Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Our Oldest Labrador Retriever

Happy Birthday, Dave! On Sunday, 8 July 2007, our OtterTail Decathlon Dave celebrated his 15th birthday. Dave is our longest living Lab (or any dog) to date, although he is not the oldest OtterTail. Maggie, a Labrador puppy from my first litter, lived to 16 years, 10 1/2 months. Our old man, who has always been affectionately call "Punkin' Dave", spends most of his time sleeping these days. We will continue to wait on his every need as long as he wants to stay with us. He enjoyed some grilled steak and extra carrots (his real favorite) as birthday treats. Dave, as his name suggests, was born during the 1992 olympics. Though he was named for the decathlete, Dave Johnson (which also happened to be the name of a friend of ours), his very favorite "event" was running. When Dave was younger he loved to run as fast as he could for as long as he could. Then he would catch his breath and run some more. He would have been an olympic runner if he could. Happy Birthday, Dave - we all love you!

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have a dear labrador, Max, who will be 15 on January 11, 2008. Our time with him is treasured as we know it is probably limited at this point. His days are spent on his blanket in a central location of the house watching everything that goes on. Surprisingly, on our 12 hour trips to hilton head (from Ohio) he is awake 100% of the time watching out his window. At this point we have a handy capped ramp for him at both homes and a sling type thing around his middle to aide in his getting up. We love our dog!!!

Here's to Mac's continued good health.

Barbara

OtterTail said...

Thanks for sharing, Barbara. Max (Mac?) sounds very much like our Dave in old age. We also used a sling harness to help him get around. He needed to be lifted into the vehicles and lifted from lying down as well. It kept our backs strong. He also spent his days lying on a comfy bed in the center of the house - under the dining table in the middle of our great room. And at night he hogged the middle of the bed.

Good health to Max! May he enjoy the twilight of his life in the warmth and love he has known for so many years.

NapaBeth said...

My Big Foot is 16 and 1/2, born 7/31/91. He is amazingly alert and gets around well for an old dog. There is no wonder that labs are the no. 1 dog in the USA. Labs rule!

OtterTail said...

Big Foot! What a cute name - and fitting, I am sure. Good for you, Big Foot. May you continue to enjoy all of your golden days in that wonderful Labrador style!

Anonymous said...

I have 3 labs Marley, Frankie, and Lolli. Mar and Frank are black labs and Lolli is a yellow. I am happy to say Marley just turned 17, I have had her since I was 20 years and we have been through alot together. She still has puppy in her but starting to get arthritic. Never do I want to lose her and for sure we have a couple more years together. I was wondering the record for the oldest lab, does anyone know?

OtterTail said...

17 and still some puppy in her attitude is pretty amazing!! I don't know if anyone is keeping records. The oldest Labrardor I personally have known of was 18. Best wishes that Marley may live out her days happily, rest in peace when she is done, and live forever in your heart!!

Anonymous said...

I share my life with Luke Skywalker (luke) a black lab, He has the force! He will be 16 yrs. old this Valentines Day 2008!
He has had both knees operated on, throat also and has bad hips,
He has to wear boots on his hind feet to keep him from splaying as well as putting runners all over the house for his comfort and so he won't have to walk or lay on the hardwoods. He is young of sprit and teaches me amazing lessons every day.
He is my soul. He is now teaching me how to care for the elderly. He ate dog food for the first 3 years of his life until I read The Nature Of Animal Healing and saw what was in dog food! Even so called good dog food. I never looked back and have cooked for him since or given him human grade dog food. Only recently available because of all the news reports.
He sends his hello to all his other OLD LAB FRIENDS!

Amy

OtterTail said...

Thanks for sharing about your Luke. It sounds like we had a lot in common. We also accumulated an array of runners and rugs. What a good idea to put boots on Luke's hind feet to help him get traction! A friend and I were just yesterday discussing options she could try to help an old Lab she recently rescued from a shelter. Willow has a neurological problem that leaves her hind end very weak. I will pass on your bootie idea - Thanks so much, you may have helped another old dog just by posting!

Ethan said...

Our Allie "Alberta" will also be 16 on Valentine's Day this year. She is actually at the vet's office tonight getting fluids for pancreatitis. We are hoping she will get some relief and can come home to live out her days in comfort. She has been doing pretty well and was still chasing the vacuum around up until about a week ago.

OtterTail said...

