It’s been a very long time since our last post on this blog (2,535 days, to be more precise), so George and I thought it was time to come out of temporary retirement and start writing again. Initially, we were going to wait until George’s birthday next month, but then that would have been too ‘cliche’ and predictable for us. We might be 8 years older, but we haven’t lost our spontaneity.
What we have lost, unfortunately, is a few of our dearest blogging friends from back in the day, who have moved on to better things, or perhaps – like us – have succumbed to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now, on our return, those friends will be greatly missed. At the same time, we were overjoyed to discover that a few of our old friends have diligently kept tending to their blogs and are still around. George and I can’t wait to reconnect with them and catch up with what they’ve been up to. Lastly, we are really, really looking forward to meeting new fellow bloggers and reading what they have got to share with the world.
So, to all our friends old and new, we’d like to say “nice to see you again” and “welcome (back) to our blog”.
Those of you who have been following George’s adventures through life since his puppy days already know that he is a bit of a sun worshipper and heat missile. This simply means that he loves sitting in sunlight and be as warm as possible. In fact, “too warm” is a concept completely alien to him.
Yesterday was one of those special winter days when it is frosty and quite cold outside, but the sun shines brightly tickling our imagination with the promise of an early spring. When this happens, our front room is completely flooded with sunlight, turning into a magical place of warmth and beauty.
On days like this, there is no nicer place to be than here and George knows it. As soon as the rays come streaming through the front windows, he abandons his usual spot by the radiator in the back room and settles into one of the Ikea Poang chairs directly facing the light. Then he does not move until the sun disappears or is covered by clouds.
Today, whilst taking a break from writing, I found him like this:
Check out the smile on his face… Does he look happy or what?
I have to say that, as someone which virtually no photography skills apart from turning the blitz on or off, I am quite pleased with both these photos. They are taken on my phone virtually a few seconds apart, and yet they are so different from each other and have turned out quite ‘artsy’. I think.
When your dog is 11 years old and counting, their inclination to preserve their energy (aka “laziness”) can impact even their favourite pastimes. This is what happened to little Georgie one cold winter morning, when the reluctance to leave the cosiness of his bed by the radiator clashed (only slightly) with his irresistible impulse to shred any piece of cardboard that he comes across.
Luckily, our whippet is quite resourceful and found a way to have both, thus also inventing a new style of cardboard shredding. Clever (and cute) George!
As some of you may remember, in August this year we started giving George a Green Lipped Mussel supplement to lubricate his joints and aid his movement during his senior years. For those who missed it, we announced the start of this trial here.
Now, three months on, we felt it was time for an update and are pleased to report that the supplement appears to be working. Not only has our little boy shown no signs of stiffness, but he has also demonstrated an increased level of bounciness and a return to his younger self. As a result, we’re doing more walking and playing, which is tiring (for us) but lovely at the same time.
It is also worth noting that the YuMOVE DOG supplement has had no unwanted effects on George, in terms of allergies, indigestion or other stomach problems. He still seems to enjoy the flavour and, being a dog of routines, now comes to ask for his daily tablet if I forget – something I wouldn’t have dared to contemplate in his younger days, when getting him to take anything was a (bit of a) pain.
So, all in all, this has been a very successful trial. We have now restocked and move on to a larger size pack, as it works out cheaper and lasts longer. We intend to continue with these supplements for the foreseeable future and, if you’re interested in trying to help your fur babies feel more comfortable in their ageing bodies, I’d say give it a go. Do, however, remember to read the list of ingredients and check for any allergies first!
The last time I wished Happy Birthday to my sweet boy on our blog was – believe it or not – 8 years ago! Where has time gone?
George is 11 years old today, but as full of beans and youthful as ever. There are not enough words in the world to describe the joy, love and laughter he has brought to our lives, the massive impact he’s had on our family or the ways in which he’s changed us forever. So, instead of coming up with some soppy message, I’ll just say: Happy Birthday, Georgie boy!
Here are a couple of pictures of the birthday boy, taken today:
If you want to see what he looked like as a (very, very cute) puppy, click here.
