For many reasons, primarily good care, our cats and dogs are living longer. As a result, many of the pets I am asked to care for are seniors. It is not unusual for me to look after large dogs as old as 15, small dogs as old as 18, and cats in their late teens and early 20's. In fact, the oldest cat I cared for was 23 years old.
It is always a blessing for me to look after these "old souls" as I have a special place in my heart for the grey muzzles and soulful eyes of a long-lived pet.
That being said, we also know that once our pets get up into their old senior years, each day is a gift and they may pass on at any time. When I take care of these "furry kids", I always have an agreement with them when their folks go away. I tell them I will take extra care of them and give them lots of TLC but they have to stay healthy and safe at least until mom and dad get back. The rule is "Not on my watch".
This past weekend, I was fortunate to care for two wonderful senior cats. One 16 and one 18. They were positively delightful and I am happy to say they were doing great when I left them after their last visit.
As long as I am in this business, I will continue to care for these wonderful seniors and have our little talk. Hopefully, they will continue to keep their side of the agreement, "not on my watch".