How did I miss this Times article from November?
Lab tests can tell how old a human is just from the pattern of methylation. Thanks to this research, the same can be done for dogs. The results will help researchers studying aging in dogs to translate findings to humans. None of this research was done on dogs kept in a laboratory. All of the dogs in the aging comparison study were pet Labrador retrievers and the owners gave permission for blood samples.
Scientists are unsure about whether the physical decline seen in aging in dogs and humans, in fact in all mammals, is related to the process of development in earlier life, or whether the decline is a different process altogether. The researchers found that the pattern of methylation suggested that the same genes may be involved in both processes.
Good methods of comparing dog and human ages are important. Dogs are increasingly seen as good models for human aging because they suffer from it in many of the same ways humans do. As the Dog Aging Project, which is collecting genetic and other information from a vast number of pet dogs, puts it on its website, the goal of the research is “Longer, healthier lives for all dogs … and their humans.”
I miss my aging dog. And the day this article was published, Parker was old indeed.
I thought to end the two-week run of Parker puppy photos with one of a game he invented. When he put the ball right between his paws like that, my job was to try grabbing it from him. He would try to pick it up. Since he had lots of teeth and I just had a hand, he would always win. Then, when he wanted me to toss it again, he'd roll it over to me with his nose.
18 April 2007
I miss him.
There's a quiet dignity to dogs...
18 August 2007
Back when Evanston allowed dogs on restaurant and bar patios, Parker and I visited Tommy Nevin's Pub a lot. Sometimes there wouldn't be room on the patio per se, so I'd sit just inside. He, of course, had to stay just outside. Like this, mostly (1 July 2007):
The Apollo Chorus has a concert tonight (register here; you can watch any time before Christmas), so I'm getting this out a little late.
One problem with having a puppy, like Parker here at 9 months: action shots get more difficult (10 March 2007).
See that turquoise blanket he's on? I've only just thrown it out. I'm not even going to describe its condition after 13 years of a dog sleeping on it. (18 February 2007)
While 2020 hasn't given us a lot to be thankful for overall, I am thankful that I got to spend 14 years and 2 months with Parker. He was simply the best dog on the planet, and he lived a long and happy life.
Parker at Bardwell Park, Evanston, Ill., 18 February 2007.
Getting my bête noir to pose for photos always challenged my patience and photography skills. This is his 3rd birthday portrait, 16 June 2009:
Parker often couldn't quite decide what parts of his body should hang off his bed when he wanted to stretch out, making this a fairly common scene (14 October 2008):
He seemed comfortable enough, though.
An outtake from Parker's 6th birthday photo shoot, 16 June 2012: