senior dog

oh, hello there–it’s me, bailey

**inspired by this post.

“everyone thinks they have the best dog. and none of them are wrong.”–w.r. purche

dachshund, a dog's diary, diary of this girl


hello there~ it’s me, bailey. (also called “bean,” “pooch,” “poochie,” and “sweetheart”—these are terms of endearment, you know.) what can i say, my family loves me!

i grew up north of seattle amid a family of four. i am their first—and therefore favorite—dog. and while they may not admit this, i am essentially the star of the show. i mean, if you walk into our house, you won’t believe all the dachshund paraphernalia! from pillows and blankets, to plates and statues, we have it all. i like it that way, too.

dachshund, a dog's diary, diary of this girl

i may be old(er), with white hair to prove it—i turned 16 in august—but i am spry and young at heart. i still enjoy treats, cuddles, and the occasional ear scratch. i also love to sleep. onlookers may consider me “spoiled.” i have an epic dog bed; it’s a really nice bed. it’s plush, warm, and covered in dachshund-printed blankets. my bed is conveniently located in our kitchen. that way, even if i’m resting, i know when my family is cooking or eating. (i like to stay near the food.)

i spend a good chunk of my time resting. after all, my 16 years of life have kept me busy! believe it or not, these short dog legs have traveled—i’ve visited canada, idaho, oregon, and various parts of washington.

diary of this girl, dachshund, dog diary

dachshund, dog diary, diary of this girl megan

and what is up with this weather? i swear, just yesterday my mom and sister (megan) were letting me out on the patio to enjoy naps in the sun.

also, have you seen my stroller? if you ask me, it’s a bit silly, but it allows me to accompany mom and megan on their ridiculous walks. i say “ridiculous” because we live at the bottom of a large hill, and there is absolutely no way you will ever see me walking up that hill.

alas, the cold weather in the pacific northwest has returned. cooler temperatures mean one thing—my family will inevitably dress me up. i have a handful of these fleece sweaters. they’re absurd, i know. how many sweaters does one dog need? while i don’t love wearing them, they keep me warm, especially during my leisurely afternoon naps.

diary of this girl megan, seattle fashion blogger

shoe shot, diary of this girl megan, seattle fashion blogger

i can’t tell you how much i love my family, but don’t tell them—i don’t want it to go to their heads. however, if there’s anything you should tell them, it’s to give me an extra helping of food and/or treats. bacon is my favorite snack. if not bacon, my peanut butter treats will suffice. my sister calls them “hip medicine,” but i have no idea what she’s talking about.

as a 16-year-old girl, i realize i’m not getting any younger. my back left leg and hips are giving me trouble. i also struggle to see and sometimes have accidents in the house. i know this drives mom and dad crazy (and megan, too), but i promise it’s not on purpose.

photos by jenn from hello rigby

sadly, dogs can’t live forever. when my time comes, i hope my family finds peace in knowing they gave me a truly wonderful life. and in the meantime, i’ll be here resting nicely in my bed and sneaking as many treats as i can (while wearing a chic dog sweater, of course).

p.s. megan wanted to include her outfit details, though we both know my sweater is better. =)

on megan—sweater and dress: zara, purse: thrifted, heels: marc fisher, headband: nordstrom rack

xoxo, bailey.



caring for a senior dog :: my top five tips

“blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”–sydney jeanne seward

owning and caring for a senior pet is far different from the early years! this stage of life requires health-conscious food and pet supplies, as well as a great deal of love, patience, and dedicated care.

dachshund, senior dog, diary of this girl megan

diary of this girl megan, seattle fashion blogger, dachshund

my family’s miniature dachshund, bailey, turns 16 in august. we brought her home when i was in high school, and she has been the star of the show since her arrival. =) to say she is spoiled is a vast understatement. she’s the cutest pup around (in our opinion), and we simply can’t help but dote on her.

bailey has ample toys, sweaters, and blankets. however, she most enjoys naps in the sun and car rides—while she will tolerate the occasional fair-weather stroller ride, she knows this ultimately means: a bathroom break and short walk home (sans stroller). if you force her to walk too far, she will stop, sit, and look up at you until you carry her the remainder of the walk. #spoileddog

diary of this girl megan, senior dog, dachshund

senior dog, caring for a senior dog, diary of this girl megan

senior dog tips, dachshund, diary of this girl megan

below are the top five lessons we have learned when it comes to caring for a senior dog:

one: food and treats. while we always had good intentions in terms of the food and treat brands we purchase for bailey, when she turned ten, we made a conscious effort to feed her better. what does “better” mean? she eats a natural, grain-free diet that promotes digestive health. in the morning, bailey enjoys wet food, purchased at our local veterinary clinic. in the evening (or afternoon and evening—again, she’s spoiled), we feed her wellness complete health small breed kibble. this particular recipe is geared towards senior dogs. while she would much prefer to eat cheese and bacon all day, we strive to limit people food. her treats typically include joint rescue (meat-free) and the occasional container of unsweetened applesauce.

two: exercise. bailey is notoriously stubborn. she has never been a fan of walking—though in her younger years, she participated in and ran several 5k’s. as she’s aged, she has become even less interested in walks and trips outside. we take her outside every two–three hours for a bathroom break, and if it isn’t too wet or cold, we go for a “stroll” around the block. she hates this but will partake if you promise extra treats upon your return home.

last summer, i convinced my mom to purchase a dog stroller. we bought this one, and it’s great for neighborhood walks! while it took some getting used to, i think bailey genuinely enjoys riding along—a cool breeze flapping her ears back and forth.

dachshund, diary of this girl megan, seattle fashion blogger

three: regular checkups. we proactively take our girl to the veterinarian each year, and i cannot emphasize how important this is. our vet has helped us through a few health scares, and we are grateful for her knowledge and support.

four: ask for help. it isn’t fair to leave animals alone for extended periods of time. my parents and i are busy, so a few years ago, we did our research and hired a dog walker. she visits bailey twice daily during the workweek. (she is available for extra help if needed, too.) when friends and family aren’t available to pop in and let bailey out, our dog walker is happy to assist! we found her via word-of-mouth, but i encourage you to chat with neighbors, visit your neighborhood facebook page, or check out rover.

five: care for their teeth. regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life, but particularly during their senior years. if their teeth are neglected, it can lead to serious health problems. our girl had fifteen teeth pulled last summer (despite brushing them somewhat frequently). tartar buildup can cause gingivitis, allowing bacteria to get into your pet’s bloodstream. this can potentially damage their organs. brush your pet’s teeth regularly and have them checked and cleaned by your veterinarian!

dachshund, summer fashion, diary of this girl

dachshund, diary of this girl megan

photos by sarah wolfe photography

blouse: loft, jeans: american eagle, sandals: roxy, purse: irene’s story

we feel incredibly blessed to have bailey in our family. despite her 16 years, she is in good health! i cannot imagine life without her, and i am grateful my dear friend, and talented photographer, sarah, was willing and able to capture these beautiful photos. i may or may not have printed several of them to frame. as i said, #spoileddog.

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