Right around this time three years ago Bingo game into our lives. We fostered him for a local pug rescue group and then adopted him when it became clear he was not a candidate for permanent adoption. Bingo had cancer (a slow growing kind), partial paralysis of his back legs, and he was incontinent. Even so he lived 2 and a half good years with us, passing away (with our vets help) in November of 2010 when he went into liver failure. The most defining characteristic of Bingo was his sweetness, he was an all around sweet boy, but with a side of grumpy old man ( he barked loudly for his breakfast and dinner whenever he felt it was taking too long, it always reminded me of an old man yelling at a waitress in a restaurant). Loyal and loving to the end, even when he could barely walk he would scoot his way to the door to greet us when we got home from work. Bingo really embodied the message of the above book, Old Dogs Are Best Dogs (which is an absolutely wonderful book that every dog lover should read.) I got it for Christmas two years ago, here is a picture of Bingo, Tubby, and Ping enjoying story time:
Personally I believe all dogs are the best dogs (young and old) but there is no reason an older dog cant make a fabulous companion. There is also no excuse for tossing aside a friend of 12 years, as Bingo's previously family did, when his health worsened and his care became more difficult to manage. I am not someone who believes that everyone needs to rescue their dog, there is nothing wrong with reputable breeders, and I have decided my next dog will be a puppy from a good breeder BUT I do think every dog lover should think about welcoming a senior into their home (at least once or twice), you save a dog and you enrich your own life in return.
Bingo's story is a very happy one. I miss him, but I am not sad that he passed away because he got two quality years in a loving home. Years he most definitely would not have had if the rescue group had not taken him in (he was in a high kill city shelter). The below pictures show what a wonderful time Bingo had in his retirement home (and what a wonderful time we had with him).