My boy dog is a senior citizen now, as he’s about nine years old. Miniature Schnauzers are generally long-lived; I’m hoping he will have a good 15 years at least, but the sun is over the yardarm for him and he seems to be feeling it.
Several nights ago, he went to jump up on the bed as he does many times a day, and for the first time ever, he didn’t quite make it (his legs are short and my bed is very high). He got hung up halfway on and halfway off with two feet on the coverlet and two feet on the rail, and he had to scramble to make it all the way up. Now when he wants on the bed, instead of just taking one step back and making a single graceful leap, he dances and whines and tries to get his courage up, not sure he’s going to get all four feet securely landed. When I see him doing this nervous little shuffle, I say “go ahead, jump on up,” and he does. For now. But the day is coming when he will need a boost.
Boy, do I know how he feels.
When you miss the mark at something you’ve always been good at, something you do as naturally as breathing and never once missed, your confidence takes a hit and it’s hard to find the courage to try again when you’re not 100% sure where you will land. Will you fall? Will you be able to get back up? Who will be there to boost you up if you can’t make it on your own? Are your jumping days behind you?
I don’t know how dogs feel about such things, but these are the kinds of questions that can keep a person awake at night.