Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dogs & age

An expansion from the comments below, from Chas's staunch "8 is not old!" to Lane's "8 is the new 4.."

I think it depends on the breeding. Atai's family is incredibly long lived-- here is a pic of her at about 3 months with her 15 year old mom, who lived to nearly 20, the day we met her in Almaty. I believe her grandmother, another compact little dog, also lived about that long.

Lashyn on the other hand, not yet 12, has been slowing down for years, and now has diabetes and cataracts. Lurcher Plummer is 2 years older and fat and a bit creaky but otherwise still thinks he is a pup.

But for the gray on her muzzle Atai could easily pass for 4-- or 3-- and still kicks butt!


Jonathan Hanson said...

When we moved out to our 20-acre property (next to a half-million acres or so of public land), our border collie, Rob, was 11, and in the absolute peak of health. There was simply no way to tell a difference between him at 11 and 6. He could hike us into the ground and still be ready to chase off cows and coyotes. At 13 he began to slow down, and at 15 was finally what I would call frail - yet he still went on two-mile walks every morning, and one-mile walks into his 16th year.

R.I.P. Rob, at 16 and a half. As I said shortly afterwards, why do parrots get to live to 60 and we lose our dogs at 16?

Retrieverman said...

I'm really impressed with this longevity. The oldest Western dog I knew was my grandpa's last dog, a beagle mix that was rescued from a dumpster at Myrtle Beach. Great rabbit dogs come from weird places.

She made it to the age of 18.

Because she was from South Carolina, she was named Dixie Belle.

Anonymous said...

I once worked as kennel boy at a GREAT vetinary(like working for Dr. Heriot!), and while boarding a dog, the vet asked me one day how old I thought the dog was. It was obviously an older dog, but in great shape, not overweight, lively and active--it was a border collie cross of some sort. I guessed 9 or 10--assuming the dog was older since he was asking me that. THAT DOG WAS 22!!!! He knew for sure, because he had been it's vet since puppyhood! That must be some sort of record. The dog did die only a short time later, but it was vigorous till the very end.....And in my "8 as the new 4"--perhaps I should have added-- "unless you're an Irish Wolfhound, or a Great Dane, or a Saint Bernard, or any highly inbred AKC dog breed"....L.B.