• kmpinkel

    Poor Chuck. It is bad enough that he has had to suffer the humiliations that you put him through, solely for the purpose of our benefit (Thank you, Chuck), but now doggie diapers. I hope he takes comfort in the stench you must endure, I am sure its ten time worse than his farts. But the diapers actually look ridiculously cute, not many dogs can pull off that look.

  • LLindeman

    I have lived with this with two dogs. We lined the inside of their dog beds with the plastic lined sheets you can get for kids.

    We had very good luck with Caneva elk antler powder helping the nerve issue. It improved the life of both dogs for months.

  • http://eisforerin.com Erin Human

    Poor Chuck. Oh the indignity of adult diapers! We used to feed our cocker spaniel high quality food, in our case Solid Gold was what was available at our local store (though we have tried and like Canidae too). However, at age 8 he developed chronic UTIs and we had to switch him to a prescription dog food to prevent UTI that I don’t think is as good. I wish some of the good kibble companies could make prescription food too, because I know their food is better quality.

  • Michelle

    Long time reader, first time poster. I have a doxie who often suffers from back issues (IVDD) and when he has a flare, he can’t find his back feet, like Chuck, and will fall over. What has helped in the past is acupuncture (electroacupuncture if you can find it). It may be worth a try. But those diapers are very adorable. Hugs to you and Chuck!

  • JerseyGirl59

    Poor boy. It sucks when our furbabies get old. We went through the same things with our Peaches when she was about 11. She started peeing while laying down sleeping. We placed a plastic sheet under her doggy bed and that made cleanup somewhat easier, but she was a long haired dog and her fur was a mess. But we persevered. Kept her fur on her back end trimmed close. Bathed her back end daily. Then her front paws got arthritic (so bad that she fell down the stairs), and then slowly, her back legs began giving out. We did the Rimadyl and the Glucosamine Chondroitin chews and they worked for about a year. We had to carry her up and down the stairs to take her out. It got to where we’d get her outside and she couldn’t even stand to go to the bathroom anymore. It was so hard but we knew it was time to let her go. Chuck is so lucky that he has you to care for him at this time of his life. And hey…it’s not like you’ve not cause him indignity before :-)

  • Karen Bernstein

    We had a dog with a spinal cord injury who lived happily dragging his hind quarters around for years. One time he managed to crawl out of the doggy door and dragged his butt down the street for a quarter mile, all in the wee hours so nobody knew he was gone until the neighbor brought him back. When he no longer had the strength to get out of his own bed we chose to put him down. I am sorry that Chuck has declined in this way but I’m so glad he has you for his person. And thanks for the coupons – we might check out this food on our next purchase!

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with some of the other comments I see below – acupuncture or chiropractic care might help. It’s certainly worth a try. My 3 year old dog was lame for a year and these things helped heal her.

  • Catherine

    Tangent coming. As someone who has read you for years, I ask: Why are there suddenly GIFs in every post? Are you trying to, ahem, draw a “younger audience”? Because this 27-year-old is particularly pissed that one of her favorite writers now reads like Buzzfeed. #teammaketheGIFsgoaway

  • Heather Armstrong


  • Melissa Golding

    I’m, so sorry, Heather. We lost our 14 y/o lab/great dane in January. He had nerve problems and arthritis but otherwise was super healthy. Acupuncture helps. We did cold laser therapy for the arthritis, which helped help move around better. Our sweet boy was doing the same thing around the house but we were at least able to make sure he wasn’t in pain. It is profoundly unfair that our dogs, who are such sweet, perfect souls, leave us long before we’re ready. Hang in there. You’re doing a great job and I’ll be thinking of you as you make this transition with Chuck.

  • Chai_bella

    You’re an incredible person. I work at a shelter and you have no idea how many people would’ve brought him in to be euthanized just because “he got too old” or was “too much work.” Thank you for being an incredible advocate for senior dogs and Chuck is SO lucky he has you! (Though I’m sure he’d moodily disagree and then write a sonnet about the horrors of his life.)

  • Rachel

    I have two large, elderly, incontinent dogs, one because of senility, and one because of that same nerve issue in his hind end. The senile dog is too confused for diapers, and the dog with the nerve issue is such a chewer that diapers aren’t safe. Both have to be in sight at all times because when they have to go, they have to go NOW, and I typically just make life easier by taking them outside every hour, on the dot, to prevent accidents. They nap and sleep through the night on dog-only towels in their crates for when they go in their sleep, and I do heaps of eyeball-melting laundry because of it. I’m looking for a hind-end harness that can be comfortably slept in, because not being able to feel his back legs means walking on smooth surfaces without help is nearly impossible.

