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Aero’s 15th Birthday

Today is Aero’s 15th birthday. He was our first show dog, and became an AKC champion in 2010, under Carol Duntemann’s expert handling. The photos below are of Aero when we first got him in 2006, and from the 2009 Bichon Frise National Specialty show in St. Louis.

He’s still reasonably spry for a dog that old, though he doesn’t see very well and gets confused now and then. Given that he’s now 105 in dog years, I’m very happy he’s still with us and still running around.

We’ll be giving him his usual birthday “cake” of raw hamburger a little later today after supper. Everybody gets some–and sometimes I think it’s gone in nanoseconds. But however he wants to enjoy his birthday is fine by us. He’s been a terrific dog, loved the show ring, and brought us a great many ribbons. If he mostly sleeps in one of the (many) dog beds scattered around the house these days, that’s ok. He’s earned it.

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  1. James R Strickland says:

    He’s a sweet little dog, too.

  2. Michael Riley says:

    That is awesome. Do you have any video of Carol and Aero at the dog competition?

    1. For onlookers: I posted a video at Mike’s request over on Facebook:

  3. Tom says:

    (from NPR)

    The new formula for a dog’s age (in human terms) requires a little more math than multiplying by seven. You multiply the natural logarithm of a dog’s age by 16, then add 31 [human_age = 16ln(dog_age) + 31].

    for example: natural log of 15 = 2.7, therefore 16(2.7) + 31 = 74 “human” years

    1. Michael Black says:

      I thought there was something about different breeds aging differently.

      Some breeds live longer than others. So oldness relates to that.

      Pokey is 14 years and 9 months, which makes him old, since he’s a labrador. More imortant, he’s slowed down over the past year, especially in the last three. He doesn’t use the stairs, we don’t go very far, he sleeps a lot, and wags his tail.only when he sees other dogs (which has been a limited thing when dog owners mostly avoid us in the pandemic).

      So when is “old”? He’s outlived “average” and from what I’ve read, is getting to the limits.

      1. There is, and it’s a simple if cruel metric: Bigger dogs die younger than smaller dogs. We knew an author back in CoS who loved Irish wolfhounds, and her dogs were delightful. They generally die of old age at 10 or 11. We’ve seen bichons live to 19, though our longest-lived (Chewy 1982-1998) only made it to 16. Jack is going on 15 1/2, and he’ll probably make it to 16.

        Your Pokey is doing pretty well for a labrador, being almost 15. The lab mix I had as a teen (Smoker 1966-1979) only made it to 13.

    2. Yes, had seen that but have not done the math. As I said below in my response to Michael Black, the size of a dog has to be figured in, so there has to be a breed-defined fudge factor, generally one that reduces the calculated lifespan according to weight.

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