a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Age in Dog Years

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Age in Dog Years

It's a common myth that 7 years in a human life is equivalent to about 1 year in a dog's life. In fact, dogs are essentially teenagers at the age of 1, and their life expectancy—depending on the breed, of course—is about 13.2 years (according to The New Encyclopedia of the Dog, Bruce Fogle, 2000). According to this nifty age calculator, the dog's first year puts them at roughly the age of a 10.5-year-old human, and each additional year after that adds 4 years. So Jake, at 14 (last Nov 1), is in fact the equivalent of a 69-year-old human. Tika, at 5 (next month) is the equivalent of a hyperactive 33-year-old.

I started taking agility classes with Remington when I was 39. It's hard to believe that so many years have passed. 39 seems so young now. I'm about to turn 50, which is far more scary to me than turning 30 or 40 ever were (read: those weren't scary at all, and this is). That would make me 9.25 in dog years. Many people start retiring their dogs after age 7, which was also traditionally the age at which dogs could start entering the Veterans division.

I hope I'm still dashing around the agility course at a goodly speed when I hit 69. Meanwhile, I think I might skip an agility trial or two and celebrate my 50th by visiting Disneyland for its 50th. And they don't allow dogs.

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