    It’s been three years like this, and they are still happy as anything. I know that any day I could look in their eyes and see that they need help to die, or find that they won’t wake after a nap, but in the meantime I just make do, and give a lot of baths and appreciate the mixed blessing of having my boys around much longer than anyone would have predicted.

  • Catherine

    You responded! Okay, okay–GIF away. Let’s be honest, I’ll keep reading no matter how #teamparticularlypissed I get. #teamdooce4lyfe #evenwithawfulGIFs #teamchucksdiapersarecute

  • KristenfromMA

    I’m the mayor of gif town, and I approve. You’ve chosen well. Keep up the good work.

  • Carrie Kellogg Wiggins

    My mom has a much smaller dog, who is just a little asshole and insists on peeing and pooping in the house. She also uses a high quality dog food, which results in nice, firm, easy to pick up poop. As far as the pee is concerned, she made some belly bands and uses maxi pads for absorbing the pee. I’m not sure if this is possible, due to Chuck’s size, but it may reduce the awful laundry. As an aside – I clothed diapered both my kiddos and dog pee is SO MUCH WORSE than baby pee.

  • Michele Behnke-Nead

    I honestly read “Canidae” at first as “Candida” and wondered why you were writing about yeast infections and your dogs… Thank you for being such a fantastic dog owner. You have no idea how many dogs get surrendered because people don’t want to deal with old age in their pets.

  • Heather Armstrong

    I thought it indicated my getting older because I think these gifs are hysterical (like I love a good fart joke). I feel like a little old granny sitting at the computer giggling like a maniac. #TeamWillShowMoreRestraintGoingForward

  • Cynthia

    I wanted to snag the discount for my furchild, Sweet Potato. I can only type in Sweet Pot on the Canidae website. I feel like I am ordering coupons for a porn star.

    BTW, I had to use belly bands on my dog before he passed. Pads really do help with absorption.

  • Ken P.

    I lost my Sheltie to lymphoma when she was 14+ but lead an overall healthy life. Cherish every moment with Chuck (and Coco). Rock on, Chuck!

  • Catherine

    Well now I feel like an old fart for disapproving. A 27-year-old fart. (Ew.) Just think your writing is strong enough/funny enough/witty enough without Buzzfeeding it up in here, and was genuinely wondering (alas, in what now clearly seems a trolly-commenting way) whether there were going to be GIFs all the time. But if I could, now I’d put the “haters gonna hate” GIF right here. And maybe link to Shake it Off for added emphasis.

  • TinaBelchersawkwardmoan

    Chuck is so very lucky to have you guys, and he knows it.

  • Gerry

    We just went through this with our 15-y.o. black dog. He wasn’t pooping/peeing in the house, but he had been on pain meds for several years, and the cartilage was just gone from his back hips. There simply wasn’t anything else to be done, and his enjoyment of life had really diminished. With much anguish and tears/snot, we put him down just last week before anything worse could happen.

  • Becky

    My doxie has IVDD too, with two spinal surgeries to prove it :) For his flare ups we do a round of steroids (Prednisone) and a muscle relaxant – in a week or so he’s back to feeling awesome. During that week though, the peeing actually gets worse, because of the steroids, but the short term mess is worth the long term feeling better.

  • LFDianne

    We lost our 16 year old dog last summer. We’d had him for 14 years. He just got old, arthritis, almost blind, also had the nerve thing and was in pain, and the vet thought he had cancer, but at that age, we wouldn’t have treated him for it. We kept him comfortable until our son came home from college, so he could say goodbye to “his” dog. It was heartbreaking, but he’d lived a good, long happy life.

  • https://andthenyourmomsaid.wordpress.com/ Kim Calland

    Oh my goodness, when I read “This is really hard to write..” I LITERALLY had instant tears! I’m so happy that it is just old age. There are so many worse things that could happen to an ASPCA Mutt than to reach old age and have to wear diapers!

  • Becky

    hugs and
    lol at Chuck’s diaper ;)

  • Larissa

    I did the same thing Kim, automatically teared up. Phew. Happy to hear Chuck will continue to grace you with his stench for quite a while longer Heather.

  • REK981

    My Zeus is 11 now. We are headed towards pee pee diapers with him. He is still a delightful little guy. Thank you for sharing Chuck with us all these years.

  • http://www.thejoyblog.net Lana @ The Joy Blog

    I teared up. I’ve been silently following your site for years. And fell in love with Chuck balancing some inane object on his head 6 years ago. I think it was the same day that I read the sentence, “Coco is a bigot.”

