Let’s Paws: What old animals can teach us about aging

Couldn’t turn away from this short but powerful documentary.

It’s about a photographer working to get over the anguish of a mom with Alzheimer’s, finally deposited in a nursing home. The  daughter was heartbroken and terrified. Dementia seemed to run in the family. Would she be next?

She crossed paths with an old, blind horse. That led to a nationwide journey to connect with geriatric animals. She says it helped her to somewhat make peace with the inevitable process of aging.

These creatures exude a dignity and wisdom we could all learn from. How I admire them all for their gentle ability to find shreds of happiness amid all the suffering.

Including my beloved dachshund, Ginger. Found some 15 years ago on I-95 in North Carolina, she developed back problems, as do so many doxies. Vet thought she might never walk ago. After a couple rounds of steroids, not only was she walking, she was back to her old, demonstrative (OK, rambunctious) self.

That was many years ago. No heavy-duty meds (except for some blood pressure pills and special kidney food because she’s starting to be plagued by kidney problems). She’s still running and jumping, although she can’t clear the couch and bed like she used to. That sure doesn’t stop her from trying.

She wants no part of the prefab stairs we bought to help her along. Still wants to do it herself, thank you.

Her greatest joy: Tucking herself into bed to ease what must be constant aches and pains, because she emits an occasional groan.

Hard to see since she’s so ensconced; but that’s her on her back, snout up, with spreading gray underneath. Taking time to breathe in every second.

As it should be.

Thanks for showing us the way, all you noble creatures.

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This entry was posted in Health & Wellness, Let's Paws: I break for critters and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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