Happy up-coming Birthday to Allie! I will send her warm wishes that her vet visit has made her feel better and she can enjoy her celebration.

I just learned of another 17 year old Lab. He was a service dog that has sadly (but thankfully) ended up in Lab rescue. I would give anything to have my own dogs live to be 17 - it is hard to imagine such a precious old man being homeless.

Anonymous said...

Here is an update on Big Foot who will be 18 in July '09. He spends most of his time up on his couch and is incontinent but his shining eyes and loving attitude inspire devotion and my willingness to care for him no matter what. Can't stress how much glucosamine chondrotin does to help ability to still walk. Cheers to all, Beth Scott

OtterTail said...

Wow - good for you Beth and Big Foot! Thanks for the update. There are a lot of people who find this thread wanting to know about the oldest living Labrador!

I'd like to second your vote for glucosamine joint supplements. It is/was a big help for my old dogs too - especially Dave. I start all of them on it after they reach 8 yrs old now just for good measure.

Beth said...

I am sorry to say that we lost our dear sweet Allie girl on her fifteenth birthday. All dogs are special, but she was the best of the best. She was able to be at home and the last words she heard on earth were, "GOOD DOG". She had a great life and enjoyed it till the end. While reminiscing, I found a picture of her with a huge piece of romaine lettuce clamped gingerly between her teeth. In Allie's younger days, that piece of lettuce hit the floor during dinner prep one night and she was determined to figure out how to eat it. The thing came off the kitchen counter after all, so it must be delicious. She kept that piece of lettuce hanging out of her mouth for her evening walk, her "yard business", and went to sleep that night with it still in her mouth. The next morning, the lettuce remained, although much wilted by this point. After her morning business, she finally sat down in the kitchen and finished it off. I laughed for days and now every time I see that picture I have to smile. Thanks for the kind wishes for her that you sent me earlier. This is a wonderful site.

OtterTail said...

What a sweet post about Allie. You were lucky to have her for 15 wonderful years and she was lucky to have you. A few of my own dogs love lettuce, so it never lasts that long in my house. If one dog spits it out it barely hits the floor before another cleans it up. I think they agree with Allie -- if it came off the counter and Mom is eating it, it must be good!! Or at least worth a try :-).

nala-woo said...

we have an old lady Labrador Retreiver who will be 17 in may. Nala (woo). She has recently developed Ulcerative Collitis but the medication has helped her lots. There is still lots of fun in her and she still has the cheeky charm of the baby she was when i got her. Prefers to watch whats going on these days rather than taking part, but still manages the odd chace of her cairn terrier brother who is 15 years her junior! Cant bear the thought of being without her, but have so many memories to treasure.

OtterTail said...

Wow - soon to be 17 -- keep going strong Nala woo! It sounds like she still has a lot of spunk for an old woman. I hope her collitis stays under control and she has many more happy days! She must be a wonderful friend.

Andy said...

Hi, my name is Andy, I live in west Wales, UK. I have two 13 1/2 year old sister labs, one black, one yellow, and recently nearly lost the yellow one (Rika) with a pyometra (womb infection). But the vets pulled her through, and she's now back better than ever! It's also helping her sister (Carrie, a grey faced old black girl!) & me get fitter, and I hope to get a year or two out of them both yet. They mean the world to me, having got them as puppies as their predecessor Sooty (a black lab bitch also) weakened towards the end of her 12 years of a fantastic life. This was especially poignant to me as we had bought Sooty for my late mother after my dad died, and my mum passed away when Soot was around 9.

I will never ever be without a labrador in my life!

Warm regards, Andy

OtterTail said...

Hi Andy,

Thanks for posting about Rika and Carrie. Glad you were able to pull Rika through and now you are all staying in shape together. My 2 oldest Labs are also littermates (from the my last litter) and they are now 12 yrs old. My boy (Marius) is yellow and his sister (Eponine) is black. She seems to be in great shape and still does crazy "go dog go" runnning regularly, but my old man gets a sore back sometimes and moves a bit slower. Like you, I hope they stay with me a couple more years. I love them to pieces!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi all! Just an update from wet & cold west Wales, UK!

Dogs, cat, & me still doing great! They ain't keen on this early winter weather, but still go a long run most days (now nearly 14!) & the odd dip in stream on sunny weekends.

Hope you, your dogs, & your families are well.

Kindest regards,

Andy x

OtterTail said...

