What a Treasure a Senior Dog Is

A senior dog is a real treasure. I’ve written a book, Charlie: A Love Story , about a magnificent senior dog, my Golden Retriever Charlie. Charlie’s story begins when he is eleven years old, which is considered senior dog status. It was at that time that he started having some health problems, and I thought I’d be lucky to have him for another year. But I was truly lucky and got lots more – Charlie lived to the age of fourteen. This senior dog far exceeded his breed’s life expectancy of ten to twelve years.

I think a key factor in his long life was his very strong will, his determination to overcome any adversity. He bounded out of health problems that no one, including his veterinarian, thought he would.

Another key factor in Charlie’s longevity is the care he got from my husband and me – and from his wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Robert Olds, a master orthopedic surgeon as well as a truly compassionate person. He seemed to know what was best for Charlie every step of the way. From puppyhood to senior dog. Appropriately, Dr. Olds wrote the foreword to Charlie: A Love Story. I do believe he loved Charlie, and he certainly helped to give him the best life possible.

As for the care Charlie got from my husband and me, I’ll put it this way: we couldn’t do enough for him. This senior dog was the love of my life, and my husband adored him too. From the best dog beds to the best food (such as grinding barley for him), to as much physical and mental stimulation as we could give him, we were always trying to make this extraordinary dog as happy and healthy as possible. It’s all in my book, Charlie: A Love Story, which you can find by clicking on the following link: charliealovestory.com.

While many factors contributed to this senior dog outliving his life expectancy, I think there is one that probably was as significant as all the rest: I never thought of Charlie as a “senior” dog. As a matter of fact, I called him “Puppy” his whole life. Yes, I saw the subtle changes as he got older, but to me Charlie was always my puppy. And always will be.