My old dog and me
Hello, my name is Paul and I am the owner of a 14 year old dog called Pippa. We live in Warrington, Cheshire, England. I bought Pip from a dogs home in Aberdeen in Scotland, where I used to live, when she was just 18 months old. She is a Border Collie Cross.
Her previous owner had put her up for adoption because she was supposed to be destructive, although it is something I have never witnessed. She does get a bit over excited sometimes which is part of the Collie nature.
Pip is a lovely natured dog, great with children and adults alike. She has witnessed a lot in my life : Different jobs, areas of living, my marriage, our children, the ups the downs and so much more.
Throughout everything, Pip has always been there, always happy and always the faithful friend.
When she was young she abounded with energy, was very fast and would never ever tire of playing.
The picture below right shows a young and very lively Pippa aged just 20 months. It was the only picture I could find...probably because she was so hyper active at this young age and would never sit still for a photo!
It was about five years ago I started to notice the gradual signs of ageing on Pip.
The last 2 years in particular have seen the biggest changes especially with mobility issues like athritis and in particular spondylitis of her spine.
Being such an active dog, it seemed like Pip would never slow down but sadly time has now caught up with her.
She still likes to play sometimes and chase after her ball, but needless to say is a lot slower and boy does she pay the price the next day!
It was seeing the changes in Pip and what I felt was the need to have a site just for the older dog that prompted me to start this site.
The pictures above show Pip aged 14 years old and the two of us on a walk whilst on holiday in Wales.
This is the first time ever that she refused to go on a walk.
It made me realise that some of the walks were now too much for her, although she did enjoy herself!
Before Pippa came into my life I was the owner of a Jack Russell Terrier. He was a real charachter called Ben who was also a rescue dog. We had him from 6 months old. He lived to be an old dog of 9 years of age before sadly passing away with cancer. His picture is below.
Sadly, since I originally wrote most of the content on this site, Pippa has now passed away aged 15 years. After seeming in relatively good health for her age, apart from her arthritis, she suddenly developed what I could only call ‘episodes’. When she had one of these episodes she would just walk round and round repeatedly in a circle, in a confused state, panting and not knowing where she was. Occasionally she would stop only to stand with her head buried in a bush or pressed against a fence. She also began to regularly lose complete control of her bladder and bowels. It was heartbreaking to see.
The episodes then progressed into more serious episodes – she would suddenly let out a strange howl and then become what can only be described as a mad dog. She would charge around the garden in a terrible panicked state running into walls, windows, anything, all the time making this terrible howling noise. All of the time she had a look of fear in her eyes which I will never forget and I literally had to throw myself onto her and hold her tight until the episode passed and she calmed down. I never wanted to see her like this again and after a diagnosis from my vet of a probable brain tumour being the cause, my wife and I had to take the heartbreaking decision to have her euthanized.
At first I didn’t know what to do with the site and what direction I would take it. It was a while until I could face posting this update. I have now decided though that the best thing would be to continue in Pip’s memory, as I originally intended when she was alive, as a site dedicated to the older dog.
The last picture taken of an old and tired looking Pip.
Eventually we decided to get another dog. This time we got a puppy. She is, like Pip, a Border Collie cross, but this time we know what she is crossed with - a whippet. She was one of ten pups. She chose us really because out of all the pups she was the one which wanted to be picked up by us. Some people think she looks a bit like Pip but this was entirely unintentional. Sometimes, when I look at her though, I am sure I can see Pip's spirit within her.Her name is Skye and she is pictured below.