I know what you mean, Kay who is my Akita is going to be 14 this year. She has been slowing down, but she has been a wonderful dog throughtout the years. They become like your kidsDon't you know it. It's like they're waiting for you to do a trick to entertain them. Our German Shepherd has adopted hubs' ducklings. Right now, they're in a pen thing in the bathroom and Nudge sleeps right next to them and they're constantly reaching over the edge of the pen to touch her with their bills. I need to take pictures because I think this will be Nudge's last summer, she's 12 and that's pretty old for a Shepherd and I know her joints are hurting her.