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.
Due to this, the family decided not to adopt any dogs younger than Robbie when she was adopted by Maria Henry Gay and her husband. Despite having only a few years with the dogs, they shower them with love every day. The family refers to their adopted dogs as “old people”, including 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?”
The family is mourning the loss of their beloved dog, but Robbie reminded his parents that it does not matter how long you have a dog, but how much you love it. He knows what it feels like to spend so many years unloved and to then find a family who loves him. The family will continue to care for senior dogs and show them the love they deserve. “Well, you’ve only known me for two years, but you love me like you’ve known me forever.” Adopt don’t shop!