We rescued a dog 6 years ago today from a huge kill shelter in the LA area. The shelter vet had her age as 9 and our vet had her at 7. Doing the math that puts her between 13 and 15 years old! For a dog that size (70 lbs) it is an exceptional long life. Given that she was very sick in the shelter, she probably had less than a week to live.
At her last annual geriatric exam, EVERY parameter in her extensive blood tests were in the normal range. My vet commented that it’s rare for even young dogs to have perfect results. She developed arthritis several years ago but with the daily use of Miloxicam it’s barely noticeable. She is almost deaf now, so she is picking up on hand commands. About 6 months ago she developed CCS, the human equivalent of dementia. My vet prescribed Anipryl and she has recovered to about 90% of her old self. She does occasionally have bad days, but many good days. My vet said when he prescribe the Anipryl that it is only effective in about 20% of the cases. Not true in my wonder dog.
Based upon her actions, we believe that she was mistreated. If you walk near her carrying anything that looks like a stick she still cowers down. My wife makes sure she never goes near her with her cane. Also for years when you reached down to pet her, she would cower. This trait is mostly gone now.
When we took her to Rattlesnake Aversion training soon after we got her the trainer told us that when he put the shock collar used for training, that he had to reposition it several times for it to be effective, He said that he has seen this before and it was due to calluses on the neck from being tied up with a chain collar.
Kali also has been good in many other ways. She has never jumped on anyone, never gets up on furniture, never barks at strangers, Has never made a mess in the house or chewed on anything. But, she will not chase a ball or chew on a toy.
I’m hoping fo another year or 2, but also prepared to do the necessary when it is time.