Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pooches: Where are all the Elderbulls?

A lot of people don't pick up on this, but Miss M and Mr. B are Elderbulls. We didn't really realize it either. We don't celebrate the pooches' birthdays so we had always thought Miss M was four and Mr B was five...for the past 4 years.
 Sure we're noticing a streak of gray in Miss M's ears and on her eyebrow and the fur on Mr. B's nose is rubbing off from being petted so much, but not much else has changed.
Our pooches still have more than enough energy: Mr. B going for walks like a jackrabbit and loves going skateboarding with E. Miss M is still as stubborn as she was since she was a younger pup, but they both love going on long family walks around the neighborhood.
The funny thing we've noticed: all the other dogs we meet on our walks are usually puppy to 3 years old. And these pups need to get older some day. So I'm always curious about where all the other Elderbulls are.
We did have a neighbor who would always be out walking his dogs and they ended up living to be 15 and 17 years old. They didn't look a day over 4 and he said the secret to their longevity was walking.
Even former foster dog Elderbull Bessie-Belle can't get enough of walks. I remember Miss Bessie's new mom calling and asking how many walks we went on because Bessie just wanted to keep walking and walking.
(Photo of svelte Bessie-Belle who we saw just last weekend!)
Maybe the Elderbulls just don't want to go on walks anymore? Maybe the owners think they don't want to go on walks anymore? Maybe most owners are just tired of going on so many walks over the years and think their dogs don't want to walk? Or maybe the Elderbulls who keep walking are kept so mentally and physically stimulated that they look so great and people don't even realize they're Elderbulls?
What do you think?

16 comments:

waldobungie said...

Our elderbelle foster Ginger Rogers loooooved walks too, but she had to work up to them. When we first brought her home, she would get tired just walking around the block. But slowly she worked up to longer and longer walks. One of my friends saw Ginger Rogers and her new parents out walking and said Ginger looked like a young pup now - which I attribute to her new parent's commitment to daily walks. It really does keep them looking young!

Gin said...

I think the walking helps the older dogs stay in shape which means longer healthier lives. I miss going on walks so bad with my elderbulls, but one of my girls ripped her ACL in her knee and I haven't been able to get the surgery ($3000). I would take them out to my dad's farm where they would run around forever. But now we can't even play fetch for 5 minutes without her being lame for 4 days. If I take the other 2 dogs for walks, she gets bad anxiety and gives me major dirty looks. We are hoping before winter sets in me and my husband can save up the money to get it done and next spring we can start walking again

Kate said...

Melanie and Nemo love walks too. I think a lot of it is probably that younger dogs are so energetic, they obviously "need" walks more often. Walking older dogs is definitely important too though! They get so many benefits from getting a little exercise outside.

Unknown said...

Our elderbull mix, Ruka, has always been stubborn like Miss M - wants to walk in her own direction, which is never the way we want to go. As she's approaching her 13th birthday, we've decided to pick our battles. She is far more interested in sniffing and laying in the sun, with brief walks in between, than a long walk. However, we've noticed that if we take her off leash, a sudden spunk comes over here and she's off for the races (as much as an old dog can be!) I'm just happy that her quality of life is still good and she's able to enjoy the simple things.

Luv My Rosie said...

Miss Rosie will be 8 in a few weeks and still very much acts like a pup. I think of her being a toddler on speed with all her energy. But she is getting gray too.. Poor thing. But my sister's two pits both lived to be 15 and 16. On another note, I am so in love with Mr. B!! I love how he walks with his toys..so cute!!!

Rebelwerewolf said...

With a young, excitable dog like Badger, we're always reminded that we need to go on longer and more walks, if just to keep the apartment zoomies to a manageable level. When (if?) he gets older and calms down, I can see us easily falling into the trap of not walking him. We'll just have to keep the health benefits in mind.

K-Koira said...

I see quite a few elderly dogs when we go on walks. I think they are less likely to be out in bad weather like heavy rain, but they are out in force on nice days!

SherBear said...

My parent's dogs have always lived to 15 - including a mutt, a britney spaniel, and, most impressively, a dalamatian. Their "secret" to longevity has been (and always will be) daily walks/hikes/bike rides/swims. No special diets (Iams for the three prior dogs and their current two springer spaniels), just a lot of exercise, regular vet visits and a lot of love! The dalamatian did get arthritis, (she was big girl for her breed, 65 pound and very chest heavy) but she was fine on glucosamine twice a day. You never would have noticed that any of them were elderdogs since they all stayed fit and at a healthy weight!

Trissi_V said...

Its funny how you stop counting years as your animals get older...Chablis (senior kitty) is perpetually 9 though, when in fact I think she is closer to 13 now, but when people ask I say 9.

I would say that maybe you don't know which are elder bulls, because they don't show their age. Miss M and Mr. B don't look a day over 4. And Bessie Bell looks younger in every picture that you took as time went on...almost a Benjamin Button affect.

livierules said...

Petey is 7 and he will zoom full steam ahead especially if he is going to the park. His nose is getting gray but he reacts joyfully like a puppy if he spies someone who might pet him. He does get tired though.

Lex said...

I have a 7-8ish Elder Pitkita, we go on at least two 30minute walks a day. Outside he acts like a puppy and everyone we meet thinks he is under a year old because of his puppy attitude and large paws, the gray on his face is deceiving because he's an akita mix and may or may not have always been gray. Regardless of how he acts outside, he's got the teeth and napping habits of an elderbull! I can't imagine not taking him walking every day, and I'm sure I'd get quite a bit of protest from him if I stopped!

Tucker The Crestie said...

I think both Miss M and Mr. B look amazing ... and I have no doubt that it is due in large part to the excellent diets they are receiving, and all of the exercise they get.

Two French Bulldogs said...

we think every buddy is different. I will walk the marathon while my Lily would prefer to stop and wait for peoples to pet her
Benny & Lily

Faith Shen said...

dogs are one of the best buddy, He looks gorgeous on his pictures :D


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Slomack said...

Like you, I didn't realize I *had* an elderbull until my vet suggested a "senior" diet for my girl. "What?" I thought. "She's only seven!" Yeah, that was five years ago.

So Gretel will officially turn 12 in August. She has always been a marathon walker (we don't have a fenced yard, so we walk at least three times a day), but I will say she's slowed down some in the last year or two.

At this point, I just give her the opportunity and let her take the lead, so our walks now vary from a couple of miles in the morning to two doors down in the evening. Every now and then she'll surprise me (I'll think she's done and she'll enthusiastically "ask permission" to keep going).

A Wonderful Dogs Life said...

I think dogs and humans need the exercise for their physical and mental well being. We have tried to increase our walks because of my age. My humans thought it would help prevent the loss of muscle mass, improve joint health and increase my appetite. People are usually surprised to find out my age. We all go for walks and our ages are 14 yrs, 8 yrs, and ? 7 or 8 not sure about the newest addition.

Emma

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