This article is an expansion of Fiona’s submission for our #WhatsYourReality campaign. We recommend reading her story before proceeding with the article.
1. Why did you choose to adopt Bebe despite knowing that she is a senior dog?
I heard about her adoption from a friend on Facebook.
At that point in my life, I was faced with the loss of another furkid. With all of the pets’ products and food laying around at home, I wanted to donate all of it to the shelters. I did not want to have another pet. So when my friend showed me the Facebook post, I wasn’t a bit interested.
But the story with Bebe was, she’s a senior dog that had been in multiple foster homes. I didn’t know what issue she had that made so many adopters returned her. When I went to meet her for the first time with my friend, I have an instant affection for her and I did not want her to live her senior life living in homes that might not even love her.
At that point, I told myself that adopting Bebe wouldn’t be that bad as well because I just have a few years with her. Thinking that it will be easy, but right now I’m regretting it.
Knowing that our time together is limited just makes me treasure and cherish our time together more.
2. Bring us through your training process with Bebe.
Everyone said that training a senior dog is tough because they already have a personality in them and it’s isn’t easy to bond with a senior dog. But Bebe was making things easy for us. Despite all of the pee accidents on our sofa for the first 3 months, subsequently, she is toilet trained and she knows what I want from her.
I didn’t bring Bebe for Obedience Training because I didn’t think that she needs to. For the first few months together, I only walked her at 6 am and 10 pm. During those hours, there isn’t much human traffic and dogs so it makes walks easier for us and for me to observe her under those situations.
Over time, I slowly introduced her to my friends’ and cousins’ dogs. I’m super thankful and lucky that she has no reaction to puppies and babies. She’s actually really well behaved and friendly, which confuses me all the time as to why she was moved from home to home. It took us 6 months for her to be comfortable with us and trust us.
3. You mentioned that Bebe had been diagnosed with a grade 5 heart murmur. Tell us more about the condition, and how it affects her daily life.
Having a grade 5 heart murmur didn’t really deter her from having a time of her life. Even though I try my best to control her excitement whenever she sees her friends in the park or getting overly excited whenever she sees food, having a grade 5 heart murmur didn’t change her life much.
She does tend to cough a lot after having sudden zoomies, and also sometimes I forget that she’s 11 years old, not 11 months. Other than that, she’s a really happy dog and she makes everyone around her head over heels
4. How has Bebe changed your life since adopting her?
Having Bebe pushes and motivates me every single day. She made me so disciplined because her walk and mealtimes are set from the start. So I have to shift my schedule around to fit hers.
Initially, it was really difficult for me as my job requires me to be on 24/7 standby. But I’m very lucky to have understanding colleagues to help me as well.
Plus, not forgetting that she’s always there for me at my highest and lowest and is a great wing woman. She made me learnt how to take care of someone and putting someone as a priority before me.
5. Any advice for new pet owners who might be interested in adopting a senior dog?
Please really do think twice before adopting a senior dog.
Her vet visits set me back a minimum of $300. A senior dog has a personality and character mould, so training and bonding with them take more effort than adopting a puppy or younger dog.
But of course, once you win the senior dog over, the accomplishment, love and affection you get is something that cannot be described and you will definitely feel that you have unlocked an achievement! I hope all of us adopt senior dogs because they really do deserve love and affection like any other dog too! 🙂
Editor’s note: Senior pets are as independent as they come, but do you know that your home can be made more comfortable for them? Roberto Lopez shares insightful tips on preparing your home for your senior pet.
Read our other articles on senior dogs here.
* This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pawjourr. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.