There are a few geriatric dogs in our family now. My brother has Oskar, who as you can see isn't as strong in his rear end as he used to be. He has some sort of spinal degradation and just can't get around without dragging his back legs and falling down. Other than that he is good; his mind is strong and his will to go out for daily walks is even stronger.
At our house we have Mo. He's a 14 year old 120-lb Newfie mix. (He's the dog on my lap in my Profile photo). Mo's body is still pretty good, but his mind is a little compromised. Plus he has a wicked cough because the "flaps" in his throat are decaying thanks to the effect that the passage of time has had on his tissues. Mo's cough was "cured" by a moderate dosage of steroids, but the same steroids have given him urinary tract infections because they so heavily degrade his immune system. No more steroids for Mo; he has to take Robitussin for the cough now and daily doses of Dannon immune boosting yogurt drinks to bring his immune system back into balance. But he's still a joy and his cough won't kill him and well, getting old can sometimes be a BITCH!
When I look at the old dogs that are still kicking around my family and my brother's family I am reminded of the ones that did not have the honor of aging but were taken out early in life by various illnesses that we (and they) could not control. I'm reminded of those whom I had to make the ultimate decision for; those are the saddest. My happiest memories of losing a furry loved one are of my 12.5 year old Basset Hound, Rosebud, who passed in her sleep a mere 2 hours after I'd let her out for her morning constitutional. If there is a good way to go, she chose it. (she always did have style!)
Anyway, the photos above are of Oskar, the 13-year old Anatolian Shepherd and his new "legs". My brother tried to build a device to assist Oskar but ended up spending a hefty sum on someone else's engineering prowess to provide Oskar with a means to get around.
Oskar has bagged many peaks in his lifetime; some that he probably should not have ventured onto at all. Now Oskar gets to enjoy the "lowlands" with his trusty new legs, and he seems to really like it.