I am one dog old.

Lady Bird

Our sweet old beagle passed away today.

It seems like it was just yesterday that we took her in. Back then—in late 2006—she was just another foster. My wife and I decided that, rather than fostering lively animals and finding homes for them, we’d pick out the most pathetic dog we could find at the SPCA, as our very own Pygmalion tale. This elderly, frightened old girl was the clear winner, so we took her with us, determined to find her a forever home. There didn’t turn out to be much of a market for elderly, gassy beagles, and come March, we made things official.

Her life before 2006 was obviously pretty rough, and I’m proud that we could provide her with a great retirement home and a proper family. I hope all of her memories of her prior life were gradually replaced with a fuzzy impression of joy, safety, and freedom from want. She certainly provided us with many happy memories of our own.

I am one dog old.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

10 replies on “I am one dog old.”

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your dog. We adopted a cat in August and he’s older with FIV and had been at the SPCA for 15 months. He had a very rough life and needed major surgery but is such a sweetheart. In spite of all he’s been through he’s an absolute sweetheart who loves people. I’m not patting myself on the back, but I wish more people could take in the animals who aren’t perfect.

  2. Waldo, your family’s decision to adopt the least-desirable of the bunch was an amazing act of compassion. I wish more people (who have the ability & resources) would go into the SPCA thinking, “who here is in the most need?” rather than “which one strikes my fancy?”. My sympathy for the passing of your pet.

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, Waldo, and so moved by the good life that you gave old Lady Bird…I remember when you fostered her and then decided to keep her a few months later, thinking you’d be her retirement home. You gave her six years of comfort, safety, loyalty, adventure, kindness, and joy. I loved your story last year of taking a day off just to give Lady Bird her Best Day Ever. She sure turned out to be one lucky dog to have landed in your family.

    The Lady Bird-sized hole in your home may feel vast and empty for a while, but I hope it will be filled with warm and happy memories of her, and later, with another dog to for the three of you to love and be loved by in return. ‘Till then, you have my sympathy on your loss and appreciation for you sharing her with us.

  4. I took care of a lost, aging dog for about 36 hours last year while the original owner was located; she was mostly blind and totally deaf. she was super-friendly, never agitated, very mellow, and barked only once, when i accidentally stepped on her paw (a nice change of pace from the manic, hyperactive, overjoyed whirlwind of a puppy that my parents owned for 10 years.) against all reason, i was brainstorming dog names when the SPCA called to say they’d heard from the owner. if I ever adopt a dog, I’m definitely looking for an older one.

  5. Waldo, I am sorry for your loss. We recently finished up a period of “between dogs”; if you find space in your life, I hope you will adopt again.

  6. May she be greeted by a chorus of 100 trumpeting hounds upon her entry into dog heaven!

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