Still blooming after all these years

I wasn’t quite prepared for the conversation I had today with the vet when I brought Grandma Greta in for her rabies appointment.

We’re estimating Greta now has to be at least 16 years of age.

I don’t know her actual birthdate, as I was her third owner when she joined up with me at age 10.

The vet commented that her low grade heart murmur is no worse, and is not uncommon at her age.

But she then added, “It’s good that she is still enjoying ever day, and is comfortable”.

I know that Greta has outlived many chi doxies mixes and is slowing down some.

But I hadn’t thought much about her eventual end of life until this morning.

“So what was that all about?” Greta asked in the car afterwards, looking up at my melancholy expression.

“Oh, the vet just commented that you’re getting a little older,” I replied.

“Whatever. Let’s hit the beach,” she barked.

Since I had the day off work, I obliged.

Greta immediately jumped up on her favorite boat, as soon as we landed at the water’s edge.

“Now don’t you go thinking I’m going to sail away anytime soon,” Greta yipped, looking me straight in the eye.

“Aye, Aye Captain Greta,” I replied, with a salute.

“You know, it’s all about living in the present,” she added.

“And this day I choose to enjoy the blue sky above me, the monarchs, and watching one good looking Golden over there retrieving a big stick from the water.

That’s my girl.

Somehow I believe that Grandma Greta will always remain quite young at heart.

Sweater time?

Grandma Greta woke me up at 3 a.m. this morning.

Her airplane wings ready for take off, yet again.

“Make it stop, make it stop,” she yipped.

“Make WHAT stop, Greta?”

That’s when I heard the start of the annual tap dance performance on the roof.

“Oh Greta, that’s just the acorns dropping from the oak tree again.”

“You know, just like they do every year.”

“Does that mean summer’s gone and no more ice cream cones at the Golden Arches?” Greta shrieked in a panic.

“Not to worry, girl. They sell cones all year round,” I replied.

Smiling and content, Greta buried herself deep under the covers again.

But I’m mighty glad she didn’t notice that our sumac is turning red, and the annual return of wild turkeys on the hill.

Or that the road to ‘cone heaven’ is currently closed for road construction.

“Dogs” for sale

It was a trying afternoon for Grandma Greta.

She may have even picked up some new gray hairs.

My chihuahua/dachshund mix was terrified as she read the new sign at the food stand in the park.

The little diva ran off towards the beach where I finally found her shaking and hiding under a pink Cinderella beach towel.

“What’s this business about selling chihuahuas?” she barked.

“And for only $7.00! What’s up with that!!!”

I attempted to explain.


“What? You NOW mean to tell me those people in line are going to eat the chihuahuas and the pups?”

I caught her right before she took off again to hide in the nearby sandcastle.

I realized I definitely needed some help.

I carried her over to the friendly food stand owner who did a better job explaining just what they were selling than I did.

He then gave her tomatillos.

And a vanilla ice cream cone.

Greta was all smiles once again.

She’s snoring away right now, tired from her big day.

I doubt they’ll be nightmares this night.

But maybe sweet dreams.

Probably of more ice cream.

Little Miss Firecracker

Grandma Greta is not a big fan of the 4th of July, particularly with its noisy fireworks.

She spent most of last night hiding out beneath my old straw hat.

“Make it stop!” she pleaded after briefly coming up for air.

Or maybe it was when she came up for her own red, white and blue Popsicle…

Anyway, to avoid further traumatizing our ‘gracefully aging’ diva, I was careful to hide the grilled hot dogs underneath a napkin as they came off the grill.

It seems cooked dogs also terrify Greta.

As well any wiener dog references.

To finally help settle her rattled nerves, and mine from high pitched shrieking every time she heard a bottle rocket, I offered up a bribe.

“How about a little steak Friday night if you settle down right now, Greta?” I queried.

“How about ALOT?” she countered, batting those long black lashes right up at me.

I let her win as usual.

There’s just no arguing with a five pound firecracker.

Alpha lessons

My dog Tuck much prefers people chairs to dog beds.

Yesterday while waiting for the vet, he jumped right up on their overstuffed chair and settled in.

Beating me once again for my preferred spot.

And he looked poised as ever to grab the new “People” magazine I was eyeing.

Tuck just loves looking at photos of starlets and their sweet shih tsus.

For a little guy, he’s got one commanding presence as he sashays into a room.

And it shouts, “Give me a treat!”


With a “please” thrown in as an afterthought.

Now I’m more the quiet type and typically cower towards the back of a room upon entering.

But maybe this old man can still teach me some new tricks.

Like how to be an alpha dog in five easy lessons.

I’m even offering to pay up in jerky, if he’s willing.

And I think he is.

He just jumped up on my lap when I read him back this post.

Graying with Greta

Grandma Greta and I were gabbing at the vet’s office today.

Going on 14, Greta has been slowing down some.

She’s sleeping in more.

Cataracts have settled in.

I’ve seen more graying and hair loss.

And she also has a heart murmur.

I was feeling a little down after our appointment.

“Hey, not bad at all,” she told me, sensing my mood.

“I’m happy I can still see.”

“And really, what’s a little gray hair?”

“As to my missing locks, you’ll just need to ‘doll’ me up more often.”

“I’m thinking polka dots would be perfect for spring,” Greta suggested.

“And did you catch the Doc saying no meds yet for the heart murmur?”

“So really life is good!” Greta added, showing off her still toothy grin.

I then told her how proud I was that she’s no longer the 4.5 pound terror of the vet’s office.

It only took three of us to hold her down for the nail trim this morning.

And a mere four for the shots.

Using a muzzle, of course.

Afterwards, as it was too chilly for her usual DQ ice cream reward, we traveled over to the pet warehouse store.

First, we upgraded her garage sale wardrobe by splurging on a purple polka dotted spring jacket we both eyed.

And then I told Greta she could pick out one very special treat.

She immediately sashayed over to the rawhide bar where she met up with one good looking older fellow. Exchanging greetings, he sniffed and pawed through the bin, picking out the biggest rawhide he saw.

Just for her!

Greta was so excited she broke out in a twirl with her tutu, batting those long lashes up at her new Great Dane friend

They proceeded to walk down the long aisle together towards check out.

Her fella, proudly carrying the heavy treat for his new lady.

It turns out the bone weighed a lot more than Greta.

These love pups exchanged parting sniffs and plan to meet up again soon at the dog park.

“Now Greta, aren’t you getting a little old for this?” I inquired.

“Never too old,” she barked back, exasperated that I even had the audacity to ask such a question.

I’m thinking Grandma Greta may be aging more successfully than I am.

Must be all in that attitude.