Friday, September 29, 2023

How I knew my dog was getting old – part two

A couple years after the onset of arthritis, came the shrill barking.  I’m unsure when exactly it began, but Charly became louder and louder to alert us to things outside, such as other dogs.  This barking would not stop after we acknowledged her warnings, or when we told her, “No bark” – our usual command.  It seemed that her personality was changing as well – she developed a blatant disregard for direction.  She would ignore us.  And, to top it off, around this time, we gained chickens as neighbours.  


Charly had a frenemy who lived across the street.  It was a very small fluffy dog that would run to the edge of its fenced yard so it could see our living room window and balcony, and thus, sometimes see Charly.  Charly would look out the window or be on the balcony, and the two would bark at each other.  Then, the frenemy’s owner started raising chickens that were housed in a coop right at the edge of the fenced yard in view of our balcony and living room window.  (And yes, we were living in the city, and no, it was not legal to raise chickens).  Needless to say, our dog is a bird dog and she loooooves chickens…to eat.  From my species-centric perspective, it seemed this frenetic barking was meant to alert us to the potential meal close by.  But, the barking was so acute.  At some point it finally dawned on us that Charly couldn’t hear herself.  She had significant hearing loss by that point, and was compensating by increasing the volume.  She couldn’t hear us or our verbal commands.


We took her to the vet, and there was not much to do for her ears, but he did prescribe an organic anti-anxiety medication.  That helped, as did my spouse lobbying the City to have the chicken coop removed.   So while Charly sadly began to lose her hearing, fortunately, we all would lose the chickens and gain some peace in our home.


Join us on October 6th for a special Thanksgiving post “Sunset on surfing”.

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