This Old Dog….

This is Miller. Our big loveable and loyal lab. Miller loves people. He’s our nursery greeter…happy for a pat and a belly scratch. He’ll gladly follow you around as you look over the plants in the nursery rows or as you roam the display beds. When we weed the gardens, he likes to be close, often laying right beside us. When we get up to empty our weed buckets, he’ll follow along. Miller has dedicated himself to being a constant companion. Johnny on the spot. Our very reliable sidekick. This year Miller is showing his age ( he’s 10). He tires more quickly on walks now. He sleeps more soundly than he ever has and he can no longer make the jump into the pick-up by himself. We keep a hay bale nearby so that he can use it as a step up into the truck. He doesn’t mind that his old body can’t leap up into the truck or that he can’t run fast anymore, he’s just always happy to be with us. He has always been our goofy, happy-go-lucky dog. That’s Miller.
This year, however, Miller has decided that he feels uncertain about other dogs coming to the nursery. We’re not sure if it’s because he can’t see as well or if being less able has left him feeling a bit vulnerable. We’ve never allowed visitors to let their dogs out at the nursery, even if they have a leash. It’s just not something we’ve ever felt comfortable with. Now, with Miller getting older and feeling less steady on his feet ( and less mentally alert), we thought it might be a good time remind customers about our dog policy. If you are traveling with your pup in the car and you do come to the nursery, please leave them in the car as you shop or walk around. We have a nice very shady parking spot up near the nursery and with the windows rolled down, it should be quite comfortable. If your dog needs water ( we’ll happily get you some!) or needs to get out and relieve themselves, there are plenty of spots to let your dog out just down the road a piece ( away from the nursery).
We and good Ol’ Miller really appreciate your understanding and consideration, the nursery is certainly a place we want people to feel welcome, but we’re trying to give Miller a sense of comfort as he enters old age. Thank you and we hope to visit with you this summer!

18 comments on “This Old Dog….

    • Miller’s isn’t as quick on his feet, I think mostly he’s afraid that he’ll get knocked over or taken by surprise. You are right, Judy, this is his home and we want him to feel always at his best…comfortable and relaxed, Happy summer to you!

  1. Yes, I agree with Judy. It’s Miller’s home. Our own dog-buddy Liam is showing his age, so I can absolutely relate to this.

  2. I wish all dog owners were as considerate and respectful of their aging dogs as you are. They have given us much and now deserve our respect.

    • Dogs are family and though they can’t verbalize, we know from their body language and from our relationship to them when they are feeling uncomfortable. We want Miller to feel relaxed on his own turf, he certainly deserves that. Thank you for your thoughtful words, Sue and happy summer to you!

    • Thank you , Kerry. Some days we find Miller sleeping so soundly in the driveway, luckily he’s big and customers notice him before driving all the way in. As he continues into his old age, we surely want to ensure a safe and gentle landscape for him. He is a real buddy to us here!
      By the way, I wanted to let you know that during the nursery season I get so busy that finding time to respond in a generous manner falls to the wayside. This being said, I read all of your posts ( and all my other favorites as well) and enjoy everyone of them. Please forgive me for being a little slow in my responses lately, but I did want you to know how much i really do love and enjoy your blog. O.k. now…back out to weeding!! Happy weekend to you, Kerry!

      • I completely understand! I cannot even imagine how busy you are right now–the fact that you even manage to post amazes me. Thanks for letting me know you’re reading–now, go give Miller a scritch on the head from me!

  3. Oh, what a lovely, lovely boy he is! I don’t think there is a better companion than a loyal old lab. They deserve the very best transition into old age. Here’s hoping that Miller has many more summers by your side. And, of course, he deserves to be the king of your domain without other pesky dogs intruding. I still intend to come by the nursery soon (I’ll leave my labs at home). I have been been busier than I expected this summer. Well, you know how that is! Hope you aren’t getting hit too hard with the afternoon thunder storms. We had a pretty good bout of hail the other day. Give Miller a good ear scratch for me.

    • Hi Brenda, Thank you for your thoughtful words regarding Miller! He used to love to play and romp with other dogs but now feels leery about the presence of other four-legged’s. We love him dearly, nothing more loyal and comforting than a lab, just as you say. Would love to visit with you, we have been really busy this season ( this is good!!) but boy, oh boy, are we tired! It is great to have a life so full, yes? I am hoping that we can spend time together…maybe even getting out our wheels and sitting on the studio deck for an afternoon of spinning ( and tea and scones, of course!). Glad you are enjoying the summer…yes, lots of rain, also thunder and lightening, but no drought! Thank goodness! I’ll pass on a scratch to Miller and you pass one on to your pups from us here at Fernwood!

      • I may just pop by the nursery some day when I am up that way for a quick look around and hello. Perhaps we could plan for a real visit later in the year when things slow down. Glad to hear that business is good–but it must be exhausting!

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