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Re: old jrt girl, yearling boy, different needs..YIKES

Posted by:  Heather Reid
Posted on:  August 05, 2001 at 21:44:52

In Reply to: old jrt girl, yearling boy, different needs..YIKES
Posted by:  connie hill
Posted on:  August 05, 2001 at 18:54:52

Question:

: I have a 14 year old female and a 1 year old male. I feel bad for them both! She lost her hubbie Just before we got little man) and he has no one to play with because she has sloooowed down. I want to get another pup...male or female or NOT?! Also, she has cataracts and has some hearing loss. How to deal with her old age happiness and still make pup happy too? A dilemma.

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Hi Connie,
This is a tough question. Do you get another dog, at the risk of same-sex aggression-- a very serious risk? Will that other dog put the play back into your female? (I doubt if it the male hasn't.) Will it be too much stress on your older dog, a puppy in the house while dealing with gradual loss of eye-sight and hearing?
My vote on this one would be "don't rock the boat." You can provide for both dogs without the aid of another dog. Spend time with each separately, every day. Even if it's just 10 minutes of private play or cuddle time, the quality is more imporant than the quantity, especially for your girl. Use that time to make sure your pup is getting his exercise; your girl doesn't need him taking his energy out on her and annoying her. Encourage them to interact if she's in the mood to play, but don't push too hard. Making sure their lives are full is your job, not each other's job or that of another dog. Spending time with other dogs is great, but the most important time is mommy time.
If you need some ideas on how to spend quality time with an aging dog, there are some great books and videos my Linda Tellington. The T-Touch method is a massage technique that is great for active as well as older dogs. It's easy to learn. Your pups will love it, and who knows it may revive your girl some so she can wrestle with her baby brother and show him who's still boss!
Good luck!
Heather