by Amy Swartz

lucas3I get pampered.  Not diapered. I mean, Aunt Amy does things to help me out.  She started giving me puppy massages a few years ago, and things have gotten better ever since.

My favorite thing is that she takes me outside a lot and we walk around or else I stand in one place for a long time while I enjoy the fresh air.  Getting some exercise is the best thing for older guys like me.  We used to take a lot of car rides, which kept my rear end strong because I would stand up and bark a lot.  Then my eyesight got worse, and I stopped enjoying the car rides, so we stopped going.  My rear end got weak! So we’re back to car rides a few times a week.  I bark a lot, but we stop and go for walks, so it’s not too bad.  Amy calls it physical therapy time.

She also bought little bamboo stands at a kitchen store that she puts my food on.  They are just the right height, it doesn’t hurt my back to stoop over and eat, and I don’t choke as often.  Thanks to Aunt Doris for suggesting that!

We have the most beautiful hardwood floors in our house, but you would never know it unless you looked in the closet.  We had to cover the floors with rugs, carpet squares and AstroTurf so I wouldn’t slip and fall.  I slipped and fell so many times on hardwood floors (before I lived with Aunt Amy) that it really hurt my back.  So be nice and get some rugs!  Hey, and put some padding or yoga mats underneath so it’s comfortable to sleep on top!

Here is another very important thing for older dogs: pee pee pads.  As I’ve gotten older, I slip a little on the pads, so Amy put AstroTurf underneath and I have better traction, plus it looks more like outside.

I used to love wearing sweaters, but now it’s too difficult to get them on and off, so Amy covers me with a tea towel to keep me warm.  She calls me Rocky or Sea Biscuit and laughs.  Sometimes, Amy heats the towel in the dryer or microwave and puts it on my back to help with the arthritis pain.  The Relief drops are great for the pain, but when it’s cold outside my arthritis acts up and the heat helps a lot and feels so good…ah.  And don’t forget the raincoats and winter jackets!

I like to sleep on memory foam bath mats a lot.  Especially two or three stacked.  I have a hard time with my old beds that have raised edges.  Now I like flat surfaces to lie on, plus it’s easier to get up.  Maybe I’ll get some more for Christmas.

Have you ever put a mirror low enough so your pets can admire themselves?  It’s entertaining for everyone. Plus, I know what Amy’s talking about when she tells me I’m cute.  It also helps me keep track of what is going on in the room behind me, so I feel more relaxed.  Try it yourself; you’ll see what I mean.

Here’s one of my favorites: getting my eyes rubbed! I love getting my eyes rubbed.  I’ve had cataracts for a long time and my eyes water a lot.  The Eye Senior drops have helped to reduce the brown itchy stuff, but my eyes still water.  It took Amy a long time to get over the grossness of touching the goopy stuff, but she would use a wet washcloth or Kleenex so she wouldn’t have to touch it.

Now, she massages my eyes almost everyday and I feel so much better.  She also trims the hair around my eyes when I’m sleeping and that helps, too.  Something else I like about the Eye Senior drops is my eye sight is better and my eyes went back to being brown instead of the cataract blue.  I still have cataracts, but they aren’t as bad.

Please let Aunt Amy know if you have other tips that might help me or other animals so we can let everyone know.  You can even post them on our Facebook page.