Summer is on its way and the days are already hot. Zac, my eleven year old German Shepherd was showing signs of ageing. From past experience when these subtle changes appear the decline is fairly rapid. Old age in dogs is short.
He was starting to follow me everywhere – as though he was seeking my protection, no longer able to protect himself, let alone his family. His appetite was waning and he sounded like a puffing Billy his panting was so constant and fast. His ability to do a long walk had long gone but now he was struggling to make it to the end of the park and back.
I gave a lot of thought to what could help him and eventually decided that a shorn Zac might be a happier Zac. Covering the mirrors in readiness for our return, we visited the Cuts for Mutts in Cooroy. An hour later we saw our german shepherd come schnauzer dog. His undercoat was, surprisingly, grey and white. His head reminded me of both a hobby-horse and a mere cat.
Unexpected was his new extreme cuddalability, as I have never been particularly fond of short-haired dogs but, Zac had become irresistible. I just have to pat him. Also unexpected was the transformation to puppy hood. Long walks have been reinstated. Heeling perfectly until he reaches one of our turn for home points where he takes off at a run until we are past the point where we could turn homewards. He has also stopped panting.
I have seen a few people, mainly in cars driving by, laughing at him but most still find him a good-looking dog.
Sadly I’m not stupid and I know that it won’t last for ever but I am really happy that, at least for a while, my faithful companion has got back his vim and vigour.