David and Helen from North London adopted Foster from The Mayhew in 2009 when he was nine and a half years old. David’s touching tribute to his best friend shows us just how much love an older dog has to give.
“Why you buy old dog? He soon dead.” It was the first thing that our postie said when we introduced her to Foster, and something that we joked about many times after, as we pondered just what a great decision it had been to adopt him, whilst he continued to outlive her pessimism, grinning all the while.
Foster was our first dog together – made possible by both of us working from home more often. But, having realised we could finally have a dog – where to start?
Our friend Ellie opened our eyes to rescue dogs – enthusing about how they could be just as lovely as any dog, but more rewarding. Then, when my friend Mark said to me: “I would love a puppy…but an old dog would love a new home”, the decision was made. We would rehome an oldie.
And there was Foster, on The Mayhew website, sporting an excellent “CV”. Helen said it “couldn’t hurt” if we went to meet him. The result was love at first sight. He was a truly gorgeous hound, given up due to his owners’ relationship breakdown. The Mayhew had tried to help them by fostering him for a few months, but six months later were told that no-one would be coming to collect him.
He turned out to be an even better dog than we could have ever dreamed. He travelled well, could be left on his own for a while, was good with adults and kids, obedient and loving…in short he was, as Helen’s sister Gail put it: “Everything a good dog should be”.
You never know the whole of their backstory but he’d obviously lived a fairly comfortable first-half of his life, arriving at The Mayhew as a chunky package. We suspect the name “Foster” came from a pub life as he could never walk past an open pub door, and could “work the room” for treats like a true pro.
But while he still did get to visit the odd pub or two, there was plenty more to be seen in between. He travelled the country with us from Scotland to the south coast; climbing the mountains and zooming through the woods; barking at the sea then sharing an ice cream…always making us laugh, always making every day together that bit better.
Many people overlook older dogs but I would say never discount an oldie. Despite being nine and a half years old when we adopted him, Foster just didn’t seem to want to slow down – one of his many nicknames became “Iggy Pups”, due to his endless Lust for Life.
As the years passed, he would be ready at the front door, every single day, come rain or shine. And even though in time he couldn’t win the race to the ball, it never stopped him wanting to be in the middle of it all, even if only for a big woof and a grin.
Inevitably though, despite his incredible will, eventually his body could no longer keep up, and with massive sadness we had to let him go, aged 17. That “soon dead” dog had outlived many of his younger friends, and had given us seven fantastic years.
If you’re thinking about adopting a golden oldie like Foster, take a look at our animals in need of a loving forever home.
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