Hi Andy! Thanks for the update. It's always great to hear the old ones are still going strong - especially good that Rika has bounded back so well. Stay warm and dry!
Amy

Andy said...

Hi all, it is with a heavy heart that I have to report my lovely old yellow lab Rika passed away in her sleep last weekend after a short illness, aged 14. She was up wagging her tail til the day before, but had just got over a bout of gastro enteritis and was just too old & tired to bounce back this time, and she'd stopped eating. I went down to her at 5am on Saturday & her breathing was shallow but she was warm and her eyes bright, so I told her to just go for a long sleep, and I'd see her soon, if you understand me. I went back at 7am & she was gone, still warm, with her head on the back of her sister Carrie. No mess, no fuss, & even waited for a weekend for me to be home! She died as she lived - the perfect happy little dog! I buried her at 7.30am in our small garden under the apple tree, and have ordered a dual fruiting pear tree to plant by her, she'd have liked that. Carrie is doing ok, better than me maybe.

Kindest regards, Andy x

OtterTail said...

Andy - I feel for you and Carrie with the loss of Rika. It is a hard time now, but you can be thankful that she went so peacefully, in her own home with her sister by her side and you there to reassure her. All dogs should be so lucky - they deserve it. I plant trees and other plants for my dogs too. A dual fruiting pear sounds lovely - and an apple tree nearby. RIP Rika.

Andy said...

Thanks for your kind thoughts, nobody understands how much we lose when a treasured labrador passes. She was a real darling, and after 3 weeks now is very badly missed. The pear tree is planted, and I go out & talk to Rika each & every day. Carrie is doing well, but very quiet now.
Already planning for my next puppy & contacted some breeders. Although I've always been a black lab lover, I think my next one will be a yellow like Rika, & called 'Honey'.
Warmest regards, Andy x

Anonymous said...

My beloved yellow labrador is turning 15 on january 8th. His last minutes are ticking while he is barley eating and walking.

Anonymous said...

My beloved yellow labrador is turning 15 on january 8th 2010. His last minutes are ticking while he is barley eating and walking.

OtterTail said...

Sending happy birthday wishes to your old boy. My Marius is 13 1/2 and also having trouble walking and, lately, eating. This morning I am very happy because he ate a full breakfast with gusto for the first time in over a week. I hope your boy has some better days too. Cherish your moments.

mike said...

wow !!! hearing your stories made me realize the my old man "Prince" is not alone in the world,lol, he is also 15 yrs old Lab and gets around just fine,,i can't remember when he got him but my son was 1 yr old and now he's 16.Prince is a real loving companion for 15 yrs for my whole family i've known a lab that lived to be 18 yrs old i hope i can get that out of my old man .All his life i fed him pedigree

Anonymous said...

My precious chocolate Lab Coco will be 17 on July fourth. She has brought such joy to our lives. She just came home after a three day stay at the hospital. Seems my baby has small cell lymphoma....she is starting chemotherapy and I hope will be iwth us a little longer. She is such a sweetheart and I can't imagine my life without her. I will stay by her side and spoil her until she is ready to say goodbye....

OtterTail said...

Coco is as lucky to have you as you are to have her. I'm sure she is happy to be back home. I wish her peace and contentment for the rest of her days. Give Coco a group hug from all of us who love our Labs!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much...we are so lucky to have been with her all these years....she it the most amazing girl. We took her in when she was a year old from an abusive home. She has lived like a princess ever since. I remember the days of her running and jumping off the dock in Maine to chase a toy....she loves the water so much....I pray the chemo gives us a little more quality time with her. We love her so much.

Anonymous said...

Our black Lab, born April 12, 1990, lived for 18 yrs + nearly 6 months. At 15 she could easily manage an hr-long walk 3x/day. Even at 18, up until the last few weeks of her life, which were rough, she routinely took a 30-minute walk (slow) each day. In caring for her in her last year we met several people who'd had Labs who lived to 18. I suspect there are a few 19-year-olds out there - just no trace of them on record.

OtterTail said...

Thanks for sharing. 18 years is an amazing old age and to be walking an hour at 15 is a real testament to your dog (and 3x a day no less!!). Wish they could all live as long and as well!!

Kara said...

I have really enjoyed reading your stories. My love of my life is 14 and 1/2. Kobey has been with me through the ups and the downs. I don't know if i could ever own another black lab. He is amazing. I hope he is around for many more years!

OtterTail said...

OtterTail said...