  • Leslie Ristaneo

    I have two dogs going through this exact same thing. My 15 year old Beagle has it the worst. She can be standing totally fine, then the back end just starts leaning to one side, and she has no idea. Sometimes she falls, sometimes she catches herself, but she’s not in any pain. It kills me every time. Both dogs are on Rimadyl, it does seem to help them a bit, but it still goes on. Like you, I made a promise to these two rascals, that I fully intend to keep. I’ll keep you and Chuck in my thoughts.

  • Sarah

    My 14 yr old has had this same issue for about 4 years. My vet prescribed Proin for the incontinence (which is due to the nerve issue) and it completely took care of the peeing-while-sleeping issue. I’m not sure if this would help Chuck, mine did not also have the problem with pooping. I also switched to making his dog food myself about 2 years ago and his bloodwork has steadily improved and is now straight down the middle normal.

  • Kate

    I too use this brand of food for my cat and it’s had a significant positive impact on her health. I got her at a shelter two years ago, where they were feeding her absolute garbage, and she was really sick until I switched to this brand after going to my fancy-pants boutique pet store and asking them what to buy. It’s a little expensive but it’s worth every penny, and I’m glad to hear that the company is a good one with good values. Thanks for writing this.

  • Beth Rich

    I’m tearing up because my Oreo is 13.

  • jillyj

    Tears here, too. So sorry to hear this as my sweet Myra-girl (at age 14 and a half) is going through the exact same back-end weakness. I made her the same promise you made to Chuck…care for the rest of her life, the best care. Love to you all.

  • Heather Armstrong

    Insert the heart emoji here. Love to you, too.

  • Chloe

    Dammit, who’s cutting onions in here?? I lost my elderly Pembroke Welsh Corgi a few years back to the canine version of MS, so you have all of my sympathy! I am so glad Chuck is doing well otherwise – you are obviously the right person for your dog :)

  • Heather Armstrong

    Thanks for sharing this. They told me story after story exactly like yours, and they showed me some of the ingredients larger pet food companies are trying to pass off as “food.” Some of it resembled charcoal. They are a small company who are *really* passionate about animals and providing the highest possible quality for them when it comes to food. For me the extra cost is so worth it. I love this company.

  • Heather Armstrong

    “It kills me every time.” Yes, this exactly. I’ll keep your dogs in my thoughts as well.

  • Heather Armstrong

    I remember that post! We were actually at the vet and she went insane and started barking at a little person. Everyone in that lobby wanted to die.

  • Heather Armstrong

    The diaper pins add a special touch, I think.

  • Heather Armstrong

    Thank you. My kids are both out of that stage and now one of my dogs is entering it. So much perspective comes from taking care of a pet.

  • Heather Armstrong

    Looking into those now. Also, Sweet Pot is going to love the food.

  • susanfishy

    Chai bella — An honest question for you. We put our 17 year old cat down a few years ago when our vet said she was suffering with inoperable cancer. Our choice was to give her a good death after giving her a good life. It’s awful to see people put down pets for their own convenience but I’m curious what you think about allowing a pet a good death instead of suffering. Not that that is what I’m seeing in Chuck’s situation at all, but I am curious to know.

  • Jeanie

    It’s pure hell when your dog gets old. I was surely sad to see this happen to Chuck. I can’t tell you how much I admire you for your attitude.

  • ali

    Owner of a 16.5 year old Lhasa who also has the labwork and mood of a puppy. She went through the incontinence and weakness about a year ago. So sad…her legs would splay in a way that just didn’t look right.
    A course of glucosamine, reducing her up/down stairs frequency, and keeping her warm really helped.
    I know the struggle of an older dog…she is deaf now and I panick every time she doesn’t wake fast enough for me!

  • amy

    DAMN. That video made me tear up! And then I chuckled (sorry) Chuck in diapers. Yeah, huge pain in the ass for you but what is the alternative? I would do it for mine if necessary. Thanks for spreading the message that age and incontinence go hand in hand and it IS doable and only right. Head scratch for Chuck, pat on the back for you.

  • MallyMon

    Poor Chuck, and poor you. But thank you for not abandoning him. I wanted to try some cat Canidae but apparently we won’t be having it in the UK until August this year(!) and you’ve had it for years and years over there . . . I think my cat (who throws up more than your average kit but has been assessed by her vet and is healthy in spite of it) would benefit from it and I’ll be trying it as soon as it arrives.

  • davanita

    this’ll teach me never to read another chuck post of yours at work. now my makeup is ruined! #cryingatwork

    all my thoughts to your dogs! will hug mine extra hard when I get home tonight

  • Megan Foley

    Rachel, try a Help Em Up Harness. Sounds ridiculous but works great.mused it on my lab after each of his 2 knee surgeries.

  • RzDrms

    For me, moveable gifs = how you feel about links opening a new window. (!!!) Or interstitial ads! #DownWithMoveableStuff #JustFeedMeWords!