Concept of age
I have three senior dogs at the moment; although I do not consider them to be seniors. Jessie is the oldest at 12, Tilley 11 and Luke who I think of as the baby will be 8 on Saturday. 8, how the heck did he get to be 8 already? It seems like just the other day I brought home the bundle of golden curls. But now at 8 years of age he has matured nicely; it took him a full 8 years to hit maturity; a first ever for me. My poodles in the past all hit a marked maturity at the age of 3 years old.
The only thing that causes me to stop and think about the age of my dogs is the cloudiness of their eyes. Tilley has the most clouding and if she is standing in the light a certain way you cannot miss it. And although Jessie is older; she is physically younger as a much smaller dog; but the clouding is there for her as well. Other than Tilley taking a bit longer to get to her feet you would never guess her age; she is in amazing shape.
So when someone talks about there 7 or 9 year old dog in "really old" dog terms I don't get it. What I am getting now is that some people consider a number first, dog second. The health and shape of the dog makes a huge difference in judging age. I've seen 3 year old fat and soft dogs who lumber along struggling to breath that I would have sworn were oldies only to find out that they are young dogs.
The size of a dog makes a huge difference when discussing age; big dog age more quickly in general. Although I have met people with small rat terrier sized guys who called their 7 year old dog their old girl. And this particular dog looked like she was 17. Dogs are just like we are; if they are kept active, stay fit and eat a good diet; time will be kind to them. If they live a sedentary llifestyle and consume a poor diet; time will be harsh on their body.
And truly age is only a number; up to now Luke has been my baby and he will remain my baby until a new puppy joins our family. At 8 years of age he is happy to be the baby and plays his part well. And as far as I'm concerned I have a great pack of mature dogs; the term senior never crosses my mind.