child dog turns 11 today! He’s kind of my whole world, and although I mention him often on this site I thought it was high time he got a post of his very own.
We adopted Ashton on April 13th, 2014 when he was a young nine years old. We’d been flip-flopping over our choice of whether or not to get a dog for months, but when I saw pictures of this little guy online I couldn’t say no.
We were in the middle of moving (again), so the timing was less than perfect, but I just knew we had to have him. He was living in foster care, so we went to visit him in March to see if it would be a good fit.
It was love at first sight, for me anyway. Ashton’s life was a little hectic back then. From what we know about his past, he lived alone with an elderly woman who passed away. The first time we met him he was every bit as sweet as he is today, but a lot more timid. He was living with two other dogs at the time, quite an adjustment for a pup who’s used to being the only dog in the house.
Our visit confirmed that we would be his new humans, but we had to wait to bring him home. First, we had a house visit from the pet adoption agency to make sure our apartment would be a safe home for Ashton. We also had plans to go on a trip to Atlantic City and didn’t want to adopt him and immediately leave him, so we waited until after that.
We were so excited when we woke up the morning we were to pick him up. We went straight there on our drive home from Atlantic City, and everything went very well. I think his foster family was really sad to see him go (how could they not be?) but knew he would be happier alone with us where we could spoil him and devote all of our attention to him.
He was very anxious on the car ride to DC and seemed to gravitate toward Tom, the more calming presence between the two of us. I was nervous that he would be super upset over the change, but once we got him home he actually settled right in and seemed pretty content right away. It was such a relief!
I worried a little bit that it would be more difficult than anticipated to add a dog to the mix, but this little guy has been an absolute pleasure since the day we brought him home. He seemed to have been trained very well and is a quiet pup who only barks if provoked. He was also already potty trained, which made things so much easier.
I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever adopt a puppy after this experience. I’ve done it before and while there’s nothing cuter than a puppy, not having to get up in the night with them or clean up messes for months was a pretty great perk to adopting a senior dog.
Not that he acts all that old. For a now 11-year-old, he is rather spry! He sleeps a lot, but likes to play a couple of times a day and it never ceases to amaze me how fast he is when chasing after his toys.
He’s a bundle of excitement every time we walk through the door, skittering and wiggling all around us wagging his tail ecstatically. When he’s really excited, he can do full 360 degree jumps in the air. It’s impressive, and something I have yet to catch on video sadly.
He loves to go on long walks and tag along with us when we work at the winery. He’s quick to make new friends and loves being held so he can be at eye level of everything that’s going on. He prefers people over fellow dogs, but he has become somewhat more social since we adopted him.
He’s kind of a mama’s boy, which I have to admit makes me ridiculously happy. When he paws at my leg so I’ll pick him up and hold him, my heart melts into a little puppy puddle.
He’s quite the traveler and has been to Oklahoma, Chicago, the Outer Banks and even as far as Brazil since entering our family.
Most of all, he just brings us so much joy. Even when I’m having a bad day, he can always cheer me up. I’m a somewhat anxious person, but it’s true what they say – dogs are excellent stress relievers.
We call him all manner of ridiculous nicknames (you don’t want to know) and have become full-fledged crazy dog people. I would have it no other way.
It was a hard decision adopting a senior dog, knowing that our time with him will be shorter than we’d prefer, but our lives have been so much happier and more fun since he came along. I will be devastated to lose him, but wouldn’t trade our years together for anything.
He’s a toy breed so we do expect him to have a nice, long life. He’s the healthy, happy young-at-heart little guy who makes my world go ’round and I’ll do anything I can to keep him with us as long as possible.
Happy Birthday little bear!
There are countless dogs and cats out there that need safe, loving forever homes. Consider adopting your next pet, and don’t forget about the seniors!