Gray FacePublished November 7, 2007
I met with sweet Tess recently to help her deal with her jumpy greeting behavior. She delights in welcoming any guests to her home with intense, focused, spring-loaded joy. Oh yes, and slobber. I took one look at Tess’s gray face and thought that she’s probably about nine years old. Was I wrong! Tess is a spring chicken at only five years old! While I’m not great at breed identification (The shame! The shame!), I’m usually pretty good at gauging a dog’s age. The gray around the muzzle and eyes is the most obvious clue, but clearly in this case the typical indicator didn’t apply. A dog’s shortened or stiff gait is another giveaway, along with a general hard-to-define “vibe” that older dogs have. Kind of a “been there, done that” way about them. Then there’s the telling teeth check, but getting up in a dog’s grill upon first meeting isn’t always possible. If I had given Tess three minutes to strut her stuff before I pinned an age to her it would’ve been obvious that she didn’t have a stiff bone in her body, and though she’s “been there and done that”, she’d like to do it again and then once more, thank you. Tess did a fantastic job during her lesson, and before I left she christened my pants with some appreciative slobber.
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