Hello to all who share our love for the precious breed, Border Terriers.
After recently adopting a couple of senior rescues, it was suggested I write a little something about adopting seniors. so here goes;
Our first Border Terrier, Fritzi, was a senior (not a rescue) that we adopted at the age of 10. What a wonderful introduction to the world of BT's he was. The little guy had shifted homes four times before he came to us to live out his senior years. He was such a great little friend, face as cute as a teddy bear, playful, loving, well behaved, we couldn't have asked for better. Unfortunately, the day came all too soon (but then when isn't it
"too soon") when we had to face the agonizing reality of having him put to sleep due to health issues. I can safely say it was one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever had to do. It doesn't matter how much you know it's the kindest thing you can do for your faithful friend, it still hurts, as it still does as I write about it now. But even so, I know the joy and relaxation he brought into our lives far outweighs the pain of his passing.
After Fritzi's passing, it quickly became obvious we could not live without having a Border Terrier in our lives. Our home seemed lifeless and empty without him and missing him was all we could think about.
We started searching the internet and learned of a pair of senior Border rescues that needed a home. We were skittish of the thought of adopting seniors (again) thinking that could have us too close to having to make that dreadful decision again. At the same time though, I knew, since they were seniors, and learning that rescue required they stay together, it would be difficult to find a home for them. Most people want younger dogs (like we originally did), or may only want one dog, so these two older BTs had two strikes against them in finding a home. Knowing that, I felt sorry
for them. I kept checking the rescue page for about a week, hoping to see "adopted" under their picture. What I didn't know at that point, is that
they'd already been in a foster home for about six months, otherwise, I don't think I would have waited that long. So Kathy (my other half) and I
made the decision, we wanted to give them a "forever home" and contacted the foster "parents".
On the rescue page, it says sometimes the best home is not always a local one, which was the case in this situation. They were in Virginia, we
live in Upstate New York, about 10 hours driving time difference. My work schedule at the time wouldn't permit me to run down and pick them up, so one of the foster parents brought them to meet us in Pennsylvania, taking 7 hours of the trip so we could get them sooner. If Betsy and Cindy read this, I hope they know how much we appreciate all they did, the transporting and info, etc. - everything).
When we met up in PA, that was our first time "meeting" Mac & Zipper, and it was "love at first sight", such a cute pair (but then aren't they
all). They were so good, came right up to us as if they knew.....and after a while, when it came time for all of us to get on the road for home, they got right into their carriers for us, no problem.
The trip home went quickly and they seemed to sleep most of the way. We made it home about their dinnertime, but after the long road trip and being some place they didn't know, we waited to feed them, giving them time to get some bearings on their new surroundings. I work grave shift, but was off that night, so I got to spend their first night in their new home with them, sitting with them, petting them, giving them all the attention to help make them comfortable. The next day, I gave them a "new home treat" of a fresh bone each (the quickest way to a BTs heart - right?).
They seemed to take right to us, following us around like two little shadows. The first couple of nights I had to work after that, I came home to a
couple of "presents", but that was to be expected, new place, new people schedules, etc. By the third night of work, I came home to find out they
started howling and barking at my leaving. I got to hear it myself the next night when I forgot something and had to come back in. Zipper led the chorus with Mac doing "back up", or should that be "bark up".......and such has become the habit every night when I leave for work.
Mac & Zipper have been with us going on two months now and as I write this, during that time we've learned;
- they are both great walkers, they don't pull the leash or wander
- Mac quickly learned which door went to "their yard" where they go to take care of business, and he let's me know when he needs to go out. I believe Zipper knows too, but she usually just follows Mac's lead.
- they both are real good about getting a bath. Mac stays perfectly still, Zipper did the first time, but now she does a little bit of moving around (or away), but not much.
- Zipper is the main "inquisitive" one as it was put to us originally, in other words, she's more likely to get into stuff. Mac is more sedate and less likely, unless he follows Zipper's lead on this.
- Zipper is also the more independent of the two. Oh, she loves her loving, but she can also be content to lay across the room, as long as she can see us, whereas Mac, he more wants to be right there next to you.
- We've seen them playing together, sleep together, but what we've seen most is what a loving pair they are. Oh, the greeting I get when I come home from work in the morning, the two of the them dancing, prancing, etc., just so happy to see me - it's just a wonderful thing.
So, think we have any regrets about adopting a pair of seniors? Not a bit! There isn't a day goes by I am not thankful that we got them, in fact, I feel sorry for the people who passed the opportunity to take them before us because they were seniors or because there were two - but I am so thankful they did. So our time with them might not be as long as it would have been with a younger dog, but even with a younger dog, you never know........and whatever time we get with these two as they live out their senior years with us, it has already been wonderful to have them and we are just going to enjoy the time we do have with them.