Seven is the New Four

On December 10th my big goofy lug Blue turned seven years old. According to accepted wisdom, for dogs of Blue’s size, seven years old is considered “senior.”

When Blue came to the house three years ago, he was the younger of my two hounds. And he acted it. He was always the one out running around like a crazy dog and being generally silly while his more dignified sister, Girly Girl, was the model of greyhound decorum. Though they were only ten months apart in age, her hock fracture and old soul made the contrast between the two of them all the greater.

Now that he has a new sister who is five years his junior, suddenly he finds himself the elder statesman of the house. A position he appears to be in no way pleased to occupy. Don’t get me wrong-he seems to like Bettina well enough and they are getting along fine. It’s just that Bettina is always moving. Always checking everything out. She frequently brims with so much energy that her 62 pound petite frame can’t contain it all. It just starts to spill out. Soon she’s squeaking. That generally leads to whining which almost always ends in some sort of barking. Usually because she’s wandered past a reflective surface and seen herself. Believing it to be another dog, one which refuses to be engaged and stares very rudely, she must put the dog in its proper place. We have a lot of reflective surfaces. She also finds things to take a sample bite of, like my book-shelves and my phone headset.

When she goes outside the first thing she must do is a series of helicopters. “I’m outside!! Yippeeee!” That is generally followed by upwards of seven circuits around the back yard. Our back yard is not small. Blue watches all this with a good measure of jealousy. He was the young one. He was the baby of the house.

When he goes outside now, he tries to prove his ongoing puppy hood by taking off running after his much younger sister, Bettina. “I’m still young!! I still got it!!” And he does have it, for about three circuits. Round about that time, he slows and Bettina pulls well ahead of him. By the fourth circuit he gives up the pretense of running fair and cuts across the yard to catch up with her. On the sixth and seventh circuits, he has stopped completely and simply waits for her to come around to where he’s standing. Then he half-heartedly charges her for a few steps and stops again. Usually by dinner time I have to give him some Arnica to relieve the old man aches and pains.

Suddenly Blue isn’t the young one anymore. He’s not the silliest, goofiest one in the house. He’s reached his seventh birthday and he’s now a senior citizen.

We celebrated his birthday with a special birthday cookie and one of his favorite meals. Mumma had a couple presents tucked away for grampy to. Though our vet has called him a “young” seven, he isn’t going softly into that good night. He is determined to keep up with Bettina. As though he would be suddenly obsolete if he settled into his dotage. My poor sweet boy. I would love to be able to tell him not to worry about it, but he wouldn’t understand me. Still, in his giant male greyhound heart, I know he fervently wants to believe that seven is the new four.


  1. Happy Birthday to Blue! Lots of gentle ear scritches!

  2. This reminds me a lot of Hawk when we first brought Blueberry home. There had never been a dog he couldn't keep up with before, and we finally stopped taking him for runs at the ball diamond with her because he'd never stop running and then pay for it later! Ahhh, youth!

    Happy Birthday, Blue!

  3. Happy Birthday Blue - you're as young as you feel!! xx EllaBellaHound


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