We know we’re getting older, because humans tell us.  Whenever they meet other humans with dogs, they tell each other how old the dogs are. We think it’s rude – how would they like it if we told everyone how old our humans are?

We deal with being older a lot better than our humans. For a start, we don’t primp, pout or complain in front of the mirror each day.  We don’t use wrinkle cream, although we do eat it when we get the chance. It tastes of chicken.  We don’t dye our white hair. That’s mainly because we can’t get the plastic gloves over our paws.

When Dogs Must Slow Down

Oscar has always believed he is an athlete.  He used to do flips when he was jumping up to catch the ball. This is his favourite action picture. I prefer the ball thrown straight into my open mouth. Athletes are rarely smart.

dogs get older fly picture
I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky!


When it comes to playing ball, no dog is better than Oscar.  He is THE expert.  He can spot a ball a half mile away.  If there were gold medals for ball catchers, Oscar would have a wall of them!

Oscar used to play with old soccer balls. Usually he would burst them and would end up playing tug ball. When he smiles you can see he’s lost a few front teeth to this game. Personally, I’d let go before losing a tooth. It’s the difference between “strong” and “smart.”

When we see humans playing soccer at the park, Oscar joins in and runs away with the ball. I don’t think this is officially part of soccer, because the humans don’t act very kindly to Oscar on these occasions. I think Oscar needs a soccer rule book for Christmas.

dogs get older soccer ball tug
Just TRY to get the ball off me! Comeon!


Sharing the ball

Oscar prefers to play ball with no interference from other dogs.  Our humans throw the ball away and he catches it and takes it back to them.  This would go on for hours, but the humans stop after a few minutes because they always have something else to do. Oscar can’t understand how anything could be more important than playing ball. He’s single-minded in that way.

dogs get older tilly catches ball
Sometimes I get in on the game, but Oscar doesn’t like it much.

Our big sister Emmy (rest in peace) didn’t play often. She was too busy being the boss. Occasionally she would go into a kind of wild and whacky frenzy and steal the ball from Oscar.  She didn’t rely on stealth to get the ball – she just steamed right on in, even if Oscar was holding it with his teeth. Then she would tease him with it, as if it was THE BEST BALL EVER and now SHE HAD IT.  Oscar is such a wuss that he would just put up with it making an occasional whimper until she decided she was finished.  Then he would pick up where he left off.

Oscar’s New Ball

The vet told our humans that Oscar is getting old and his back isn’t what it used to be so they shouldn’t throw the ball for him anymore.  If he jumps and twists the wrong way, he could get hurt so bad that he wouldn’t be able to run or even walk again.

So these days, they only play tug ball with Oscar.  They bought him a special ball for this that doesn’t bounce much but is easy to tug on.  Now that Emmy is gone, it’s down to me to steal it from him. I can do that easily, because he’s still a big wuss.

I’m not as old as Oscar.  He sleeps more than me, but sometimes when we go for a long walk in the fields and I get tired after chasing rabbits, I get a bit sore and then I need to rest the next day. I’m NOT a wuss, though. If I didn’t catch wild rabbits for us all to eat, no-one else would. I think my old humans are way too slow to catch a rabbit. They can’t even catch Oscar!

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When Dogs Get Older

One thought on “When Dogs Get Older

  • 4th December 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Poor os! He’s my most gentle buddy and so won’t ever confront any dog who steals HIS ball? Im not as interested and (according to mum) ‘dont have an ounce of retriever in me’-and mum keeps saying it’s also cos I’m OLDER so can’t be bothered . that business of fetching the ball back is fine ,once, then she throws it on the beach again and I get a scent of a dead seagull or sheep and she moans as she has to go fetch the ball-humans eh?!!!


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