Our Golden Retriever, "Louie", is growing old, and is slowing down.
An abandoned and abused dog, he was our sweet rescue(from Golden Retriever Rescue Association (Atlanta))whom we adopted in 1998(his age was estimated to be between 10 months and eighteen months when we brought him home), he's now between 13 and 14 years old.
Originally, he was company for ol' Frisco(our beloved Australian Shepherd, who passed away in January of 2008), and tremendous company for me, when we moved to the hinterlands of Suwanee, where we used to live. In those days, my then-boyfriend-not-yet-husband, Hansoo, traveled a great deal, and I was very often, very lonely. "Louie" made the days and nights,kinder:
I had two sweet furry creatures to care for, and often,it was also like having two comics on hand for my own private enjoyment!
Hansoo, too, softened, by virtue of having "Louie" in our household. When Hansoo was a kid, his family dog was a Golden,and so having "Louie" reminded him of his pleasant memories of childhood.
Hansoo's sense of play, of gentleness, improved, just as "Louie's" behavior(he was quite the escape-artist when he first came to live with us!)improved.
Currently, "Louie" is a friend/mentor to our sweet(also a prior-abandoned, and obviously neglected) "Afton", a female German Shepherd we just adopted from Big Canoe Animal Rescue, last(2009)summer.
And he can still make both Hansoo and I smile, too.
I hope he can continue, as I tell him every day "to hang in there, Louie...".
"Louie's" big goofy grin and loping gait are what greet us each morning.
Life won't be the same, when--heaven forbid it is anytime soon-- he is no longer here on earth.
For now, we're enjoying long walks with him, and extra treats and toys are happening with increasing frequency.
I know he's considered a "rescue dog", but come to think of it, I think HE rescued US. :)
For info on Golden Retriever Rescue Association, and the great folks who are saviors for these wonderful dogs(they also rescue Labs,too!),and also Big Canoe Animal Rescue, and the varied needy dogs(and cats!) they rescue, see auto-links to these organizations, in the list of links, to the right of this column.