It was Pasta's birthday a couple of days ago. She's 13 years old now, which is getting up there for a golden retriever. Fortunately, she's alert and active, which meant she was fully able to enjoy the custom "birthday cake" we prepared for her (dog food, bonito flakes and tuna).
In fact, Pasta was so aware of the fact that she was about to receive something truly yummy that she became somewhat impatient while we sang "Happy Birthday" to her (accompanied by my niece on the piano), so much so that she barked a couple of times (something she rarely does).
Once she worked her way through the cake (requiring all of 7.5 seconds, including licking the bowl clean), she got a few extra treats, as well as some nice presents.
One of the main presents was a new raincoat, since it's still rainy season here. The raincoat has a little cap, and slots for her ears to fit in, which makes her even more cute than she normally is.
As it turned out, it poured rain the next day, so she was able to put this particular present to good use immediately.
As an aside, her left eye is much better now...nearly back to normal. Most of the time, you can't tell that she had a problem with it. I'm really happy that we didn't follow the first doctor's recommendation and take her in for MRIs and invasive surgery.
Time and expense aside, the physical trauma and stress would have been significant...not something to take lightly at any age, but particularly not for a dog Pasta's age.
After thinking it through, we decided not to take the risk of putting her through such an ordeal, and elected instead to put her on medication to address low thyroxine levels in her blood.
As it turned out, treating her to bring up her hormone levels has worked like a charm, so at 13 years of age, Pasta is as fit and happy as ever.