I’ve always thought it to be common knowledge that one dog year is equivalent to seven human years. Apparently, we’ve all been misinformed. The formula to calculate dog years into human years depends on several factors such as the size and the breed of the dog. There is no way of calculating exactly how many dog years are in a human year. The 7:1 ratio started from an outdated generic statistic that people live around 70 years and dogs around 10. It was essentially a simplistic way of saying dogs live much shorter life spans than humans so take care of their medical needs accordingly.
My brother got a dog some time when I was in high school He was one of the most active, excitable, rambunctious dogs I ever came across. Any time I opened the front door for someone I had to hold him back from running out. I didn’t even know it was a thing that you could let your dog out in the front yard without them darting down the street and having to go chase them. He jumped on all the furniture he wasn’t supposed to and tore up practically anything he came across.
At 21, I found myself in an inescapably low place. I finally scheduled a therapy appointment but the days leading up to that seemed terribly difficult to get through. I remembered I had been prescribed anti-depressants a long time ago and I checked to see if we still had them in the medicine cabinet. We did and I desperately took one, knowing full well I should have talked to a doctor about that and that they were much past their expiration date. I think they made me sick later if I remember correctly.
At this same time, my brother’s dog had recently gotten very sluggish. It seemed to happen overnight. He limped any time he moved, he never ran or jumped anymore, and you could tell just looking at him he was in a lot of pain. He was not himself at all. I remember that day that I took that pill, I saw him on the couch. I don’t even know how he got up there now that I think of it. I walked over to him and I laid down with him, and I believe we could both feel each other’s pain. I have never been extremely affectionate, especially with animals. But I laid there and I held him and I said “We’re gonna be ok… right?”
One week later my brother took his dog in and they told him he had cancer that had moved throughout his body very quickly and that the only option to end his pain was to put him to sleep. He was around 6 or 7 years old.
Sometimes it seems the periods of more pain last human years and the periods of less pain last dog years. And there is no way of calculating exactly how long those times are.
But we’re gonna be ok… right?