The ravages of age …

In addition, about a year ago, the vet said that her kidneys were beginning to fail. So, I have been feeding her special lower protein kibble that doesn’t tax her kidneys as much. Also, she drinks substantially more water and pees a lot more, too.

In the past few years, she has lost some of the spring in her legs. She has a favorite chair in my living room where she can lie down and bask in the sun. About two years ago, it became clear that she was having a hard time jumping up into the chair. My girlfriend bought her a ramp that seemed to solve the problem… for a while. However, in the past month she has been having a hard time climbing the ramp.

Recently, I noticed that on walks, she had difficulty walking down stairs. I talked about this with the vet, thinking that she was suffering from arthritis in her leg joints. Since I have arthritis in my hands I thought I understood her difficulty descending stairs. I was wrong. The vet said that in her old age she is losing depth of field perception in her eyes. That is why she seemed to stumble down stairs. That is also why we now walk down the ramp instead of the stairs.

To make a long story short, I am seeing the ravages of age every day in my little canine companion. I do what I can to help her continue to have a good and comfortable life, but it is clearly a work in progress.

At the same time, I am 81 years old. Thankfully, I have learned through writing this blog for the past dozen or so years, how to protect myself to some extent from those same ravages of old age. I still am able to ride my bike 100 to 125 miles a week, so I get good cardio exercise for my heart and lungs. Incidentally, when I adopted Gabi, I was riding my bike several hours a day. Concerned that my new puppy was going to be crying or barking while I was gone, I got a basket and began riding with her. If the temperature is over 50F, she comes with me on the bike, to this day.

Gabi and me riding on Northerly Island just outside downtown Chicago.

Because I have an Apple watch and iPhone, I know that I also walk about 7000 steps a day, so I am getting some weight bearing exercise as well. I am drug free. I take no pharmaceutical products to keep myself functioning. As far as food and drink goes, I do my best to eat good food and not overdo bad junk food which played a huge part in my life growing up. I weigh around 150 pounds and have a 31 inch waist … which has been true for the past 10 years. My resting heart rate remains in the low 40s.

On the negative side, I don’t hear as well as I used to, but I don’t need or want a hearing aid, My eyes merit a new stronger prescription for my glasses every year, also. But, so far, that is the extent of the ravages of age on me. Yes, I count myself lucky.

I think it is safe to say that I am more healthy now than I was 21 years ago when I was in the working world, living a somewhat stressed life, not eating and drinking intelligently, not getting a good night’s sleep and certainly not getting regular daily exercise. As I mentioned in an earlier post I was accepted into the Northwestern University SuperAger program last year. So far, so good. Life is a one day at a time deal.



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8 responses to “The ravages of age …

  1. Tony, what a fabulous account of your life with dear Gabi. Would you allow me to republish it in full? If granted it will probably be posted for next Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marc Crespi

    Great post, Tony. I’m sure you have both helped each other stay physically and mentally younger than you would each be individually. I remember when you adopted Gabi. But I think she actually picked you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Raj Chaudhary

    As per your description about Gabi’s conditions, I feel she has developed some neurological issues. I think Gabi is toy poodle mix breed.
    My best wishes for Gabi.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Health Secrets of a SuperAger and commented:

    My dog, Gabi, crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. One of the lights in my life has been extinguished. I wrote the following six months ago about her aging. She turned 16 on December 12, 2021.


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