Senior Bruiser’s Guide to Spring: A Checklist



(this is dedicated to Sugar – a wonderful Golden that I’ve been following for quite some time. Sugar passed away last week). 

Bruiser spent the first few years of his life in less than desirable circumstances. I cannot tell you exactly what happened but our story started after he spent time at the Washington County shelter. Indigo Rescue pulled him as he wasn’t feeling himself at this shelter and tried to bite the staff. The executive director, Heather Hines, knew with a foster family he’d be able to show his true colors which didn’t include biting people. When we met, he had a scar on his forehead and his name was Butters. My husband and I decided Bruiser was a better fit.

Ten years later Bruiser now has a white muzzle, irritable bowel disease and interdigital cysts. He’s on some medication and doing well for the most part at 13 years young.

When Bruiser crosses the rainbow bridge I’m not sure how I’ll get on with things. Bruisy is my heart dog for sure and the first doxie I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life with! I thought it made sense for Bruiser to share some tips for spring.

Spring has sprung after a very long winter here in Portland. Bruiser has some advice for activities you can do with your senior dog this season.

Teckelklub post BEST

Flower Festivals:

Wooden Tulip Festival starts this week and goes through early April. It’s dog friendly. Above is a pic of Walter and we went towards the end of the festival but won’t make that mistake this year! Better to get out there early!

It’s a great outing for senior dogs as you can pop over to see and smell some flowers and then head out. So if your senior dog isn’t very mobile this is more about the adventure. So find a flower festival – tulip’s, iris’s – whatever is near you!

Plan out your Herb Gardens:

Take your senior munchkin over to Home Depot or Loew’s and start picking out some herbs that are dog-friendly. This is a nice outing for you both and a great way to continue enrichment with your best friend. The car ride is a great outing and herbs can benefit some of the issues they may be experiencing as they age. I’ve linked up to a story I wrote about herbs for animals.

Cook with your senior dog in mind – there is nothing better than special senior treats:

Sugar’s Cookbook is wildly popular so I wanted to include a link to a favorite Sugar recipe that Bruisy recommends. Banana Pancakes! More in this post on why this recipe is great for seniors. We will all miss Sugar.

Wellness exam for your senior dog:

Have you scheduled the annual wellness appointment for your senior dog yet? If you already saw your Vet for their annual check up and bloodwork then great! Ignore this tip. We have our appointment scheduled in May and unfortunately Bruiser recently had an X-Ray and Ultrasound done on his abdomen as he’s having some issues with his stomach. All is well and both were unremarkable thankfully but there is nothing more important than having your senior dog scheduled to spend some quality time with your veterinarian. Your old dog may be losing their sight or hearing…

Add massage to your senior dog’s weekly routine. 

You can look for a dog massage therapist OR learn some of the basic skills yourself. There are so many ways your older dog will benefit from massage. From reducing pain to improving their immune systems, get your hands on your dogs! This is a great guide (affiliate link) that I’ve used for many years!


I love this picture. This is Bruisy about ten years ago in his prime! Such a beautiful boy!

Hope these activities give you some thought starters!

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Spring has Sprung- Bruiser has tips for senior dogs!



There are 16 Comments

  1. Lindsay says:

    Oh he’s such a regal, sir, isn’t he?
    Like you, were aware more and more every day of our aging boys. In fact, Baxter is limping today (dear god what next?!) but I think it’s just his paw and nothing muscular or bone, thankfully.

    • So regal! 🙂 At least he’s king in our house! 🙂 UGH – Me too – since he’s turned 13 it feels like his age is catching up with him. I’m so sorry Baxter is limping. I’m sure it’s something soft tissue and he just pulled something. That happens to Sherm every once in awhile but it’s scary. Keep me posted.

      • Lindsay says:

        I just wish time would slow down so we can stretch out these golden years a bit further.

        Baxter seems okay… we couldn’t see any spots, or bumps or lumps. I think it might’ve been his paw bothering him, because he’s not limping this morning, thankfully…

  2. Bruiser is adorable! ♥ We loved Sugar and will miss her Golden smile ☺

  3. Alison Reder says:

    I love your suggestions for things to do with senior dogs in the spring. Perhaps a road trip is in order to join you at the Tulip Festival! I think Zora (14) would love that. 😉

  4. Beth says:

    I love that portrait of Bruiser in his prime. I’m glad that the rescue recognized that there was so much more to him and put him in a foster home. Sugar will be sorely missed, her smile brightened the internet.

    • Thank you – I couldn’t believe I found that old pic that we had a photog take so many years ago! Me too, sounds like life in the county shelter wasn’t setting him up for success at all. We will definitely miss Sugar’s smile on social media 🙁

  5. Shasta and I LOVE your tips for enjoying spring with a senior dog! We also love how Bruiser found his forever family with you. Sugar was such a special dog and will be greatly missed!!

    • Thank you so much for sharing these on Facebook! Oh Bruisy – such an old munchkin! Agreed – Sugar will absolutely be missed. Hope you’re doing well and hi to Shasta!

  6. Sandy Weinstein says:

    great pictures and story abt Bruiser. so glad you have given him a wonderful home and life. i know how you feel when the day comes for our kids to cross over. my oldest is nearing that date and i cry everyday looking at her. she is 15 1/2 plus, just a month younger than Sugar. she has terminal cancer, dementia, deaf, almost blind and disc problems caused by the first time she got vestibular going in the little tight circles. currently doing palladia because the chemo did not work. i stay at home most of the time because i cant leave her alone for very long. we see the vet abt every 4 wks for checkups, palladaia and bloodwork. .

    • Thank you so much! I love him SO much! Oh gosh – I’m so sorry your 15 1/2 plus is going through all of that. Just know that every day you’re together is a GIFT. I totally know what you mean about staying at home it’s really hard with all the various medications. Keep me posted and I’m sending lots of good wishes to you all.

  7. Jan K says:

    Bruiser, you were a beautiful youngster, but there is something about your white muzzle now that just speaks to my heart.
    Those are some great tips! We’re still waiting for signs of spring here, but I’ve already started planning the garden, and we’ll be including plenty of dog friendly herbs and Luke’s favorite vegetables!
    Oh – I keep thinking about learning massage, I need to check out that book.

    • Oh I love your comment so much: I couldn’t believe I found that picture. Wow – time has gone by so fast I hate it. Totally check out that book, you’ll love it! Hope you’re well!