With a 12th birthday in the near future, it hasn’t been surprising that Brit has some trouble getting up or climbing steps.  With the oldies, it can be hard to tell when a change is part of the incremental process or when it is one of the minor ups and downs cycles, since any physiological distress affects them more visibly.  In the past few weeks, Brit has begun to need help occasionally, and she has developed an appreciation for the sling from NCNC.  At first, she didn’t like it, but once she learned the benefits, it was clear when she wanted us to use it.  She would wait at the bottom of the 3 steps coming into the back of the house until we got the sling.  Then she would smile and go up the steps without hesitation or request.

With the oncoming of cool weather, the Newfs have been joyous.  So, it wasn’t a surprise when, after taking care of business, Brit would lie down outside and enjoy the sunrise on the cool grass.  Then, she began to take care of only the first half of business before lying down.  Next, she began to have trouble getting up the steps without help.  Still, at her age, she wasn’t doing badly.

About three weeks ago, my sister came for a visit.  I turned that annoying air filter off, while something internal cautioned me to remember to turn it back on.  That was about three weeks ago.  Yesterday, after having had a sinus headache the day before, I began looking for ways to reduce the causes.  I opened the windows to let fresh air into the house.  Upon opening the window, I noticed how much dust had accumulated on the piano in a short time.  The vacuum cleaner had begun spitting out bearings the previous weekend, and a part was on order.  Vacuums with good suction and effective HEPA filters help control dust.  I had also noticed that Parker’s eyes were getting messy.  Then I realized that the air filter was still off.

This morning, Parker’s eyes have only a little discharge.  My headache is gone.  And Brit got up by herself, bright-eyed, took care of all of her business, then continued to wander around the yard.  She even gaited some.  When she was ready to come in, and she went up the back steps without hesitation or need for assistance.

Just taking away a nuisance irritation or an allergen made her feel that much better.  Air filters with HEPA filters remove particles that bypass the filtering system of your respiratory system, which can be recognized at the surface of your lung tissues as foreign material.

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