November is Adopt a Senior Pet month but choosing to adopt a senior pet may not be an easy decision. You may not know their behavioral past, they may have health ailments, and life expectancy is shorter than a younger pet’s. Despite all these concerns, adopting our senior Pug, The Bumblesnot, was one of the best things we ever did. He taught me firsthand that neither age nor handicap can diminish a dog’s capacity to love.
In January 2011, our family lost our beloved 12-year old Lab. We mourned her loss greatly but eventually our hearts and home needed to be healed and filled. We wanted to give a needy dog a loving home so I started searching the websites of local shelters.
I must admit that when I first saw Bumble’s photo online, I was unsure. He was 8 years old and did not appear very healthy. I continued looking at hundreds of photos every day for the next week. But something brought me back to Bumble. So, it was decided the entire family would go to the shelter and check him out. As Bumble entered the shelter’s “visiting area”, he immediately ran and curled up in my lap. It was love at first sight for both of us. There was no doubt we would be adopting him.
Apparently, Bumble was dropped off at the shelter after his previous owner passed away. He was not the healthiest boy when we got him – nearly 10 pounds overweight (tipping the scales at 25 pounds), ear mites, two eye infections, rotten teeth and nails so long they curled up into his paw pads! On top of all that, he was not house trained.
The first order of business was attending to Bumble’s medical ailments and implementing a strict diet. Within a month, he dropped to a healthy 15 pounds. Around this time we noticed the poor guy slightly dragging one of his rear legs. A vet’s examination indicated this was result of nerve damage caused by either previous abuse or years of jumping from the couch/bed or other high places. We will never know for sure.
The vet discussed possible options including surgery. But Bumble had been through enough. We weren’t going to put him through surgery too. The next option? A dog wheelchair. Yes, we bought Bumble a dog wheelchair. He took to his cart right away and never looked back!
These days his rear legs offer no support for standing or walking but his front legs are very strong from years of compensating. Even though the cart is a huge help we carry him outside to go to the bathroom and express his bladder for him. Eating from a bowl has become difficult so he is also hand fed.
But we are not complaining! Bumble is a very loving and affectionate guy. His favorite hobby is cuddling on the couch. He barks when you leave the room and barks if you don’t greet him upon return. He begrudgingly tolerates his three canine siblings (also rescues). We love our handicapped senior dog!
How could Brumble’s gruffy grumpy persona NOT advocate for pet adoption?!?
So, the Bumblesnot started his own Facebook page and Instagram account promoting awareness on the importance of rescuing shelter pets – particularly seniors and special needs animals. Adopt! Don’t Shop!
There’s Bumblesnot merchandise for sale in his Zazzle store. All proceeds are donated to Pug and pet rescue organizations. Bumble even inspired our 10-year old daughter to create and sell clay animal figurines called “Puggables.” We match and donate sales of Puggable sales to rescue organizations.
We don’t know how long our little black snotball will be with us, but The Bumblesnot has already enriched our lives with hilarity, happiness and joy. Despite all his ailments, we could not love him any more than we already do.
As Bumble would say, “snort snort.”
-Melissa Gregory, Proud Mother of Senior Dog