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Senior watch

The pain that comes with the loss of ones pet is felt in many different degrees as does the loss of a human loved one. We all grieve in our own ways.  I try never to minimize people who grieve different than me, we must all do what we need to, to survive those times of pain.
I am now dealing with the impending end of my second senior dog in less than 2 years. Archie is my first Chinese Crested dog and the one who got me started on the journey of my life. He is a rescue dog and the dog that hooked me, hook, line and sinker on the breed. I had him in my arms a total of 5 minutes when I knew there was never going to be another breed for me. I learned a lot about myself with him as my guide. He opened my eyes to a world that called to me to help. He in fact changed my life for ever. I feel so blessed that my life was impacted by this little dog in ways that have made me a better person, opened my mind,heart and soul, showing me that life does start after 50.
I watch him daily as his body deteriorates. He is not sick he is just older than dirt itself. He has no weight and when I pick him up it feels like a jammie full of Popsicle sticks, I can put my one hand completely around his neck and his legs are so stiff they don't bend much at all. When he bends over to get a drink his  back feet come off the ground as his head is too heavy and makes him off balance. His back feet, half of the time skid along behind him and then they start working as if he just remembered they where back there. His one remaining eye is going totally blind as he is loosing his ability to see shadows.  He walks along bumping into things and falling into the water bowl. We block of the stairs now so he won't fall. He has took a few good tumbles down the stairs; he gets up shakes it off and at the same time shakes himself off balance and falls again. He likes to sleep in front of the heat vent and he sticks his face directly into the air being forced out and up his nose. He then goes into a fit of sneezes that ends with him beating his head on the wall and vent till I am afraid he will knock himself out.  When he starts I have to run over and grab him away from the wall to keep him from hurting himself.  He walks around and find himself in a corner or facing the wall and just stands there for what seems to be an eternity. I pick him up and turn him around and he goes right back to putting his nose on the wall again. He bounces off  things like the ball in a pinball machine, and his annoying  bark that sounds like a bugle crossed with a Beagle. In the middle of the night when he wants in his chair or out of his chair the sound will bring you straight out of a dead sleep.  I started letting him sleep upstairs so I can sleep but every now and then he will get into the water dish and start howling like the devil is after him. I run up the stairs and turn the light on and there he is standing in the water bowl.  I take him out dry him off and put him in front of the heater again and go back to bed. He eats everything including his own poo. I gave up worrying about his eating habits.  He could get to the garbage and we had to harness him up when we left the room to keep him out of it. He can not get on anything any more and can't open the cupboards as he has  become so weak.  But he snaps to attention when one of the other dogs try to mussel in on his food he will bite them if they get close enough to him.  He can not chase them or move quickly to get them they have to be in front of his teeth or he can't get them. But he keeps the snapping teeth going so no one even tries to get close. He will bark and whine when someone is in his spot or he wants something.  This little guy just is not giving up, his body is almost gone now but his love of food and other things keep him going. He is 17 and his decrepit body looks like a horror film but he still is full of life and everyday I look at him, laugh at him and know how lucky I am to have the old boy.

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