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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As some wise soul observed, all dog stories have sad endings and I almost hate to start this thread, knowing where it will take me. We are lucky to join the Senior Forum instead of starting this thread in the Health section.

It is hard to believe that 13 years have passed since my sweet boy chose me and came home to join our pack. He has always been the bouncy, smiling boy whose lovely grin suggested his name. Now that face is snowy white, but the grin still makes my heart sing.

Joker is on thyroid meds, as he has been for years, but arthritis is his biggest challenge now. He has weekly injections of Adequan and we rely on Rimadyl and Tramadol to control his pain, but climbing the stairs from the basement is such a struggle for him. There is no way into the house that doesn’t involve stairs, but those are especially steep and we try to provide door service to the back deck, where there are fewer stairs and they are not so hard to climb. I think my next move is to see about having a ramp built for him, perhaps with cleats on it to make it easier still.

My boy survived an emergency splenectomy about 18 months ago, the result of a hard fall. We got the treasured words “consistent with benign hematoma” in the pathology report, but I still worry that he may have heart issues. I guess we all worry…comes with the territory. My Goldens keep reminding me to live in the present and cherish every minute, but sometimes I regress. They are patient with me, except when I’m too slow to fix their dinner.

Joker is snorting and wriggling on the floor in front of me, doing the happy back dance that tells me he enjoys his life. I hope he will keep inspiring this thread for a long time to come.
 

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every moment is a gift
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Happy 13th Year Joker!! I look forward to reading more about your adventures :)

P.S. I'm always too late, but for once, I think no one else has beaten me to it....

:worthless

(and NOT worthless, but "would be delightful with" - I'm sure Sunny would be welcome too :D)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Happy 13th Year Joker!! I look forward to reading more about your adventures :)

P.S. I'm always too late, but for once, I think no one else has beaten me to it....

:worthless

(and NOT worthless, but "would be delightful with" - I'm sure Sunny would be welcome too :D)
Thanks for asking! I'm not much of a photographer nor very skilled at inserting them here, but I'll share a few favorites.

Joker's face is my avatar photo now, but that might change so here it is again, preceded by two photos of Joker with Sunny that are favorites. This reminds me that we urgently need to take more photos of my sweet boy!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Here's a photo of my boy in his favorite place, taken last May. The leap onto the sofa has become too difficult for him and he refuses to use the wooden steps we bought for Charlie, though Sunny uses them constantly. I long to see him back in this place where he belongs...pause for tears.
 

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every moment is a gift
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Awwww - Thank you :) Joker has a wonderfully joyful smile - it's good to see it a bit bigger than the avatar. I always think of the picture in Charlie's thread of he, Joker and Sunny laying on the deck whenever I think of your crew. ETA: oh, the sofa story makes me teary too

I'm always trying to get shots, but often the camera is just out of reach. It's in those moments that I try to be as present as possible and relish it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Awwww - Thank you :) Joker has a wonderfully joyful smile - it's good to see it a bit bigger than the avatar. I always think of the picture in Charlie's thread of he, Joker and Sunny laying on the deck whenever I think of your crew. ETA: oh, the sofa story makes me teary too

I'm always trying to get shots, but often the camera is just out of reach. It's in those moments that I try to be as present as possible and relish it.
Here's a shot from the same series, more focused on Joker than what I chose for Charlie's thread. Sunny is near him, as she almost always is.

I need to put new batteries in my camera, so that I don't continue to lose precious opportunities.
 

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Thanks for sharing those beautiful photos of Joker and Sunny. He is certainly very precious, and it sounds like he is such a special boy. I will always remember how kind you were when we first joined the forum after losing Daisy. I have subscribed to this thread and look forward to hearing about your future adventures with your handsome boy for many, many years to come :)
 

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Yes, Joker is special. He's my psychic dog...the one who can stand beside me and wake me up just by gazing at me and willing it to happen. He always knows when something is wrong, too, no matter how hard I try to hide it from him.

These days, he doesn't happily make the trip upstairs at night and I miss having him at my side. That recent choice of his is part of what prompted this thread. So many here have dogs that have aged well and I hope to learn more ways to help him enjoy the time we have left together.
 

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Happy happy birthday to a very special, handsome boy! I hope you live at least as long, and as well, as Tiny did.
 

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Happy 13th Birthday Joker!
 
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Happy happy birthday to a very special, handsome boy! I hope you live at least as long, and as well, as Tiny did.
Thanks, Barb. You have taught by example so much about how to make their Golden years both longer and happier.

Our aim now is to give Joker the life he deserves for as long as he wants it. He has dodged his share of bullets and we hope that we have years to go.
 

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I live in a raised ranch, my DH made a ramp for my Bridge boy to use when he started having trouble with the steps. It really helped him out.

So sorry, I forgot to wish Joker a Happy Birthday-he looks amazing.

Wishing you many happy healthy birthdays to come.
 

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I live in a raised ranch, my DH made a ramp for my Bridge boy to use when he started having trouble with the steps. It really helped him out.

So sorry, I forgot to wish Joker a Happy Birthday-he looks amazing.

Wishing you many happy healthy birthdays to come.
Thank you for your words about the ramp. I'm going to consult our favorite contractor before we get significant snowfall. Hmm. That better be this week!

It isn't actually Joker's birthday. That's in September. But when the day arrived, I didn't have the opportunity (or the heart) to start this thread. He welcomes good wishes always, gracious soul that he is.
 

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I know our ramp helped Tia a lot. It had the texture of sandpaper on it. There are plastic strips that you can get for stairs to put on the ramp.

Thank you for sharing Joker with us. I often wonder how your pups are going.
What a very special boy, you wouldn't know that he has these challenges by looking at him:)

Keep up the good work handsome Joker!!
 

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Happy 13th Birthday Joker, you are a very, very special boy. Have a wonderful day sweetie, hugs and golden wishes from me and my 13 year old boy xx
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Can you help him get onto the couch? He is just so sweet looking.Happy 13th joker.
Thanks for the good wishes!

We try to lift him, but he doesn't like it. He has come to accept our lifting him into the car or truck, but I think he is embarrassed by needing help onto the sofa. When I'm off this week, we will try again to help him learn to use the steps onto the sofa. I may also try a ramp for this.

I tell him that he is The Best Dog in the World. In truth, he is an utter heathen, like all my spoiled fur-kids. :D

He is my special sweetheart.
 

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How deep (front to back measurement) are the steps? Our Stella required a DEEP step for using her dog door when old, pretty much the length of her body, so she could make one step at a time with her entire body. Considering that length sideways might work but if he is really wobbly making it up with only 1 shallow step is still kind of a jump for an old dog. What a sweetie!

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