Friday, October 06, 2006

"About Three"

By Cassandra D

I was taking a walk this morning and happened upon a woman walking a cute little dog. She told me that he was a "rescue" dog, apparently beaten by his original owners, somehow resilient and sweet, and "the vet says he's about three years old."

Okay. I've taken care of my share of stray dogs. I know the drill. You take them to the vet, the vet looks at the teeth, and then the vet says, "He looks like he's about three."

Do they teach them that in vet school? Is that a good waffle age--not too young, not too old? Can they really tell anything by the teeth?


At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Greta McInerney-Spinoza said...

A few years ago, we adopted a wonderful dog from a rescue shelter. They told us he was between 1-2 years old. The vets never questioned this. When several years later, and he showed clear signs of old age, we asked a vet if he could be older. The vet said yes, he was most likely at least 2-3 years older than we thought, maybe more. It was easier for the latter vet, though, because the dog showed clear signs of aging.

Ever since, I've heard that shelter dogs are usually 1-2 years old, period. Part of this, they probably have no real idea and guess. It's also possible that if they tell the real age, people won't want the dog.

Our beloved pooch has gone to doggie heaven, and I sometimes wonder if we'd taken him if we knew his real age.

I like to think we would have taken him, but I'm also glad we didn't know. We loved him. He was a great dog.

We wish we had him around longer, but we're grateful we had him as long as we did.

Bottom line, if it's a great dog, the age doesn't matter. Enjoy what you can, and better the dog should have a good home for his "golden" years.

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Greta McInerney-Spinoza said...

Thinking more about the dental issue: if vets REALLY CAN do this by looking at teeth, can physicians do the same with people?

Suppose someone has dentures? Can they tell from the gums? Or can they tell by the age of the dentures?

Sure will make it hard for people to lie about the age.

Unless the physicians take the same line as vets and the people are always somewhere around 1-2 or 3 years old.


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