We have two dogs, Bailey and Floyd. In the summer of 2004 we took Bailey in when a friend's daughter needed to find a good home for him due to family allergies. Bailey seemed a bit lonely because he was home alone all day, something he was unused to in his first home. So we talked about getting another dog "after the holidays".
Every Sunday one of our local TV stations features an adoptable dog on its morning news program. Some weeks it's a dog from the city kennel, other weeks it's an older dog being fostered by an organization called Sanctuary for Senior Dogs. I always try to catch this segment. One Sunday before Christmas, they came on with a senior dog named Floyd. He was sitting there on camera with his silly grin, and the woman was saying that he was good with kids and with other dogs. Wow, sounds like a possible fit, I thought. Jim didn't get a chance to see him on the TV but agreed that I should call in. We ended up being the only people who called for him, and he came to live with us.
He's a great guy; very friendly and sweet. He is protective of his "babies" and goes into their room to check on them every night. His main faults are shedding (our house is in a cloud of black hair) and the fact that he acts like a cat, trying to wind himself around us as we move around the house. Not bad faults, really! He's definitely a homebody, who would rather be inside than out in the yard. We think he might have been mistreated by a prior owner, so we're extra happy to be providing him with a happy retirement home. He and Bailey get along very well; Bailey thinks he's the alpha dog, and he is, unless Floyd feels like asserting himself. :-)
His age was estimated at 11 years, so he's about 13 now. He has terrible arthritis in his back legs, for which he takes medication, but it doesn't get him down. He'll slip, fall, and get right back up. He seems to ignore the arthritis and keeps on trucking.
About a month ago I noticed a lump under his right eye. The vet diagnosed an absessed tooth, and he took antibiotics but they didn't help, so they did surgery and removed two teeth. Still the swelling didn't go down, so Jim took him back to the vet. They xrayed his head and decided it wasn't an infection, so they took biopsies. The diagnosis is metastatic bone cancer. The vet doesn't know where it might have spread at this point, and we're certainly not going to worry about finding out. Jim discussed with the vet how Floyd has been acting happy and "himself" (he really enjoyed company we had last weekend) and so it was decided that we'll just keep an eye on him. When his appetite goes and he starts sleeping all the time, it will be time do take action. I cried a lot when I heard the diagnosis but am now trying to just have happy time with my guy.