Saturday, September 26, 2015

Healing Powers Series' Author and Dog Growing Older

My father wanted me to be a dental assistant,
not a starving author
By Cal Orey
My Dog and I Are Aging (sort of)
With a heavy heart I have disturbing news. My 12 1/2 year old Brittany has been diagnosed with CCD: As your pet ages, he can develop canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome, which is a degenerative brain disease similar to Alzheimer's or dementia in humans. This explains all of his subtle bizarre behavior. We decided to let him go...He didn't even recognize my sibling in the vet's office, displayed compulsive behavior, showed other classic signs of CCD. Loss is so hard. But he was done--tired. R.I.P. 
P.S. "Simon. I will always love you and you have been my rock. You had a full, happy, healthy life! Please reconnect with Seth." 

On October 6th I will turn um, uh 60-something, and I'm not freaking out about it. But I must tell you when I say the number it does make me squirm a little--okay a lot. Wow! Six decades and then some. How did I get here? The same way my dog did. We are aging...

My senior boy whom made it 
to NBC for seismically sensitive
powers to sense earthquakes
Images of wanderlust John Steinbeck in his golden years with Charley, his gentleman aging Poodle--much like my 12-year-old Brittany come to mind. A tiny bit of stiffness in the joints if sitting too long, a few senior moments (gazing at a wall, taking a cat nap), but no major health issues. This is a good thing, right? 
So me and the dog (my senior gentleman) keep on going (with regular doc and dental check-ups). Here, take a peek at my secrets to aging...

I adopted an Aussie to keep us active
1. I take risks like he takes a leap of faith (he now bolts through puppy gates to the dog food bag) and we do things our way. Rather than do what he/I am told, we listen to our gut instincts and follow our passion. We are in sync.
At Roseville April taking a break before
a book discussion/signing

2. Instead of getting married, I loved and when the love died I moved onward like a floppy fish and didn't look back while swimming ahead. (Well, maybe once or twice I peeked at the past.) Simon never had a girl dog but he did have his bff--a rat terrier that he adored.

3. Oops, I forgot to have children but I have raised unforgettable fur kids--cats and dogs--that I cherish (on Earth and in the Hereafter). Simon was neutered but he did help raise my former Britt who left us too soon. Another story. Another time. He did not have to face the aging monster (only when it can be cruel), though.
Love outdoors and balanced

Quebec City in my 20s hitchhiked,
60s via plane/train
4. For decades I've aspired to treat my body--more little than big--like a better place and I've grown stronger from head to foot. Swimming, walking the canines (my Britt is a bit slower, especially during high temps but so am I), and savoring clean food are my best friends--not enemies...
5. I eat to live not live to eat--and follow the Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle--the underlying theme in my Healing Powers collection. Not to forget I've been a Tealand person to help keep me centered year-round.  No tea for Simon but he has been known to snag a chocolate truffle and a grape.

6. And speaking of consumption, I try not to eat anything with eyes. I love all of God's creatures big and small--why would I want to devour feathered, scaly, and furry friends? Simon, a bird dog, has not eaten one but he watches the woodpecker outdoors this fall; then snoozes.

Fear of flying is low on my
phobia list
My Zen cat keeps me zen-like
7. Striving to get out of my comfort zone and doing things that are a bit scary physically and mentally but exciting--and probably youth-boosting even the rough air on the plane(s) keeps me alive. Simon doesn't have the luxury of toying with danger because I want him to live a long life.

8. Compassion and my sixth sense for people of all ages is something I share--like dogs do at any age--while sharing my intuitive gifts as an author and life consultant. I get calls from young women in their thirties and forties who believe they are too old, undesirable to men.  Or fifty-something men tell me their jobs are in jeopardy; afraid they're well-done like an over-cooked piece of red meat. Simon must know he is slowing down but he still has moxie and doesn't look a day over seven. 
After more than a decade we get each other

9. Living amid nature--trees and water--keeps me calmer and connected to the universe despite having a pine tree fall on the cabin last year and observing the four year drought at the beach. We have been to the Lake and a pool...for some reason my Britt doesn't like water like me, a fish in another life time.

10. And if chaos happens I try to face it head on, then run not walk away from it to a place where I can exhale.  My senior Brittany is sensitive and prefers quietude, too. After all, we are both air signs and like to be balanced.

Caveat: After a trip to the PNW, yes going back for more of Canada, it will a time to savor fall in the sierras. (I got Simon a cozy bed for the kennel to keep him cuddly; my younger Aussie would destroy one.) I will share a belated birthday celebration with my family and not worry that I'm an "older" woman.  I'll count my blessings of the past and present and tag myself wiser, fearless, and ready to tackle Fall challenges. It will feel right, yeah, it will feel a bit like that.

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