Retirement

The Answer To Whether I’m Too Old To Get Another Dog

The Author Wasted No Time In Solving His Dilemma

A couple of months ago I wrote an article questioning whether getting a dog at this point in my life is a good idea. While my wife and I strongly missed the companionship and unconditional love we got from our pets, our age, health status, and lifestyle were definitely considerations. We were free to travel without having to find a sitter, we didn’t have to rush home after dinner and a show to the poor pup to let him out of his crate. And we didn’t have expensive vet bills!

I closed the article with the question of whether the dog we lost 6 months before that would be our last dog. That question — defining the problem — was the first step.

Here’s our answer to the question in the form of a photo of our new puppy, Beau, half border collie and half poodle. He’s currently about 16 weeks old and weighs 16 pounds, on his way to about 30 to 35 lbs. Yes, he’s adorable. But that can be said of many puppies. And yes, he’s a pain in the butt, demanding and always needing attention, again, like most puppies. But he’s so much more.

The decision became very clear to us after we got to experience life without a dog in the house. We just didn’t like coming home to no greeting. We desperately missed having a playmate when we’d go to the nearby beach where dogs are free to frolic in the surf and sand with no time or day restrictions. We missed the pitter-patter of little feet zooming around the house chasing a ball or one of us. Without a pet we didn’t feel complete.

We feel complete now. And exhausted a lot of time. Fortunately for us Beau sleeps through the night so we’re not up at all hours walking him. But his energy is that of a toddler and we can never let him out of our sight for more than a few minutes otherwise he’ll eat parts of the TV remote, the corner of a baseboard, or one of our sandals. We also get the delightful experience of cleaning up after a gastric reaction to one of his puppy shots — and of course he always seems to find the rug rather than the tile floor.

But our decision to adopt Beau was confirmed the other day when he got to have his first playdate with a friend’s dog, after he had all his vaccinations and was fully protected. The two pups romped around the house and yard endlessly, with the border collie part of Beau trying to herd the “happy to be chased” golden doodle. Then, with his curiosity piqued, Beau lost his balance watching some bubbles in our friend’s pool and fell in. Though startled, he managed to swim over to the side where I was able to yank him out. Soaking wet he looked like a 16 pound rat. But he was also happy getting dried off while I held him in my arms.

And that, my dear readers, was the moment I knew we had made the right decision.

We can’t wait for Beau to have his next attempt at swimming. This time it will be planned.

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