Senior Dog, Beau, Meets His Soulmates

Beau with his treasured orange ball.

Beau with his treasured orange ball.

 

Despite his stunning good looks, Beau found himself alone at the age of 14. He lived in a shelter for a year before PawsCo found him. Meanwhile, my girlfriend Micaela and I had just moved to Denver. Everyone had a dog. We wanted one too. But we were waiting until we found the perfect puppy, the one we couldn’t resist. I’ll be honest: Micaela was ready, but I was hesitant to commit. We never intended on adopting a senior dog. Every now and then, Micaela would show me pictures of adorable puppies who were available, but I never took the bait. Then one fateful Sunday evening, Micaela saw Beau’s picture, and his smile, on the PawsCo website. She told me that I had to see this one–he looked special. The only “issue” was his age. Beau did look special. He looked like such a good dog. As soon as I finished reading his profile, I filled out the application to adopt him. We had to meet this guy.

So the next day, as it worked out, we went to see him at his foster mom’s. Everyone had referred to Beau as “Sweet Beau,” and after one minute with him, it was obvious why. He was also incredibly handsome with his shiny coat and that regal gray beard. We decided to go home and sleep on it. If we felt the same way tomorrow, then we were going to adopt a beautiful 81-pound, black baby boy. But we knew our hearts wouldn’t change. It had been love at first sight. His age didn’t feel like an issue at all. Whether he was going to live for another three months or thirty years, we were going to love and cherish him because he deserved the very best and we deserved an awesome dog. Before we slept on it, we went to PetSmart and bought a doggy bed, a leash and collar, and bowls for food and water.

Ready for a ride with his parents.

Ready for a ride with his parents.

Now, Beau is part of the family. Getting to know him has been one of the best experiences of my life. And we have a lot in common! Like his daddy, Beau is a simple man. He only needs a few things: food and water, exercise, plenty of love and affection, and sleep. When we got Beau, he was overweight, and he didn’t have a great amount of energy. I don’t think that year in the shelter had been the most active for him. Still, he loved going for walks–though he would be exhausted and dragging his feet half way around the block.

How times have changed. The first thing we did was put our little bear on a diet. Beau’s mama is a scientist, and one of the perks of her job at the lab is that she brings home top-quality meat. So, yeah, I cook for our pup twice a day. He eats delicious ground bison. What can you do? He is king of dogs. We also got him prescribed some medication for his joint soreness, but things really changed when we discovered his interest in exploration and his passion for the park.

Beau romps through the snow.

Beau romps through the snow.

If Micaela or I say, “Beau, you wanna…” His ears perk up. If we finish that question, “GO TO THE PARK?” Then Beau will begin to speak in tongues, a language of unadulterated excitement. He doesn’t bark or growl; the best way I can describe it is a wild hog trying to speak the Queen’s English. Beauseph (one of his full names now) and I go to the park every day. It’s part of our routine and his favorite thing to do.

He’s been to about 20 different parks. He is the unofficial mayor of City of Cuernavaca Park as it is closest to home, but Rocky Mountain Lake Park is probably his favorite. For the first few months, we would just explore (from day one, Beau never needed a leash, but I know the rules!). Occasionally, I would throw a stick or something, but he showed no interest. He preferred to wander through the long grass and meander behind me.

Until one day, at Rocky Mountain Lake Park, Beau showed incredible initiative. He was messing with something in the snow — a tennis ball! He brought it over to me and tossed it at my feet. Like a moron (who talks to his dog), I asked him, “You like to play fetch?” Oh, yes. And soccer. What a discovery. Months later now, we play every day. But Beau can be picky. He is a little mature for most other toys, but he loves tennis balls. For a while, he preferred orange tennis balls, but now he’s good with whatever. There are maybe five tennis balls in my car, two lying around in the apartment and two reserves in his secret cabinet.

Beau also loves to swim! At Chatfield State Park I discovered I could lure him in with orange tennis balls. But recently, walking around Berkeley Lake, he decided to show off for Micaela. He just jumped in the water and did a couple little laps. I was so proud. This little blog would turn into an epic poem or worse if I decided to elaborate on all the things that Beau does that make me proud, so I’ll just list a few things about him that we love:

When we got him, he knew how to sit, sort of. Now, he sits, shakes hands with the left and right, does the dancing bear where he gives both paws, lies down, and more to come!

Beau and his girlfriend.

Beau and his girlfriend.

Beau has a girlfriend. A younger woman. An athletic type. My aunt’s golden/lab mix, Emma. When Beau goes over there, Emma goes absolutely nuts. She brings him her bones and drops them at his feet. That’s my guy. What a stud.

Beau likes to put his paw on Micaela’s or my leg or shoulder when we hang out. I think it’s his way of making sure we don’t leave. It’s just so loving.

Beau often gets “awwwws” and “he’s so cutes” from strangers, remarks often reserved for little puppies. The kind look in his eye, his big bear head and his barrel-chested body are a deadly combination.

Beau is very good with little puppies. There are many puppies at our apartment complex and when they see him they all do the same thing. They attack him and go after the extra skin he has around his neck. He just looks up at me and almost rolls his eyes. He is a gentle beast.

And about that extra skin. Big Beau has lost 14 pounds since we got him! He’s almost as fast as I am now. He used to labor to get in my Jeep, but now he jumps in and out with ease. He’s so fit!

Oh, and one little thing about adopting an older dog. Beau has never once had an “accident” inside.

I’d like to think that Beau is the happiest dog in Denver. I know we spoil him–he has some Paul Mitchell fur products, he gets a monthly Barkbox (it was unfair, he always thought Micaela’s Birchbox had something in it for him), he gets plenty of pig ears — but so what? These are his golden years. And he is perfect. Beau appreciates the life he has now. I know by the way he constantly wags his tail and how he looks up at me before his morning walk. I know he knows he was rescued. And he’s so grateful. He’s got a second lease on life, and every day I have with him, he reminds me how lucky I am that my girlfriend convinced me to adopt a dog.

To find your soulmate take a look at our adoptable pets.

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