Monday, June 1, 2015

Age Has It's Privileges

When Morgan was a puppy, she was a terror. She ate shoes and furniture and anything she found lying around. But she was so darn cute!

I had a little help with her. Monty was not only her best friend, but he was a first class tattle tale and would come tell me whenever Morgan got into something. He was a big help in raising her.
Then the years flew by and now Miss Morgan has passed the 15 1/2 mark. She doesn't get into much trouble anymore, though we do keep the bathroom doors shut because she still has a fondness for shredding toilet paper.  Now she spends her days more quietly than she used to, but don't think she's not still a force.
Let me tell you about her days. We all get up about 6AM and everyone goes outside to pee. Then everyone goes back to bed for an hour or if I'm lucky for two hours. Morgan gets her Denamarin pill when we go back to bed. It's for her liver disease and has to be taken an hour before she eats. At six, she's usually pretty groggy and Rob has to help her out the front door and down the steps. She's happy to go back to bed for awhile.

 When we all get up again between 7 and 8, Morgan is more awake and ready to get the day started. Rob feeds her and Mackey together but Morgan has decided that she doesn't like to eat in the morning and usually just looks at her bowl and walks away. Instead she chooses to do her exercises which consist of lying on her back, kicking her legs in the air for about five minutes. She usually does them in the middle of the living room but sometimes she does them in the tunnel.
When I come upstairs from feeding the other dogs, I hand out medications. Morgan gets her thyroid table, a B vitamin, a tumeric capsule, 2 glucosamine tablets and 5 fish oil capsules. Then she gets a squirt of her arthritis medicine, Metacam. After all are swallowed, she gets a cookie and a piece of strawberry. Then she naps close to the table while we have breakfast. After breakfast she and I go outside by ourselves and wander around the yard a little, then it's time for a nice long nap.
Morgan goes outside several times during the day, sometimes at her request and sometimes because I think she should go. She doesn't go to the back yard anymore because the hill is too steep for her. She and I go to the mailbox and back, then she walks to the back of the deck so she can watch the other dogs run below in the yard. When we come in I hand feed her about a cup of kibble.

Around 3:30 Rob feeds the two girls their dinner and by this time Morgan is ready to eat dinner. After they eat Rob takes them outside but Morgan stays on the deck and walks laps. Our deck wraps around three sides of the house, so she gets a pretty good walk in by doing between four and six laps. Next it's time for another nap.

Between 6:30 and 7 Rob takes the others to the back yard for an after dinner run. It's often cooler and they can run and bark and play. I take Morgan into the front yard and when she's ready we go back to the deck for a couple more laps, then it's inside where she eats some more kibble from my hand.

The evenings are pretty quiet as we watch TV and I knit and Rob is on his laptop. But at 9, Morgan wakes up and comes toward me. I know exactly what's on her mind, but if I don't react quickly enough she starts barking at me and won't stop. I get a bowl of kibble from the kitchen and we sit together in the living room as I feed it to her. But she's not finished, when the kibble is gone she wants her milkshake. I pour about half a bottle of Ensure in a mug and hold it while she laps it up.
Then it's a short outing and Morgan is ready for bed. As soon as we're all ready I help her up the stairs to the bedroom, turn on her nitelight and give her two cookies. But Morgan can count and she knows that Rob also has two cookies, so she waits till he hands them over. Then she arranges her blanket and stuffed bear and settles down for the night. She drifts off, no doubt dreaming of cookies and milkshakes and sleeps thru till we wake her the next morning to start all over again.

Since starting Adequan injections about a month ago, her appetite has improved and she's getting more exercise. Her nightmares have also decreased, she's only had one. I wish she could tell me, but I'm guessing that the pain from her arthritis is a bit less, so she's feeling better and showing it. Whatever it is, we're enjoying Miss Morgan's routines and demands, though the other dogs think they'd like to get milkshakes at bedtime, too.
 I'm not kidding myself, Morgan is old. She has liver disease and very bad arthritis. Her legs are weak and shaky and we have to help her on stairs. Sometimes her right back leg gives out and we have to help her walk. But, even with all those strikes against her, she seems to be having a very good quality of life in her later years. She is alert enough to know what she wants and when she wants it and we're here to serve.


Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song said...

Morgan is a great dog and a real fighter with two wonderful parents

Mitch and Molly said...

Yay, Morgan! We just love your daily routine! Good for you☺

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady said...

Enjoy your golden years Morgan!

Susie and Sidebite said...

Boy Howdy....getting hand fed...and four cookies, and ensure milkshake on top of everything....they all that special time with Mom.....thinkin here she has it pretty good....but at 15 she sure deserves it!

The Mad Scots

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Sweet Morgan. Your post brought tears to Mom's eyes as so much of it reminds her of dear Phantom. It will be two months tomorrow, and he is so terrible missed. We are so happy to hear that Morgan is doing so well in spite of her ills. We hope she has many more good days with her loving family.

Woos - Ciara and Lightning

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

She's such a clever dog. She has trained you well, and knows it! We're glad she's got less pain, and seems to be enjoying her life to the fullest.

gMarie said...

what a lucky girl. Abby has just passed the 15 1/2 mark (today in fact!) and she's not doing as well as Miss Morgan. Wonder if milkshakes would help her, hmmmm.


Jeanne Pursell said...

This post sure brings back memories for me of our Zippo during his golden years. Since we also got him as a puppy, it was difficult to see him age...especially when he was unable to go for his evening walk...that was the one he enjoyed OH SO MUCH. I am very glad to hear that Morgan is enjoying his golden years and is able to have a milkshake with his kibble in the evening. I bet it really is something that Morgan looks forward to! It sure is hard when we know it is time for them to leave us. Sending strength to you and the pack!

Ruby said...

Morgan, gurl!!! You knows Ma thinks you and I are like twinsies, and I thinks I have to agree! You knows that I make Ma hand feed me sometimes too?! Yuppers! I will bark and bark at my kibble til she take some in her hand and feeds me! BOL!!! She says this is a view of what I am gonna be like too! Sounds good to me! Hey, can I come overs for shake time??? ☺
You are one FABulous gurl Morgan!
Ruby ♥

Marjie said...

I think the picture of Fudge escorting Miss Morgan on her afternoon constitutional is particularly adorable. She surely has the entire household trained in the correct routine!

rottrover said...

I love bossing both mom and dad around! It's so fun!


Nichole Burke said...

There is nothing quite like the life of a senior, especially one so well loved and with such amazing parents. I miss the routine we had with Zeus for so very long with his liver disease and mega-e... then Lola's routine with extra meda and such. I'd give ANYTHING to be late for work, not able to go out after work, always rushing home...... anything at all to go thru it all again.... and have more days.