Sasha, On Aging Well

Photo credit: Sarah Starkweather


Alpha Mom asked me to take this week’s post as she’s a bit preoccupied with her homework for a new training she’s in. She says she’ll write about it once she’s done and can look back with perspective.

I wonder if that is what aging is really about: Perspective?

I am aging, that’s for sure. I’m also not at all bothered by it as many humans are. I don’t understand how humans get their knickers bollixed up over something they can do nothing about!

I prefer how my Alpha Grandma — who lives nearby and gives me treats every time I visit — talks about aging. “It sure beats the alternative” she says. I don’t know if she’s right; I mean I don’t really know what the alternative is, you know. Maybe she does. I just like the c’est la vie attitude.

I was planning to write about how I’ll be turning 70 soon — dog years you know are like 7 to 1 — but alpha mom say “70 is just a number; write about aging.”  I guess she means how

my body seems to take longer to do the things I used to do without effort.

Like healing from this latest TPLO surgery I had in July.  With my first TPLO surgery (Alpha Mom wrote about that here) I was pretty  much back to my normally vivacious and over-confident self in weeks — or so it seems;

my memory is not what it used to be either.

This time I’m needing physical therapy to get me back to my youthful vigor. Well, to get me to put weight on that rear leg. I’ve gotten used to holding it up; it’s become a habit.



My physical therapist, a very nice lady named Judy, correctly determined I have no pain. She gave Alpha Mom some exercises to do each day to get me out of that habit.  But

don’t we all prefer our habits as we get older?

I like the familiar. But, Judy and Alpha Mom are working hard to break me of this habit and, frankly, the treats I’m getting as a result are delicious.

There are stretches I do each morning before I jump off the bed, and a few dance steps I must do once I’ve gotten outside: side steps, backing up, and lifting my legs up over some logs. There’s no music, but I’m hoping that’ll change soon.

I’m learning new words, too. That’s important as we get older: to learn new things.

“PeeTee” means we’re going to walk ever so slowly and in a counterclockwise direction. It looks like just going for a walk but it’s really a lot harder. Alpha Mom uses her Thich Nhat Hanh walking  meditation to guide her. I’m on my short leash with no mantra to repeat. Only “PeeTee.” I have to remember not to pull too. Otherwise, Alpha Mom says I’ll be wearing my Gentle Leader harness again and I do hate that.

I haven’t been able to play with other dogs since this happened in May and I love other dogs. I love people too, but they don’t romp as much. Judy (my physical therapist, you’ll recall) says that playing with other dogs will be the final assignment of our work together. I really miss meeting new companions. We may not always become lasting friends but just smelling them (i.e., learning where they are from) is very pleasant.

I think as we get older,

maintaining the friendships that are important to us

— like the dogs at nearby doggie day care or our local farmers’ market — and saying goodbye to those that aren’t — like that fox I was chasing last May — becomes more important.

Aging well seems to mean we make difficult decisions more easily than we once did.

Photo credit: Woody Starkweather


Maybe that’s where perspective comes in. Just like Alpha Mom said at the start.

She’s so smart, my Alpha Mom.


8 Responses

  1. Merril D Smith
    | Reply

    Sasha sounds very wise. Hope the healing goes well.
    One of daughter’s dogs had knee surgeries–but she’s a puppy, so the healing went pretty quickly. Then there was the surgery after she ate the socks. . .
    Merril D Smith recently posted…Poem Up in Wellington Street ReviewMy Profile

  2. Ally Bean
    | Reply

    I agree that the process of aging is much more interesting than talking about any number, old or not. Obviously you, Sasha, are a wise dog. I’m happy to have made your acquaintance.

  3. Frank V. Moore
    | Reply

    Sasha is very wise. But then I’ve heard that dogs tend to acquire many of the traits of their principal human companions.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hey Frank. Great to have you back. The Eastern Shore has been on my mind this week and here you are. Please say hello to everyone for me.
      Janet Givens recently posted…Sasha, On Aging WellMy Profile

  4. Joan
    | Reply

    Thanks, Sasha. I’m aging too and so is little Max, who is now 63. I read your post to him and he said he’d love to meet you!!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Sasha loves dogs, even small ones. We may be driving to Texas later this winter. Maybe a swing by? Thanks, Joan.
      Janet Givens recently posted…Sasha, On Aging WellMy Profile

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