Thursday, April 7, 2011

Retirement Home for Cats & Dogs

Recently my family moved to Washington state and we are staying with my parents on acres of gorgeous plants and towering Evergreen trees. It's enough to make any writer smile.

A lot has changed in the seven years since I last lived in WA, but something particularly noticeable to me is the three older animals now residing on my parents property. When I left they were full of energy, sprinting past trees and digging up bones. Now they walk a little slower and their muzzles are sprinkled with gray and white.

I've lovingly named the property the Retirement Home for Cats and Dogs. Of course we still have a few young animals to liven the place up, but it's the older, more mature pets that make me want to sit on the porch and enjoy the warming sunbeams with them. Gone are the issues of chewing and potty training; now we deal with blindness, hard of hearing, hip problems, and sadly even an inoperable tumor.

Regardless of health problems though, there's just something special about older pets. Maybe it's that spark of life in their eyes despite the cataracts, or how they insist on doing what they enjoy (sniffing around the property) even though they have a bad hip. They live life differently; they appreciate the loving affection of their owner in a deeper way and realize that pouncing on visitors isn't always necessary.

There's a lot to be said for "retirement age" pets, and a lot that they can teach us if we're willing to slow down, lend them a lap, and rub their ears while we listen.

Here's The Question:
Tell me about your older pet. What's his/her name? How old is she/he? And tell me something unique about him/her.