I often see a dog (or any other animal, for that matter) when they can no longer do something that they previously did.
I like to ask the people what their goals are for care. Often, the answer is, "I want my pet to be happy."
Frankly, I love that goal.
It would be amazing if I could help a 15 year old dog be 4 again. But, sadly, that isn't realistic.
What I like to focus on is restoring as much function and activity as possible.
Let's keep your dog doing as much of what he normally does as possible, with as little discomfort as possible.
That seems like a pretty good goal to me.
In human health care we talk about Activities of Daily Living (ADL's).
For a person that might mean discussing how a current episode of low back pain prevents them from doing the laundry, sleeping comfortably, or attending their kids' sporting events.
In a dog, ADL limitations might be not being able to go upstairs with the family at bed time, not being able to go for a walk, or not participating in its beloved sport.
In as much as possible, we are trying to resume the ADL's of your pet.
I think that that is what it might mean to "keep my pet happy."
Depending on where the dog is in life and it general fitness, this care often involves some combination of therapies.
Of course, my area includes Chiropractic, Laser and Rehabilitation. But often those efforts are coordinated with Acupuncture, medication and ongoing veterinary care.
Honestly, I want your dog to be happy too!
It is a treat for me to be greeted (frequently) by a dog who is boundlessly joyful to see me.
I think that's what we are all shooting for.