O is for Old

mature mia

I confess that when I first saw Mia’s gray face, I thought, “Oh, she’s too old.” (Who knows what I thought she was too old for.)

I’ll also admit to asking other dog owners how old their dogs are, because I want to know how long I can expect to have these guys around.

So I know it’s just out of curiosity that people are always asking us how old Mia is. Still, I’m insulted on her behalf. Recently, Rob was walking Mia at his work and ran into a grandmotherly sort who asked Mia’s age. Rob wondered if that made it appropriate for him to ask the woman how old she was.

Since our vet estimated Mia’s age at 7 when we first got her, I usually say, “We think she’s about 10.” And after June 4 (the anniversary of the day we got her), I’ll say, “We think she’s 11.”

Mia’s grayness and agedness came up in a piece I wrote for The Crossing Guide about a fun trip we took to San Juan Island.

Mia reminded me again last week how young at heart she is. We took the kids to a new park and she raced around so fast, just like she did on San Juan Island. This must be a “new place” phenomenon. Or maybe just a sign that her arthritis meds are working.

The last time someone asked me how old she is, I said, “We think she’s almost 11, and she’s in great health!”

sunshiney mia

Mia gets all the balls
Mia gets all the balls

For the A to Z Challenge, I’m using all positive language in my posts. Read about how I discovered positive reinforcement training in my book, Bark and Lunge!


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Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

23 thoughts on “O is for Old

  1. The great thing about my sister Katie who is almost 13 is she is a white dog, so no one can see “old” look fur on her. We can see her age in her face, but only those that know dogs really well notice it. Her tell tale sign is the slow walking. Now she is no longer limping or dragging paws, so it is just the slow speed which is a clue. Age is only a number and really means nothing as every creature of the same age is different.

  2. Roxy is 10(ish) and showing her age. She tires quickly and has some stiffness in her back leg. She also gravitate to soft places to lay and seems uncomfortable on the floor. We try not to let her overdo it and make sure she has access to a bed, love seat or thick comforter to rest on. I think she’s losing her hearing and barks at things that aren’t there.

    it’s sad to think that my mischievous girl has become a senior dog. But we love her and make allowances to keep her happy and comfortable. Like your old girl, Roxy has her puppy moments and it’s fun to see the joy in her face playing with the laser pointer or going for a car ride.

    When people ask how old she is I proudly tell them. She’s brought love and happiness to our lives for 8 years!

  3. My fur babe, a Westie, is 13. I am struggling with this age because I know our time together is limited. I have also started him on arthritic medicine and he is like a new pup running around and taking walks again. He is white so no one can tell his age, but we see it at home with his hobbling and laying around. Just love on him and make memories!

  4. Storm was was gray at about 6…lol. It is not uncommon in Chessies, especially dark brown ones. It took her forever to mature and not look like a puppy and then all at once she was gray. The last time someone asked how old she was was last weekend at training when she did a very nice job on a series of 5 challenging blind retrieves. I think they just wanted to know how long before their dog might work as cleanly. 🙂

    1. Aw, that’s kind of a shame to have such a short time between puppy and gray. But then, their entire lives are too short as far as I’m concerned! (I also find myself asking people how old their dogs are when I want to validate my suspicions that it’s a young dog.)

      1. I tell myself gray is just a color. Many in Storm’s line live to a very old age which is good and they work up until the end. Even though she is gray, she is still hard charging at 8. 🙂

  5. I’ve had grey hairs since I was in high school, so Mia certainly isn’t old just because she has them 😉 Plus, I read something recently about how the new trend for young women was to die their hair grey–so now Mia’s just trendy! She looks great!

  6. Mia’s a timeless beauty 🙂 I love how older dogs have those spunky moments, where they’re running around as fast as a younger pup 🙂 One of my K9 clients, Patton, is a senior pup, and while he’s usually content slowly walking around the yard, sniffing here & there, flopping himself on the grass for some rolling around time on his back, he gets those spunky moments where he chases after his younger sister Macy. It’s absolutely adorable, and I love watching him do that!

  7. Mia is absolutely gorgeous! I love it when doggies get grey muzzles. My dog Jo who passed a few years ago never got that b/c she had cream colored fur, though you could tell just a little bit around her eyes. Anyway, my heart always melts when I see a grey muzzled dog, and Mia is a stunner! 🙂

  8. Mia is beautiful! I know what you mean though, Haley started turning gray around 4 or 5 years of age and people usually remark about her being an old dog. They usually have a tone of voice like they feel sorry for her, but she’s 8 years young and crazy as ever, haha!

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