Robbie, a young boy who suffered from abuse and neglect and spent years in the foster care system, can relate to how senior shelter dogs feel.
The longer a child is in the foster care system, the harder it is for them to get adopted. The same is true for senior shelter dogs. Most adopters want babies or puppies, but everyone deserves a loving family.
That is why when Robbie was adopted by Maria Henry Gay and her husband, the family decided that they would only adopt senior dogs. While they may not have years with the dogs, they shower them with love for the rest of their lives. One of the “old people”, what the family calls their adopted dogs, was Buffy.
Buffy was scheduled to have her teeth cleaned and a few pulled, but because of her age the vet ran bloodwork first. Sadly, the results showed the senior dog had advanced kidney failure. The family decided “that the kindest and most loving thing to do would be to let her go before she lost her will to live and stopped eating and drinking.”
Maria wanted to make sure that Robbie was part of the decision so she picked him up from school. When she told her boy the sad news he said that he wanted to be the one to hold Buffy as she went to heaven. Buffy passed peacefully in Robbie’s lap.
The family was heartbroken but knew it was the right decision. Maria was so proud of her son and said, “On the way home I told him how proud I was of him for understanding the importance of caring for old animals and helping to make sure they never ever suffer.”
He replied by saying, “I know how it feels not to be loved or cared for and I don’t want any animal of mine to ever feel that way. It’s only sad for us when they go to heaven. It’s a happy day for them. Thank you for being proud of me. Are you ok, Mom?”
Although the family is grieving for their beloved dog, Robbie reminded his parents that it doesn’t matter how long you have a dog but how much you love it. He knows how it feels to be unloved for so long and then to finally find a loving family. He told his mom, “well you’ve only known me for two years but you love me like it’s been forever.”
The family will continue to adopt senior dogs and show them the love they deserve. Adopt don’t shop!
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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