Sunday, May 19, 2013

Adopt an older dog!

I've talked a little bit before about my rescue critters, and about Louie in particular, the geriatric rescue from Bridgewater. But today I want to share his story, because, because, well, REASONS.

Louie was originally adopted out of SHAID, an animal shelter in Bridgewater, NS. I have no details about his life before this event, but apparently he lived happily with his owner for quite a few years, until the man died, and Louie ended up back at SHAID, because they're awesome like that, and will always take back one of their own in need.

Me, I was back to being a one-dog owner, having lost in fairly quick succession, 2 Rottweilers: Sheena the magnificent, who had lived with us for many years, and then Sophie, who was with us for only a month. I was trying very hard to stay a one-dog household, but cruising is not really the right way to go about that.

Cue seeing Louie on the SHAID website - a little, clearly old, dog (you could see the cloudy eyes in his photo), looking extremely anxious and sad. I tried for about a month to ignore him, but it wasn't working, and Fred was no help at all. He just kept saying we should drive to Bridgewater and see if Vinnie liked him. Well, I caved, we went, Vinnie liked him, and home with us he came.

I am used to adopting dogs, and I know that there is an adjustment period, but Louie was something else - that dog was heartbroken at the loss of his human, and totally confused by the change in his circumstances. Even though I knew he needed time, I found it hard to bond with him, because he gave so little back. Yeah, I was unfair. His habit of peeing in the house didn't endear him to me either - we tried everything we could think of: he went to the vet, we treated him like a puppy and did housetraining from the beginning; we took him out a zillion times - no success, really.

I never came closer to giving up on a critter than with Louie - I even went so far as to email the shelter about returning him. But we tried one more time with the vet, and as a last ditch measure, he went on Metacam, a NSAID, because the vet thought there might be some pelvic tenderness happening. And you knw what? Magic! He has maybe one accident in a month, and that I can live with. He's like a new dog, wagging his tail when he sees us, running like a maniac in the park - so much easier to love.

Long-winded way of saying, I'm glad I didn't give up on him. We've had him for almost 2 years now, and he clearly knows whose dog he is, and he's happy to be here.

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