100_0076My dog Quico is eight and a half years old. In doggy years he's my peer so of course I'm in denial.  We can't possibly be that old!

A visit to the vet yesterday shattered my delusion. Not only is he a senior dog, he has the beginnings of cataracts! It's amazing he doesn't need a fork lift to jump onto the couch, poor thing. After a bit of poking here and there by our wonderful vet, Quico was pronounced a healthy dog "for his age".

What else I found out at the vet's:

A dog's life expectancy has recently been given a bump to 13-15 years. This is good news for dog fans. Mutts, or the more PC 'mixed breed', are usually heartier than pure breeds. I'm prejudiced. Most of the dogs I've loved have been mutts.

About 43% of our dogs will get cancer. This is a total bummer. My vet said many of our dogs won't show signs until the cancer has metastasized (spread from the original tumor).

It's a good idea to know the signs of canine cancer.

On the brighter side

Research has demonstrated that having a dog or cat is good for our health.  Our little friends encourage stable mood, exercise and lower blood pressure while reducing stress. A good dog is the essence of unconditional love. Cats act all superior but they are so entertaining.