Dixie has exceeded the average life expectancy of the Golden Retriever and is really starting to show her age.  She has a mask of gray hair on her face, has arthritis, bad hips, bad teeth, and now, incontinence.  It’s an undignified lifestyle but dogs seem not to have anything in their world like dignity.

Yesterday, we got some medicine for the incontinence but it has yet to take effect.  Dogs are slaves to habit and I’m afraid that she’s gotten used to peeing on the floor at night and may continue even in spite of the meds.  We’ve been in the house for 15 years and raised two kids (and Dixie) in it so perhaps it’s time for new carpets anyway but I’d still prefer that she go outside. 

When she was a pup I used to say that when she got old and started giving trouble, I’d have her put to sleep but now that the day is upon me that just sounds mean.  I don’t think I can put her down just because she’s old.  She still seems happy enough and it is still pleasant to rub her fur which she enjoys as well. 

The aching hips are a problem too.  When she came home from the vet yesterday, she could not get out of the car.  She had wedged herself between the two seats and could not get out so heroic measures were required. 

But we’ll keep on taking care of her.  She doesn’t seem miserable or uncomfortable most of the time.