Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Human / Canine Charts are Wrong - My Dogs are Still Alive!

Lucy and Tucker
According to the charts, Tucker and Lucy are already dead.

Yesterday's mail brought a new issue of Healthy Pet, a publication we receive courtesy of our vet.  The cover of each issue includes a friendly reminder of vet related things we need to take care of soon.  In this case, the reminder was that Tucker is in need of his annual shots and a routine check-up. 

You may remember that Tucker celebrated his birthday in November.  His fourteenth birthday.  That's in human years.  You may also remember that his sister, Lucy celebrated her birthday this past July.  Her thirteenth birthday.  That's also in human years.

Since Tucker was a stray that showed up on our front porch when he was about 8-10 weeks old, we can't be sure of his parentage or breed background.  Definitely some Lab in there.  Maybe some Chow.  And when we watched the Schipperke at the National Dog Show, Gary and I both leapt to our feet exclaiming "Tucker!"   That dog looked like a smaller version of our beloved dog.  I say smaller because, though Tucker's weight varies, he averages around 75 pounds.

Lucy's background we know.  Her mama, Rosie, was a gorgeous purebred Golden Retriever.  Her daddy was a humongous black lab.  Lucy's weight runs about 90 pounds.

You're hoping this is leading to something... and it is.  This issue of Healthy Pet, Fall 2010, includes a rather good article regarding the health of senior pets.  Including a handy, dandy Human / Pet Age Analogy chart. 

According to the chart, Tucker and Lucy are both dead. 

The chart for dogs who weigh between 51 - 120 pounds stops at human age 12.   And at age twelve, a dog who weighs in that range would be equal to a human aged 94 years old.  In fact, a dog in that weight range is considered to be geriatric at age 8.

We all know that 7 times thing.  You know, 7 times the dogs age equals the human equivalent.  Using that method Tucker would be 98 years old;  Lucy would be 91 years old.

Granted, I'm no expert at these things.  However, I'm thinking to heck with age charts.   I know one thing for sure, though definitely in the Senior Pets category, Tucker and Lucy are very much still alive and bringing joy to my life. And I don't need a chart for that.

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