Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sad About Aging (Storm)

(You can click to enlarge most of the pictures)

First of all, don't let the title scare you! Storm is fine! I guess looking at Jackal's puppy pictures the other day has me thinking about the past. I got Storm when I was sixteen. I loved (and still love) her, but like most teenagers when I started dating I stopped spending as much time with her. Yeah I took care of her and she slept in my room every night, but I didn't spend one on one time with her.

When I got married and moved into the house where I live now I started spending a lot more time with her of course. Unfortunately we both were working so for the first time in her life Storm had to be alone during the day. When I lived at home with my parents my mom and brother were always there because my brother is disabled and my mom cares for him. They also had other dogs. This is the reason we got Jackal. They adore each other!!

As Storm gets older (she's ten now) I start to worry about a time when she won't be here. She's still healthy and strong, but I notice little things. Her cataracts and chronic dry eye are affecting her vision. She can't really catch things anymore and watching her do one of her favorite past times (chase moths/flies/etc.) makes me sad because she can't really track them anymore. She loses them so easily now. When she was younger she could catch anything lol. She also can't hold her bladder nearly as long and has been having accidents in the house after having gone nine years without having an accident indoors. She also seems confused sometimes. She just stands and stares off into space. Can dogs get dementia?

On a happier note she's just as active and healthy as ever. She has a great appetite. She has a great, happy demeanor. She's still one of the best dogs ever!

One of the things about Storm that I've probably never mentioned is that we used to call her the Invisible Dog. She could be in the same room and you would have no clue she was there. Part of this is because she likes to make dens (she loved sleeping under the foot part of my brother's recliner) and part of it is because she's so well behaved and quiet! You could easily forget she was there. I don't want her to be invisible anymore. I want to spend as much time with her as I can. I want to go places and explore and have fun. I want to learn new things together and spend time together.

So I guess this long rambling post was an excuse to share adorable pictures (all taken by me between 2001 and 2006) and to say that I'm sad because my baby girl is getting older and that our time together is growing short (or she could live another six to eight years! Not trying to be negative or pessimistic) so I want to spend as much time together as possible. :) I guess I just thought she would always be around and just as I had to recognize my own mortality (sucks getting older lol) I now have to recognize her's. So, yeah, anyway, guess I'm going to give her a hug and go to bed lol. Night guys!


  1. awweee...stormy is beautiful! of course she is so well behaved in the house and quiet. huskies are perfect (or so huskies will tell you).

    the dementia though, i dont' know. if it were my dog, i'd probably have her checked out and ask about it. maybe something very minor. you never know. on a personal level, i'm amazed how some small food sensitivity caused so many of my own BIG problems with focusing on something, memory, sleep etc. so i'm just throwing it out there. any odd behavior in your furbaby should always get checked medically... but possibly it also could be old age...

    but she's so pretty. just love her to pieces!

  2. You know after writing this post I got to thinking about that and I think it's because of her failing eyesight. When she stands still staring I think she's listening! Since she can't see as well as she used to she's using her hearing to make up for it. That's just my guess. She doesn't do it very often. I will ask the vet though when we get her eyes rechecked. :) Thanks for commenting!

  3. We LOVED seeing all the pix of Storm! She's such a beautiful girl!
    The staring off into space - like you just commented, it sounds like she's sensing something -- listening, smelling, or something. Good idea to have her sight checked.
    Dogs CAN suffer from dementia, though -- but 10 is pretty young still. Our Stormy had some dementia, so I have some experience with it if you have questions. Also do a web search for dementia in dogs or Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). There is a lot of info out there!
    That last picture of your Storm is precious!!!

  4. KZK, I did have her eyes checked and he said she is definitely developing cataracts that will affect her vision. He said the dry eye shouldn't affect her vision, it just makes her uncomfortable. The reason she's having a recheck is because I don't think he got her cyclosporine (for dry eye) dosage right because she's still having some issues. Thank you for the info on CDS. I'll definitely check it out. :D

  5. I love Huskys, give her a hug for me! Here's hoping you have many good years left to love her up.

  6. Yes, dogs can get dementia but they can also get confused if their vision, hearing, and smell are fading. The cues they relied on are no longer there.

    My old airedale had all of those things. His hearing and vision started to fade, but I think that his tendency to just stand in one spot or stand facing the wall were a bit of dementia as well.

    I think that dogs compensate well for fading senses. Especially if there is another dog around to help them figure things out.

    So, do talk to your vet just to be sure and keep helping her do the things she loves.

    Mango Momma

  7. Aww...I can totally relate to this post coz I'm starting to feel like that about Honey! As you said - it's not like she's unwwell - she's actually in very good condition for her age - but you do start to notice little things...

    But as everyone else has said - you're doing a fantastic job with Storm and making her life everything a dog's ought to be - here's hoping that we both have many more years with our old girls! :-)



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