I had some extremely sad news recently.
One of my ex-foster rescue dogs, Mickey, has passed away. He was a thirteen-year-old Yorkshire Terrier and I was lucky enough to follow his life from rescue to adoption because he went to live with a relative of a close friend. In fact, I agreed that whenever his mum and dad wanted to visit their son in the States, Mickey would come back to me for a holiday.
He was eight when I fostered him so he has become part of the family and the only dog welcomed completely into Holly and Alfie’s pack. He had a quiet, calming nature and fitted in so easily.
I was asked by the rescue to collect Mickey from the family who had surrendered him. Mickeys life had been turned upside down by a new baby who had turned into a mischievous toddler and Mickey just wanted a quiet life. The family could see that he had become an unhappy dog so they found a rescue who would do everything they could to find him a new home.
It was so hard to take Mickey away from the only family he had ever known. His mum was in floods of tears and I felt truly dreadful. The only consolation was that I could personally guarantee that we would find him the best home possible. His previous owner emailed me every Christmas just to let me know that she still missed him and to enquire that he was ok.
I knew that a pedigree Yorkshire Terrier would be snapped up, he had no health or behaviour problems which is a rare thing in dog rescue. He was also extremely cute, active but quiet and small enough to fit on someone’s lap.
My friend rang me to say she knew a couple who were extremely interested in adopting Mickey. They had just retired and lost their own dog so they could devote themselves to Mickey.
Devote themselves they did. Mickey was treated like a king with freshly roasted chicken every day, three walks and loads of toys. The match was perfect, Mickey had found an ideal home and his new mum and dad had filled the void in their lives with a well trained, highly affectionate handsome and mature dog.
I knew that Mickey had a tumour and didn’t have long left but he carried on for much longer than expected, in fact, he amazed us all.
I hope he has met up with his old friend Alfie and they are chasing squirrels together on Rainbow Bridge.
It is called Rainbow Bridge because of its many splendid colors.
Just this side of Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills,
and valleys with lush, green grass.
When beloved pets die, they go to this place.
There is always food and water and warm spring weather.
The old and frail animals are young again.
Those who are maimed are made whole again.
They play all day with each other.
There is only one thing missing.
They are not with their special person who loved
them on earth.
So each day they run and play.
Until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up!
The nose twitches.
The ears are up!
The eyes are staring.
And this one suddenly runs from the group.
You have been seen!
And when you and your special friend meet,
you take him in your arms and embrace.
Your face is kissed again and again and again,
and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together…
Never again to be separated.
This poem is written by an unknown author. What a great shame that words which have brought comfort to so many cannot be attributed to a particular person. It never fails to make me cry but I also smile through the tears because it gives me hope that I will meet my furry soulmates again.
Mickey was extremely lucky to find such a wonderful forever home but all too often the older dogs are overlooked by potential adopters who prefer a puppy or younger dog. Some people should consider an older dog because they are housetrained, less excitable and happy with a stroll in the park and a warm fire to sit next to.
Here is a post that I wrote last year about Mickey’s story but also to highlight that older rescue dogs are often overlooked