Over a year ago I found an older dog, whom I named Oliver as in Twist-in the park- you can scroll to older posts to read about him. SOS- an amazing organization that rescues animals and works to either adopt and/or get the animals in foster homes vs cages (a no , never kill facility) and the vet who founded them-Dr. Shiner- gave Oliver a pro-bono surgery to neuter him and to remove the very painful, always bleeding abscess that was half in and half on top of his back.
Poor Ol- he was in a lot of pain for 4 months before the surgery (the hospital was under renovation). He would wake me up at 5am everyday because he needed to pee. If I didn't take him down within 2 minutes after his alarm sounded, he peed inside. He simply couldn't hold it. I woke up to urine on the floor almost every day for almost 4 months. I was pretty beside myself. But since the only other "option" was taking Oliver to the shelter where most likely he would be put down and I do not believe in killing for convenience-or any kind for that matter, I was determined to make it work and resigned myself to waking up at 4:45am each day so I could take him out. I tried to alter some patterns toos-for a while I stopped giving him water at night, but then he freaked out- and got hysterical, and Ruby was suffering as she was thirsty. I felt like a prison guard torturing them- no water after 11pm...so I stopped that. I praised Oliver when he held himself in and wondered if he was diabetic. I tried of bunch of other things too- and my patience was wearing thin. Urine alarm clocks for a very non-morning person was proving to be very, very unfun.
Eventually, the hospital was ready and Ol had his double surgery. He came out like a prince, an old prince. He was still pretty thin (I think he weighed in at about 18Kilo) but he was so loving and gentle and so grateful. He slept, again for days after the surgery. Ruby was so sweet with him. Every morning she would slowly wag her tail and walk over and lick and clean his face. She is so damn cute.
The surgery coupled with lack of the pain seemed to relax Oliver immensely. Also-being neutered helped- although he is an older dog, he was much less aggressive with his barking and pulling. I get it. Before he was hungry, stressed out, alone, scared and in major pain. Now- he had a warm home, tons of food, water, a little sister he liked to boss around, treats and bits of chicken. Not to mention, I am a hugger and excellent at scratchies.
A year has since passed. More even I think, maybe a year and a half. Oliver is now about 30Kilo. He has grown strong, his fur is thick and lush and is now very confident, coming over and demanding attention from every one around him. Shoving his face in a lap and staring oh so intensely with his full, knowing, dark brown, slightly bulging eyes, always accompanied with a happily wagging tail. I adore him. He is also a gentleman of the highest standard. He always waits for me to enter a room and will not walk in before me-EVER. If he could, I am sure he would hold the door open for me too.
But, I became a little tired and a little overwhelmed. Financially two dogs isn't easy. And having 2 vastly different dogs - 1 male, 30 kilo and older, 1 female, 15 kilo and a rambunctious, energetic puppy- is hard bc walking them together keeps me on guard and at a neither slow nor fast pace. Neither was getting the right amount of exercise they needed and every male Ruby wanted to flirt with, Oliver wanted to protect her from in true older brother form.
I decided it was time to try and maybe find a home for Oliver. Actually, I thought I had found him a home in one of my best pals, Adam. Adam is a Brit with a Ph.D in Eng Literature and Oliver is named after Oliver Twist- a Dickens novel. After Oliver was healthy, I suggested it to Adam. "No way" was the response. He wasn't ready- he wanted a puppy.
On my few weekend trips or super late nights at my then job, Adam cautiously entered the world of dogs and graciously offered to walk or have a slumber party with them and fell deeply in love with....Ruby...with a deep appreciation for Oliver. But as time went on and Oliver improved, becoming more active, more loving, more sweet and super chilled out....Adam fell in love with him too, although he tried to fight it. ...secretly, Adam had been going to shelters for over a month-thinking of adopting and not sure what to do. He watched a friend's puppy for the weekend and went out of his mind. Oliver is sophisticated, neat and educated, so is Adam. I knew deep down, they were a match made in doggy heaven. When I told Adam I was looking for a new home for Oliver- he immediately said- "No, I'll take him for a trial to see how it goes". I laughed because in recent weeks, on our walks home from the park, Oliver had been pulling me to Adam's house every day. Seems he knew where his new home was going to be anyway.
It always amazes me what support, tenderness and love- (and good) food can do for people, for animals, for the heart and soul. And Oliver (and Ruby!) kept me and my mind busy while I was healing. TLC goes both ways.
Adam and Oliver have now been together almost one month. They are madly in love. They go everywhere together-I feel like I found Oliver for Adam so they could have a proper English courtship.
This is Oliver now-ignoring Hudson a very rambunctious puppy and
another that Adam took- with Oliver looking like a dreamy Bob Dylan album cover.
Older dogs are amazing.