Thanks for sharing Kara. It sounds like Kobey is a great dog! Enjoy your time together.

I prefer to think of getting another dog and/or a similar dog (black Lab in you case) as a tribute to the one who came before rather than a reminder that he is gone. Each dog is an individual, of course, and deserves to be loved for who they are. My first Lab was totally fantastic and changed my life. I am so glad that I have had many more Labradors - all as a tribute to her for teaching me how wonderful Labs can be - rather than thinking I never wanted another because they would not be the same as Holly. Each of them have enriched my life and made me love the breed all the more!

OtterTail said...

My oldest Lab now is 15 year old Eponine. She still trots to the pond and swims every day, then walks back up our hill. Yet she has some issues and I know her time is near. I will love her every day and let her go when she tells me she is done - forever grateful to have had her in my life.

Anonymous said...

Hello All.. my black lab Daria is 17 and six months. Of course, meal time is her favorite time. She still bounces around. Trots to the gate when we get home. She has been a sweet, smart girl and a great companion. She will run after a ball still. Stiff in the hips and kinda blind and deaf. Yes, a bit incontinent. A big thank you in the heart for this lovely dog. Oh, and she still wrestles with the two year old black lab. I have her Son Bear, who is 12. This is lab lab lab kingdom!!!

Cynthia said...

My black lab and dear friend Grover has been struggling for the past four months. He is 16.8 years but I can't seem to remember a time when he wasn't in our lives. After a second knee surgery five years ago, he developed sepsis and endocarditis Thought we would loose him. He couldn't walk and all of the specialist said his chance of recovery were impossible. With a lot of meds and love he did overcome his issues and although he could once again walk, he would never be able to enjoy the running he so loved. As the years have passed Grover's health has declined and over the past few months has gone from being raised with a harness, walking with the support of one of us to needing the support of two of us. He is incontinent but we try hard not to let him be embarrassed about it and do more loads of laundry for him then ourselves. He travels with us as we go back and forth to our cottage in Wisconsin and though the trip is sometimes difficult and he seems to still enjoy being there. He has good days, bad days and terrible days when it seems the only right thing to do is assist him in his exit, he has wonderful days. He perks up and eats his food, drinks his water and says with this big brown eyes "not yet'.
I know the statement "I don't want to play God" is one we all wrestle with, but please as you are all most clearly, lovers of these wonderful creatures, what signal am I looking for from him that will guide me to make the best decision for this wonderful dog. We do not want him to suffer but don't want to loose a single day that should be his.

OtterTail said...

Cynthia - I know what you are going through. It is never easy, but seems especially difficult when they slowly fade and have those variable days. I am in the same position with my 15 yr old Lab right now. I don't have an answer for your dog since it is such a personal and individual thing (each dog is different). For me some of the signs are if there are more bad days than good, too many bad days in a row, they can no longer do their last favorite things or my dog tells me with their eyes that they are done being a dog.
May you and Grover enjoy your days together and be grateful for the love you share.

Anonymous said...

My beautiful black lab retriever jet is 14 today!!!! I feel so blessed to have him still here today! I have had him since i was 9 years old. His back end oftenslips away from him. He is loosing control of his bowels and yet he is still fighting. I will never give up on him and i hope he will be here for more years to come, he is the gentlest creature ive ever met, he should have been named eeyore!

OtterTail said...

Jet sounds like a great guy and I know just what you mean about calling him Eeyore! So sweet.

I am sad to say I lost my 15 yr old girl earlier this month. I miss her terribly.
RIP OtterTail Eponine

Anonymous said...

My yellow lab, Lord Wheatly Puppendogger, left this world yesterday, 9/15/14, to be with God, my Mom, and my previous four legged family members. He was 18 years old. He health was in incredibly good health, until the last couple of months. He's had cataracts, but could still see, for several years. But his hips gave out. I would help him get up, but once up, he was generally ok, albeit, a bit wobbly. Yesterday, he couldnt walk. He couldn't even stand. He was in such pain. But now he is in heaven and is whole again. I miss him so much.

OtterTail said...

RIP Lord Wheatly Puppendogger. What a wonderful name! He must have been a special guy. It sounds like he had a nice life - 18 years in that good shape is a great accomplishment for a Lab. I am so sorry for your loss of this extraordinary friend.

If you read my other posts you may know I am an artist and animal communicator. Please keep me in mind if I can help you remember Lord Wheatly Puppendogger with either of these gifts.