Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Super Trooper

As I mentioned before, we got Shifu through a wonderful organization called Peace of Mind Dog Rescue. They have a unique mission, they specialize in helping elderly owners find homes for their pets when they can no longer care for them as well as helping place senior dogs in homes as they are less likely to be adopted at the local shelter.

Now that we've adopted Shifu, we're on their mailing list so last week an email went out about a 15 year old St. Bernard mix named Trooper who had been living with his elderly person in a van for the last 2 years. The person was being placed in county housing and would not be able to take Trooper so POMDR was trying to find a foster home for him. Oh yeah, I should mention that Trooper is not only 15 but also blind and has arthritis. There probably weren't going to be people lining up for him.

I was taken in by his face right away, he had a Jasper look, and I mentioned him to T, who was willing to take him. But then I chickened out, we really aren't in a position to take on a new responsibility right now. I actually didn't give him another thought but apparently T did.

Fast forward to last night when another email came out about Trooper saying that no one had responded and he needed a home right away as his person was going into housing the next day. I didn't actually receive the email (sometimes the POMDR emails get rejected by my server) but T did get it (he is a volunteer photographer for POMDR) and he said something. I re-read the original Trooper email and burst into tears at the thought of this gentle dog having to be sent to the shelter when we could offer him a place to rest. But I was scared too. Let's face it, a 15 year old dog is going to break your heart sooner rather than later and my heart is barely holding together as it is. However sometimes you just KNOW what you have to do even if it doesn't make any sense.

We arrived at the drop off point earlier today and there was the owner waiting with Trooper. It was the hardest thing to have to watch this man say goodbye to the friend he had raised from a puppy. My heart broke for the obvious anguish he was going through and my tears flowed even more than his did. Hopefully it helped him to realize that his baby was getting a loving and caring home...and he didn't think I was some crybaby nutjob.

It's not going to be the easiest of transitions. Trooper is missing his person, wondering why everything familiar in his life has suddenly disappeared. He's blind in a brand new house and yard, that has to be slightly terrifying. But he's settling in and starting, slowly, to learn his way around our house and yard.

Shifu is not particularly happy about this turn of events, he was not a very gracious host at their first meeting, in fact, he was not very nice at all. Trooper, luckily, is the gentlest of souls and that has allowed Shifu an opportunity to calm down so that there is only a little growling from time to time now. Hopefully they will eventually become good friends.

The vet was surprised to hear that Trooper's age was 15 and said that by observing him and his energy level, he'd place him nearer to 10 so who knows how old he really is. He has bad arthritis in his front legs and needs to lose weight. He needs a teeth cleaning and a few other procedures. We'll get the results of his blood work back tomorrow and have a clearer picture of the next few weeks/months. We're just fostering him so all health decisions will be made by the rescue group.

We're thrilled that he's here and hope to give him a happy home for as long as we can. I certainly wasn't expecting this turn in my life and it is definitely not the least bit practical in our lives right now and yet, I know it's what we're supposed to be doing.

As I write this, both my fur-boys are sleeping soundly and peace reigns for the moment.

Yeah, I spoke too soon, had a little bit of an incident. Life isn't going to be boring.


  1. I am so happy for you and yours. He looks wonderful and you guys are just the right people for a blind dog. I am so proud to be part of your family.

  2. I cried as I read this. What a wonderful home you are providing for Trooper!

  3. Brian and I have two words: Dog Whisperer.


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