George is going to be 11 in a couple of weeks’ time, which fully qualifies him as a ‘senior’ dog. I do very much prefer this term to ‘old’, which does not match my boy’s temperament and gusto for life at all. At least ‘senior’ suggests that he’s likely to have acquired a certain degree of wisdom over the course of his fun-filled, reasonably-adventurous and spoilt-rotten whippet life. This wisdom – along with his good judgement – proves questionable at times, but hey, he is ‘just a dog’ after all.
Unsurprisingly, George’s senior status has come with an increased appetite for snoozing and the odd ache after a longer walk. He also gets the occasional stiff neck after a puppy-like burst of rough playing with his dad and/or demolishing his toys. Since we want him to continue to enjoy his life fully with minimal discomfort, I thought it was time to look for a natural supplement to lubricate his joints and aid his movement.
After some Internet research and talking to other dog owners, I narrowed my choices down to a couple of products and picked one of them based on public endorsement. The product is called YuMOVE Dog and is made by a company called Lintbells in the UK. This scores a lot of bonus points from the start, as we prefer to buy local whenever possible. The product presents in the form of tablets (which can be easily broken up or crushed into powder, if necessary) and contains Glucosamine HCl, Green Lipped Mussel (which boasts natural Chondroitin), Hyaluronic Acid, Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and a natural antioxidant. As you can see from the pictures, it is especially designed for “stiff and older dogs” and claims to have ‘magical’ effects on improving their mobility.
George has been taking this for about a week, so it’s early days and can’t yet say whether this product works or not. But we’ve started off on the right foot, with the massive surprise of George actually taking his tablets. By himself. Straight away and without any fuss. I don’t even have to crush or hide the tablet in his food, as he’ll just chew it up as a treat, licking his lips afterwards. Those of you who are not familiar with the difficulties we’ve had over the years in convincing George to take anything (especially in tablet form) can catch up with why this is massive for us by clicking here.
We’ll return with our verdict in a few months, when we would have tested this product thoroughly. So far, things are looking good.
P.S. A little health warning: if you are considering giving any product containing Green Lipped Mussels to your dog, make sure that they are not allergic to shellfish.
The Olympic Games ended on Sunday night, at least for a couple of weeks until the Paralympics start. We watched the Closing Ceremony with mixed feelings of joy, pride and sorrow that it’s all come to an end. It’s been hard work following all the events, but a thrilling experience nonetheless. A feeling of ‘hangover’ is predicted to sweep the nation over the next couple of days, until life returns to normal. We’ll see about that.
On a personal level, we’re planning to spend the two weeks (until the Paralympians take central stage) enjoying the rest of our holiday and reflecting on the Games gone. The 30th Olympic Games were all about inspiring a generation, and I think they’ve done it successfully. Our own daughter has been swimming for hours every day and is planning her own Olympic career for the years to come. If all the kids in this country and all over the world are doing the same, the future of sports is looking bright.
All this is very nice but, since this is a dog blog, you’re probably wondering about the whippet… Has he been inspired by all this sporting holiday frenzy? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. George being George, he’s stuck in his routine and not very flexible when it comes to any major changes to his day. So he’s been running along the same paths, playing the same games, eating the same food and going to bed at the same time every day.
But there has been some improvement. We’ve taken him for more walks around the countryside, which has opened up a whole world of new smells for him. Whilst out and about, he’s made more doggy friends than ever. Thanks to the nice weather, he’s also been able to lie in the sun undisturbed – in his favourite camping chair – allowing his human sister to immortalise him in a work of art for the family collection
However, the most adventurous thing George did in the past few weeks was to try out Brianna’s latest food discovery: Marmite crisps! The initial hesitant sniff was followed by a little lick with the top of his tongue, just to see what this brown, yeasty stuff was all about. The next second, the Marmite-smudged crisp was gone and the whippet was licking his lips.
Although I had the camera ready in my hand, this is the best photo I managed to take. It took five attempts (i.e. five crisps) and I still missed the eating bit. He seems to really like Marmite… Who would have thought?