A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.





Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tito's 17th Birthday

It's Tito's birthday this July! We can't be exactly sure what day, or even what month he was actually born though. As a thrice returned to the pound deaf mutt with questionable parentage, Alycia had to simply take July as the most likely month he was born and treat that as his birthday month.

Tito is 17 years old this year. Seriously. I'll repeat that since it wobbles the mind to even write it. Tito is 17 years old. Tito has been with Alycia for 16 years and (aside from Alycia) is my longest tenured non-family live in companion. He looks and acts dang good for 17. Except for a few health issues and some occasional quivering/shaking in his back legs, he's about as healthy as can be expected at this age. 

We wrote back in March about Tito's health issues, a seizure and subsequent numerous vet visits. Between his age and health issues I was afraid that a big change in his environment (moving houses) would hasten his demise. In fact the opposite has happened and Tito seems downright reinvigorated. I don't know if it's dry air, the altitude, or the sweet new backyard, but he's improved noticeably. He's still on his medication for the congestive heart failure and he still has an occasional hacking cough, but he tries to play with me, Alycia, or the other pups nearly every day and he's been going on our short afternoon walks a few times a week, even though it's 90+ degrees outside.
Aside from his birthday, Tito's other overpowering characteristic is his shedding. It's hard to tell from the picture above, but Tito is shedding like a crazy. Chunks of his undercoat are coming out and he looks even more bedraggled than normal. Even though he's deaf and has obviously lost some vision, he somehow still knows when the camera is out and this is the best picture we could get.

Tito is probably part Corgi, a breed known for shedding. Every summer he usually sheds a reasonable amount and loses some of his undercoat, but this summer has set a new standard. There are huge Tito hairballs everywhere. Swept up one day, they magically reappear the next. They aren't so much hairballs as hairboulders. Shaak Ti and Shadowfax shed as well, but nothing in comparison to Tito. Plus the other dogs will actually let us pet them and when we're outside we give them both thorough massages to get the loose fur out.
Tito being Tito though, he won't let us brush him. We have (or had) dog brushes galore, and I think even one of those Furminators somewhere, but we can't use any of them. If he just gave us 2 minutes to brush him he'd probably be much more comfortable. But we're left to try to occasionally sneak up and grab handfuls of loose undercoat. As you can imagine, he's not too fond of this technique. The picture above is one such "Tito-grab" worth of fur.
Tito looks so bedraggled and scraggly that he reminds me of these bighorn sheep that we saw a few years ago in Glacier National Park (more pictures from this old posting). It was early June and the sheep were losing their winter coast and looked very scraggly. They were bickering over something tasty that was left in the campsite fire pit, an activity that Tito would likely have been proud of.

So the next chance you get, please wish Tito a happy birthday, after all he's 17 years old. Celebrate in true Tito style: snarl viciously and unexpectedly at a loved one, snap at a stranger, urinate on something you probably ought not to, or eat way too much meat in a single sitting. Tito salutes your efforts.

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