Let’s Celebrate Life!

cécile ruelle dogs guest blogger senior dog Jun 30, 2023
Animal Hospice Group - Cécile Ruelle, Let's Celebrate Life, Funny enjoying the sunshine.

Let's Celebrate Life!

By Cécile Ruelle
Guest Blogger | Mon Chien, Mon Partenaire & Light & Soul

Funny just turned 16.5 years old on June 30th. Isn't it interesting how we celebrate “halves” when our companions near their departure time (as we all do… from the time we are born)? Much like we count a puppy’s age in weeks… Somehow when we start counting in months (usually around 5), our dogs are not really babies anymore! 

Is that telling us anything? To me, counting in weeks at the start, and in half years or months when the journey is more advanced towards its end, indicates how beginnings and endings make us more aware of time passing by, and how precious it feels. It makes us more present to the idea that time does pass…

We marvel at a 12-week-old puppy “already” doing this or that, and at a 16.5-year dog “still” doing this or that. That sensation of time passing us by is like a message from life, reminding us that now is now, it’s all we have, and it will be forever gone as soon as the next instant pops its head (meaning, really really quickly!). 

For some reason, between the start and the end, we tend to forget all about that and almost take things for granted.  As if our dogs would forever be physically by our sides. As if normal daily stuff would never stop, because we don’t want it to. We relax and we forget to honor beauty. We don’t notice the small things as much.  

Funny is my human partner’s dog. She is his first dog. And she has never really accepted me in their life, even though we’ve been living together for just over 10 years now. I’m hearing him more and more often say how he feels that she might not be around for long anymore.

I know it’s his way of slowly preparing for life without her.

She sleeps more and more soundly; it gets harder and harder to wake her up…as if she already has one paw in the other world. When Manu (my partner) is at home, Funny will be awake for perhaps 2 hours during the day. When he is not, she just sleeps all through the day, until he comes home. I don’t see her at all unless she wakes up to go outside. Then she goes back to his room and sleeps.  

In our family, we have several seniors: Funny is 16.5; Emmy is 14, Shaddaï is 11 and Zou is 8 (technically a senior, but absolutely not in reality). And then 2 younger ones…It crossed my mind recently that from now on since the girls are approximately 3 years apart, we will always be sharing our life with at least one old dog…. So, Funny is paving the way and preparing us for what’s ahead. We discover with her… and of course, I’m sure each of them will teach us new lessons as their own journey unfolds. [Read Cécile's first guest blog post - My Passion for Dogs Bloomed into a Family Story].

Our oldies are definitely teaching us to slow down! Knowing how much time they need to get up and get going, we better anticipate so we can give them the time they need. Sometimes, we “slip” and push them a little because we are a little late… to no avail! Their bodies and minds will take the time they need. Then we smile… and we are back to the present moment, still in their physical presence.

I’ve also realized how older dogs are similar to puppies in many ways.  They sleep a lot.  It’s important to take them out right after meals, they require closer supervision and attention, they like routines, they need time… It’s like going full circle, back to the beginning, except with a rich relationship on top! 


What are your thoughts on the circle of life? 

Please comment below. We would like to hear from you.
Happy Half Birthday, Funny! 🎈🎉



Please show us all that you like this article by sharing, commenting, and/or giving this a "LIKE" on Facebook. Photo in the post (header): Recent photo of Funny enjoying the sunshine (courtesy of Cécile Ruelle). Read Cécile's other guest blog posts - click here.