EASE YOUR dog into the golden years with a senior dog skills class. Such a class, typically for dogs 7 years and older, is designed to increase cognitive function while being easy on the body. Activities often include passive range of motion, massage, puzzle games, body awareness and tricks. If you can't find a class like this in your area, talk to your veterinarian or dog trainer about setting one up.

*  Most companies offer employees compassionate leave for the death of a family member, but only a rare few extend the benefit to bereaved pet owners. One is San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which not only welcomes pets at its hotels, but also provides employees with pet health insurance and bereavement leave. Other companies with compassionate pet policies include Mars Inc., which offers one or more days off, flexible hours or the ability to work at home immediately after a pet's death; Maxwell Health and Replacements Ltd., which gives employees time off to take pets for medical treatment; and VMware, a software company with a dog-friendly campus.