s move on!
You are lucky to live in a Country where you can get an abundant supply of the “Sunshine Vitamin”, this plays a vital role in boosting our immune system and can also ease our joint pains. I am sure you are aware Cuca that us dogs can also get sunstroke (something that is rare in our Country !!!! ), but some sun in moderation of course plays a vital role in our general wellbeing.
It is nice that you have a large balcony to relax on during the day and you can see the world go by as this keeps your mind occupied while you are alone. You said that you were proud to please your owners by protecting the home for them. Cuca you are being very true to your breed characteristics. I was reading about Cocker Spaniels and it says you are sweet-natured, keen to please and compassionate, I know this is how your humans lovingly describe you.
Un-knowingly Cuca, you are already doing a lot of things to help you continue living a good quality of life. You said you like to sleep a lot during the day, this is also very important no matter what age we are. During your long siestas cell regeneration is achieved. Sleeping also promotes good blood circulation that is necessary in repairing the cells of the body damaged during the day. When we get enough sleep Cuca, we feel energetic, alert and we are able to function well, so a good nap (or 5) every day with a bit of snoring is very beneficial.
Keep up your weekly walks Cuca as exercise helps keep our heart and lungs in good working order. It also enables us to forestall some of the creakiness that old age inevitably bestows upon bones, muscles, and ligaments.
My last piece of advice is to cherish all your happy moments, they make a fine cushion for old age.
Ate Logo Cuca