One major lesson of riding my bike across the country was that I want to take care of a dog and for a dog to take care of me. I wanted a pup-friend to adventure with, hike and run with, and give me friendly company when exploring alone. When I returned to New York, I talked about it with my roommate (skeptical but interested) and my landlord (indifferent), and applied to foster a dog. We decided we wanted to take care of an older dog. This dog would be my first pet as an adult, and the first dog I’d ever had. We wanted it to be simple, easy.
We met Lady Bird, who had recently been found running through traffic on a major highway. She was terrified and skeptical. Her tail didn’t come out from between her legs for days. If I made direct eye contact, her ears flattened and she lowered her head with hostility. She growled and nipped when we tried to pet her. So we did what we could to ignore her, while still taking care of her: her leash stayed on because I was afraid to take it off and put it back on, we made her sit for the food bowl but were too afraid to give her treats directly. Despite our fears, Lady Bird recognized that we cared about her and she warmed up to us after a few days. She started wagging her tail when we walked in the house and following us around. When we sit down, she’ll come up to us and nuzzle against our knee. She’s perfectly house trained, stays off furniture, and has never so much as touched anything that isn’t hers.
It’s been a few months and now our cranky old lady acts like a completely different dog than when we first met. She’s constantly wagging her tail and smiling. While she wouldn’t let strangers touch her before, now she walks up to new people and is curious. She has a bone to pick with smaller dogs, but when similar-sized pups come along she is very polite. We’ve been taking her to the dog park a few times a week and trying to socialize her with her own kind, which has been both scary and exciting for her.
She’s an older lady and enjoys the relaxation life. She’s mellow, sleeps all day and all night, and doesn’t require a lot of attention or high-energy exercise. She likes to get out frequently, but can only run for a few minutes at a time. Basically, she’s the chillest, most low-maintenance dog you could ask for!
I’m posting this because Lady Bird is a great, chill, senior dog. I wish I could keep her, but we all know my adventures are too erratic to keep a pup-friend long term for now. Please share her story! If you, or someone you know, is interested in adopting Lady Bird, you can find more info here, or contact me!