This morning I sat down at my computer, full stein of coffee in my hands (because that’s what Germans do), and I thought about what I should write for my blog post. It’s been a few days since I’ve updated my blog and, to be honest, I’ve kind of lacked motivation. Not for lack of trying or inspiration either. I’ve gone into the city multiple times in the past week to meet up with friends, I’ve taken in the sunshine on days when the rain clouds finally held their distance, and I’ve managed to somewhat balance work/life in a way that I haven’t been able to in years.
But still I couldn’t think of what I wanted to write.
I then thought about the past few weeks and a source of much joy in this apartment: Buster the senior boxer mix Bryan and I recently co-adopted. We never expected to take in an older dog when we agreed to foster him. If I’m being completely honest, I was reluctant. I selfishly wanted to maximize my time with a canine as much as possible, having experienced so much heartbreak when my four-legged friends left our foster care or when they left this world completely.
I have learned so much in the short span of time that Buster and I have gotten to know each other. This past weekend we took him for a car ride. It’s been said that the sensation a dog feels when sticking its head out the window is the closest they can get to heaven while still on earth. I don’t know about all that, but I watched closely as Buster breathed in with eyes closed, a look of gratitude on his face. I wish I could have snapped a photo in that instant; it was such a beautiful reminder of something I myself have tried to do, often in vain: to live deeply in the moment. It was effortless for him.
I have also learned that Buster is a spry eight-year-old who will chase down squirrels with the best of them and excitedly grab his leash when we ask him if he wants to go outside. He is quite the charmer when he does his happy dance and butt wiggle. Buster is also an incredibly messy eater and inexplicably leaves a river whenever he laps up his water from the bowl. But I don’t mind–regardless of how often I have to mop up the floor each day. I am thankful that he is completely potty trained and that he will politely let me know when he needs to go outside.
Sometimes I poke my head into the room where he’s sleeping to check in on him and all I hear is a “thump, thump, thump,” the sound of his tail excitedly hitting the couch, or the floor. It’s the best feeling in the world.
This week I saw a meme on the internet that said “being a senior dog just means I have years of experience in the fine art of friendship.”
Senior dogs are often the first to get euthanized at the shelter because of overpopulation. Once we had the chance to get to know this little guy, it was never even a question–Buster had a home with us. And we will love him as long as fate will allow.
If you have the chance, visit your local animal shelter and get to know some of the older dogs. They need your help!