My story, faithful friend, happy companion – a dog.

Old Before My Time

Old Before My Time

When I was a puppy I used to enjoy running and playing and being like the other pups around puppy school. Sure I had my problems when my knee joint slipped and my shoulders were sometimes a little sore, but it didn’t stop me doing anything. I felt normal, just like all the other pups.

I would sit waiting for the front door to open and if I had a chance I would be out and off running down the drive and into the big open field next door. Beloved and her beloved would be chasing after me trying to get me back! I could be a very naughty Tibbie in those days. But as I have said before, I do not like closed doors and I am a dog who enjoys freedom.

I am very proud of the fact that it is written in some books about us Tibetans that we do not respond to commands unless we think they will benefit us, we will not mindlessly obey. I like that about our breed. Beloved calls me stubborn but I believe it is more that I am a free thinker. Unfortunately because as well as being a Tibbie who likes his freedom I am also a Tibbie who likes his food I can always be bribed with food. This is a weakness and always curtailed my adventure. But I have heard that everyone has a price, sausages are mine.

In the last few years however I have noticed myself slowing down. The problems with my body have become worse and though I don’t complain, because I am a very stoic little chap, I do feel it in lots of ways.

Of course I feel pain and that in itself is not pleasant. Waking up stiff and sore everyday is uncomfortable, but more than that is watching all the other dogs, many of them older, being able to run around and play. They can join in with the rough and tumble of life in the dog park in a way that I can’t. It causes me to wonder what it is that has caused me to be different. Why can’t I be like them? Why can I not be normal and healthy?

Beloved’s number two son used to take me (just me) to the coffee shop sometimes. I loved that. It was special. We would walk slowly to the village which is close by and go to his favourite coffee shop and I would sit and watch the world go by. He is living overseas at the moment and we miss him, but I would struggle to walk that distance now and that makes me sad. It seems such a little thing to want to do and I can’t.

I am old before my time and sometimes that seems unfair. I sit on the sidelines in the reserve. When Beloved stops to chat to anyone I lie down to take the weight off my shoulders and hips. Sometimes it is too much of an effort to even go and meet the other dogs and I am a very sociable Tibbie so I miss this.

It seems like I am sitting on the sidelines of life and you only get one chance to live it. I have to confess to moments of feeling it is not fair.

I have always been drawn to greyhounds. I love their sleek bodies, long legs and the graceful way that they run. I tried to keep up with one once, many years ago. I gave up quickly and now I just envy them from afar. How I would love to be able to run like they can and feel some of the exuberance for life that they must have bottled up inside. I do realise though that I am a sturdy Tibbie and even with full health I would never be able to keep up with a greyhound, but The Princess can run and play with some of the other dogs and I would be happy to be able to do that.

I am only eight but I am less active than some of the dogs who are twelve and fourteen. I feel like I am already old and I shouldn’t be. The other dogs who are fit and healthy show a passing interest and sometimes express sympathy but they don’t really understand, how could they? I am left to sit with the old timers, feeling like one of them rather than the middle aged Tibbie that I am.

Occasionally dogs will come and tell me I should just run and loosen up those stiff joints. This makes me grumpy because it makes it sound like I am lazy and it is my fault for having these health problems.

Others share the things that their pack leaders give them and I listen and I’m polite because I am a well brought up Tibbie but I know that Beloved has tried almost everything she can to make me feel better and I trust her to do her best. There are just some things that you cannot change.

I have had some who have told me that I am being a puppy and that if I just got a grip of myself, stopped eating all the rubbish medicines, special foods and vitamins Beloved gives me and behave like a proper dog I would be fine. I just give those dogs a Tibbie look, they are ignorant and uncaring. Fortunately there are not too many like that at our dog park.

I have moments when I feel a little better and then The Princess and I have a romp and a bit of a play, she always loves that and I wish it could be like that all the time. Sometimes I feel bad that I am not the companion to her that I could be if I were well.

Today is a day when I woke up a little sore and stiffer than usual. Our walk was a little harder for me than yesterday and I feel a little frustrated.

But now I am home with my soft beds and the sofa I lie on at night. I think of the treats that Beloved bakes us. The things I love like Beloved, television and cuddles and realise that despite it all I am quite a lucky Tibbie.

If I had to have these health problems at least I have them in a comfortable, warm home where I am loved. That has to count for something. And of course, there is also Big Dog to comfort me.

The Princess is on about making a guest post, but I’m not going to let her yet. Instead I might tell you some stories about her growing up. But for now it is nap time, a time to stretch out these aching muscles and rest and when I wake up it will be lunch and cuddles on Beloved’s nap. Not a bad plan.

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