Seeing the grey appear around Madison’s jowls is a clear sign that the sprightly young girl she was once is now getting older. Maddie is now fourteen and a half years old and being a Kelpie she is just hitting the higher ends of middle age. Kelpies are renowned for reaching ripe old ages of seventeen to twenty years old. Especially the urban luxury Kelpies such as Maddie. I can’t say the same for the hard working farming Kelpies; however, they can still reach a longer lifespan than many other dogs.
It’s hard watching Madison slow down. Her eyesight is not what it used to be and all those years of chewing on tennis balls has grinded down her teeth. She does not look like an old dog. Give her a ball in the park she returns to her youthful self but becomes less interested in play sooner – unlike when she was young and would play for hours and hours on end.
The old dog now has to have hormones to help her with a leaky bladder and she often looks horrified when she wakes up from a deep sleep with a little puddle under her. It’s only has to have a hormone tablet now and again but it’s yet another sign that she is getting older.
Madison is also quieter now and will sleep all day if she isn’t disturbed by Leroy wanting to play with her. She needs more warmth than before and her recent move back to Melbourne has resulted in a padded new coat and comfy warm bed.
Getting into the car is not so easy either. The effortless jump she used to make into the back of the four wheel drive is now more of a well considered step up into the sedan with a hand from me at times. If she had to get in the back of four wheel drive she’d just look at me and then precede to walk around the car to the passengers door. She may be weaker, and sleepier but she hasn’t lost her Kelpie witt at all.
It’s not easy seeing her slow down and watching old age creep in. It’s an unstoppable part of life and a sad part of dog ownership. I wish she would live forever but there will come a time where old age will take over but until then she will be loved and cuddled just like all old dogs should be.