My dog, Major, is ten years old. For a Boxer, that’s on the older side. He still runs and jumps like a puppy when he gets the urge, but there is a lot more gray in his face than there used to be. He groans sometimes when he gets off the floor and I relate more than I’d like to admit. Still, he’s pretty spry for an old pup so I don’t think all that much of it most of the time.
Apparently, neither does he.
This weekend, we visited some family members who have a back deck that sits about six feet off the ground. It has stairs leading down to the yard, but it’s not fully enclosed. While we were there, Major came to lay in the shade of the deck while we ate lunch together. He was perfectly content while everyone was sitting on the deck with him, but when we got up and began meandering about, he didn’t want to be left out.
I sent him down the stairs so he could walk around to where the kids had run off to. He lumbered down them and turn around and came right back. I thought he was coming to double check for any dropped crumbs from the table before I finished clearing it off. He did, but after he discovered that all the food had been eaten or properly put away, he gave up and began sniffing elsewhere. This activity took him to the edge of the deck, the side with no stairs. He sniffed. He turned his heads toward the kids around the edge of the house. And I knew he was going to jump. The big dummy.
He jumped down into the yard from the deck, no stairs. The drop was taller than me.
Of course, he limped a bit when he landed, but otherwise seemed just fine. We loaded him in the car and headed home. He was doing okay until he gave up on our stairs and had to be carried down them last night. This morning I took him to the vet. He has a sprained knee and the vet gave us some pain pills for him.
I explained the whole scenario to the vet. He said that when he was young, he and his cousins used to jump off the top of his grandmother’s chicken coop. It was a tall coop, but they never once got hurt. If he tried to make that same jump today, he’d be in pain for days, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be tempted. It seems my dog fell to the temptation, in more ways than one.
He’s a male, through and through. He refuses to accept that he’s getting older and still does things that his puppy self could easily accomplish, but that are harder on him now than they used to be. When he was younger, he could take a running start and jump our back fence. It’s six feet tall too. He hasn’t made the jump in years, mostly because he knows the food is on this side, but he was apparently still convinced he could.
In any case, he has some pain pills to help him through the soreness and has been put on exercise restrictions for the next week. No stairs. No jumping.
This should go over well.
Wish him (and me) luck. It’s needed.