As of writing the post, Frank has finally overtaken Connie and I in terms of dogyears versus humanyears. You might think that it is “seven times his actual age” but that is a rule of thumb for all dogs, and it actually varies per breed. Frank is, as of writing this, three years and nine months old, having his birthday on the 3rd June 2012 (just so you can pop it in your diary, and I hear he likes aged single Malts from the Islay region – I know, there is no accounting for taste these days). We picked him up on the 27th July, eight weeks since he was born, and we first met him on his two-week birthday, just after he had opened his eyes. From that first night home until… well, quite recently, he was a handful. If he didn’t get walked very regularly and for a long time, he’d start acting out, losing his ability to act calmly under almost any stimulus.
There has been a marked change in his temperament in the past few months. We were told when we got Frank that Labs are “puppies until they are three” which was always laughed off with a smile, but it was actually very true. Frank was a puppy for a very long time, acting silly and idiotic all the way up to Christmas, and still has these wee flashes of his stupid youth. It has been noticeable that since the turn of the year, and as he approached his “thirties”, he was a changed dog. He will chill and relax and enjoy the company of the pack without making too much fuss. I mean, he doesn’t listen very well, he tries it on with Joni all the time (weirdly when she has cheese in her hands, for some reason) and he will occasionally have a wee “freak out” as we call it, when he harks back to the now bygone days of his unquenchable thirst for activity.
That isn’t to say he is totally “old” now though. We notice he is less mad when he goes off the lead, but he still spends almost all of the time running about jumping and sniffing out any level of water to roll around in. That won’t change, not for a long time, as it’s innate in his personality. But he now will happily relax at your feet whilst we all have a dance party. He will go for a nap in the mornings when Joni does. He won’t bark insessantly at me when I come from work before I feed him. He walks perfectly fine on the lead and off it.
It is sad to see him lose what made him such a handful, but in the place of that we’ve managed to craft a well-tempered member of our family that Joni appears to absolutely adore and love trying to cuddle and chase around the room, and soon will be taking for walks. It has paid off, having those years of a maniac dog, for this now quiet period, and I hope that he has a long and happy middle age.
Tough luck, old man, you’re older than us now.
I have been asked by @TheOGB on Twitter to add how I calculated Frank's age. It depends on the dog, but for a Labrador he ages non linearly. In his first humanyear he ages 15 dogyears and then second year is it 7 with each additional year being 5 dogyears. This makes Frank's calculation for his age of 3 years 9 months 15+7+5+(5 x (9/12)) = 30.75 humanyears.