Orly Is 1!

Golden retriever Orly plays with a huge, soft, blue and orange ballOrly celebrated a significant birthday over the weekend: She is 1 year old! All grown up … I wish.

The day started off in typical adolescent-golden fashion: She wanted to go see her friend next door, so she decided to dig a tunnel under the fence. Hmmm. That resulted in an impromptu rinse-off by a very annoyed human.

Puppy Orly licks ice cream from a pink bowl; and gets some on her noseAll that happened before breakfast, so there was still a lot of time for more suitable birthday activities. It rained all weekend, so our traditional birthday trip to Big Dipper was put on hold; instead she had friends over and got lots of presents and a small amount of ice cream at home.

She played with her new toys, ate far too many treats, and had a great day. That was Saturday, her actual birthday.

The fun continued on Sunday, when I took the girls, along with their friend Maisy and favorite aunt (Maisy’s mom) to Packer Meadow.

It wasn’t raining there … it was snowing! What a special treat.

When the rain stops, we’ll head down to Big Dipper to cap off Orly’s birthday marathon.

Golden retriever Orly tunnels under snow with her nose

Cali is 7!

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Cali turned 7 a few days ago!

Naturally, we celebrated at her favorite place in the world, conveniently located a short walk from home: Big Dipper ice cream. I know, it’s December. Cali does not feel the cold. Or have much sympathy for anyone who does.

We got our order (to go) and she collected and devoured her puppy cone.

The real treat was the cup of vanilla ice cream she got to eat at home. A few photos, above, show her delight.

Coincidentally, this week I heard about a new way researchers are calculating a dog’s human age equivalent. The common formula of a dog aging seven (human) years for each calendar year is too simplistic.

This new method looks at changes in our DNA over our lifetimes and compares dogs’ DNA changes to map a roughly equivalent human age onto the dog. There’s a calculator at the link above. The study used Labrador retrievers, but claims that the mapping is similar for all dogs. I am curious about whether they will repeat the research on smaller-breed dogs, because those dogs tend to have a longer lifespan so it seems like the mapping might turn out a little different.

In any case, Cali, a golden, is similar to a Lab in size and typical lifespan, so I checked out her age.

I was not happy with the results. Under the old mapping, she’d be roughly at the same life stage as a 49-year-old human; under the new mapping she’s 62!

The aging seems to slow way down after the first year, though. A 1-year-old Lab is roughly equivalent to a 31-year-old human, while a 13-year-old dog maps to only age 72.

Whether she’s 49 or 62 or 7, Cali is still a puppy at heart, silly and playful. And I hope she stays that way for many more years!