Liam is Thirteen

Today is Liam’s birthday, and as the title of this post indicates, he is thirteen years old. I still remember what a little Tasmanian devil Liam was when he was a puppy, and Liam remained energetic in his senior years until he went blind.

Poor dog buddy! His blindness has really slowed him down, and the other day, he banged his beautiful long nose on something—we don’t know what—and now his nose is horribly swollen on one side. Fortunately, his appetite is still good, and his bruised nose hasn’t interfered with his eating.

During a recent storm, some large branches had fallen in our backyard next to the bird feeders. They made excellent perches for the birds, and so we left them there. Liam had his paths for doing his business, and none of the branches were in his paths. However, the rains that came on Saturday did two things—it reduced the amount of snow we had, and it made the remaining snow so hard that Liam can now leave the paths and wander at will in the backyard.

Clif and I wondered, did Liam run into one of those branches and hurt his nose? We have no way of knowing, but we decided not to take any chances. Yesterday, we cleared out all those branches—some of them were quite large—and threw them over the fence into the woods. The birds no longer have perches directly by the feeders, but as we have so many trees in our backyard, it really doesn’t matter. There are plenty of other branches for the birds, and they are still coming in great numbers to the bird feeders and suet.

Swollen nose aside, Liam is holding his own. We have adjusted the way we do things. His blindness has affected his whole system, and Liam is now on a special diet that includes vitamins. No more walks off the leash, and his walks are much shorter.  We don’t like to leave him for more than five hours even though he has never messed in the house while we were gone. No overnight guests who are not family as Liam sometimes barks in the middle of the night to go outside.

However, as we recently told our friends Beth and John, we love our dog buddy so much that we never resent the extra care involved as Liam has aged and gone blind. For the  most part, unless he bumps into something, Liam is comfortable, and his appetite is good.

In honor of Liam’s birthday, here is a picture, complete with a Tolkien quotation,  of Liam when he could still see. The photo, used as a card, was taken on the trails behind the town’s high school, one of Liam’s favorite places before he went blind.

So happy birthday to one of the best and sweetest dogs in Winthrop.

 

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42 thoughts on “Liam is Thirteen”

  1. What a sweet looking collie dog, I love them.
    Happy13th birthday Liam, I hope your nose is feeling better.
    Thanks for sharing this post with us, it is sad when a loved pet starts showing his age and not able to see is sad.
    Hope you have a great week without any power failures.

  2. Oh, Laurie, this post made me cry: not with sadness, but because it is so touching. Liam is aging, as we all will do, and isn’t it wonderful that he has such love and tenderness to help him through the changes that aging brings? I know it’s hard to watch him decline, but I also know you are making it as easy on him as possible. ❤

  3. Give Liam a few extra pats for John and I. There’s nothing like the unconditional love a dog gives to his or her owner. Happy Birthday, Liam. Enjoy life’s path.

  4. Happy birthday to Liam! and you did the right thing in removing those branches for Liam. I remember when our pet became blind. He adjusted to it, but I often held my breath as he approached obstacles, inside or out.

    1. I know! Poor dog clunks his head all the time, and we never move furniture. I think those outside branches caught Liam unawares. But now they are gone, over the fence and into the woods.

  5. I loved Liam’s story as we looked after our beloved dog in a similar way for the last few years of her life… after all they are members of the family! Happy birthday to Liam & may he have many more!

  6. Happy Birthday Liam ❤ I do hope your nose heals soon
    Your description of caring for an aging dog, Laurie, is very close to home for me. Like you, I don't resent any of the extra care that is required and as long as Max is enjoying his food and wagging his tail when we come home to him, I am content to do whatever is necessary.

  7. What a sweet, old boyo! And a lucky one, to have such a good family. And, yet, you think you’re the lucky ones to have him! We, too, make special accommodations for our pets–the diabetic cat, the cat who needs a separate room of his own, etc. Of course we do–they’re family! Happy b’day, Liam!

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