Freddie has lived with us for nearly two-and-a-half years now. He came to our home as a foster dog from the Washington Humane Society. At the time he was 12 years old and had been at the shelter several weeks without finding a home. It is hard to imagine why. He is, like most senior dogs, extremely gentle and sweet to the core. He also has a fluffy, elegant tail that cascades over his back and a cute underbite that gives him an adorably befuddled expression.
Soon after he arrived at our house, a parade of visitors came by to see him. They all left with promises of getting back "one way or the other," which in most cases were never fulfilled. We always disclosed upfront that Freddie had a minor heart condition, which will require him to be on medication daily for the rest of his life. But it is a very manageable and common condition and the meds cost just $15 a month.
We have long since given up the idea of adopting out Freddie and he's now a happy member of our large family. We couldn't imagine having him adjust to a new home again, particularly at his age.
But while Freddie has found a home, there are many, many senior dogs out there who are still waiting at shelters for that one lucky person to call their own. People often want to bring home puppies and younger dogs, one of the fears being that older dogs will have health problems or die too soon. But that's just silly. Dogs, in any case, do not live as long as we humans do, and most of us who have a pet will deal with their loss, usually sooner than we expect.
But can you imagine the joy of bringing home a loving senior dog, knowing that they brought out the best in you?
*Update: Freddie passed away in 2011 at the age of 18 and a half. He lives forever in our hearts. Sleep well, sweet Freddie.