short version: if given the opportunity adopt a senior dog
long version: two years ago (almost to the day) dave & i were on a rare beach vacation when i got a text from our favorite rescue coordinator (the rescue is our favorite as is the coordinator to clear up that adjective disagreement). from a person that rarely asks for anything was a text that said “i need a favor.” she had an 11-year-old dog she had adopted out as a puppy being returned because his person died and didn’t have any big dog fosters available. let me interject to implore you, if you can swing it, foster…even if only in the summer or at holidays as that’s when animals are at their most vulnerable with foster shortages. now back to the story; we of course said yes, as long as he’s good with other dogs, we’d be happy to foster.
at this point fostering is a bit of a rarity and a mixed bag for us. most importantly, obviously the dog has to like other dogs as we won’t put our dogs at risk or make them uncomfortable. the biggest point though, is if a dog comes in and is comfortable & seems to enjoy life here then we really don’t want to move them. why put them through more being the main reason. we’ve had fosters come through that just weren’t a good fit, either for them or us, and they move on to a better family for them. So that’s the thought process we went into with raz (the dog in need); if he’s comfortable he stays and if not he moves to a better house for him.
let me cut to the chase and just say that raz is one of the dogs my heart has been looking for… like a little piece of my heart is returning home. i love, adore even, every single one of our dogs and yet only a few of them hit the exact place my heart needs…like our hearts speak the same language. it’s a rare, beautiful, peaceful and necessary relationship for me and i count myself incredibly fortunate that i’ve had a bigger than most handful of these in my life.
raz is what i call a goddamn delight. he’s gentle, distinguished, loving, loyal and demanding and has the eyebrows of the very best old school nightly news broadcaster. he’s my guy and i’m so very, very thankful he came into my life. i hate that he lost his person and i can only hope that i’ve been some balm for his heart and i believe he knows how much i adore him. i know i won’t have him in my life for long but i would choose him over and over again no matter his age - you never know when a piece of your heart is going to come along. we knew nothing about raz, no picture, nothing, other than his age and name and we just said yes because if we can that’s what dave & i do and holy shiitake mushrooms i am so consciously grateful at least several times a week that we did. we’re making the most of our time together and regardless of what happens in the future i’ll always have that piece of my heart back and he’ll always be a part of me.
so to wrap up, don’t look past a senior dog. don’t consider how little time you’ll have…imagine what you could be giving up by not saying yes.