My 13 yr Old Puppy


We adopted our beagle Toby when he was 10 years old – yes, you read that right! He came to the shelter (where I volunteer) as a stray, overweight, with a torn ACL. He was microchipped, but his owners refused to return the shelter’s calls to pick him up. Given his age and medical condition, his chances for adoption were slim to none.  I saw him and after one look in his eyes, I knew I’d just gotten myself a 10 year old, limping puppy! I’ve always had a soft spot for beagles since I was four years old and my parents got me a beagle puppy. There’s just something about those sweet, floppy ears!  So anyhow, I brought 10 year old Toby home from the shelter. (Thankfully my husband – bless him – did not even flinch or question why we’d adopted a 10 year old lame beagle, just welcomed Toby up onto the sofa for ear scratches.) We got Toby’s ACL healed up and put him on a diet. The diet part has been a challenge since this very smart and goofy fella chews holes in dog food bags and opens Tupperware containers.  But we persist!  Toby is 13 years old now and still our precious puppy. Today, I had to take Toby to the vet because his body is giving out on him again. His ACL has re-torn. He has bone spurs in his spine. And he has arthritis in his hips. We upped his pain meds and he’s comfortable now. So we’re taking it one day at a time, feeling blessed for every extra day we get with our very, very special “puppy.” Next time you’re looking to add a pet to your home, in honor of all the amazing Tobys out there, I hope you’ll consider adopting a senior!  Do you have a special pet in your life?

About Author: cathymann
USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, and Sourcebooks, with her work reprinted in more than twenty countries. She lives on the Florida coast where she and her military flyboy husband have brought up four children. An active volunteer with her local Humane Society, Catherine enjoys writing while foster puppies nap on her feet.

8 thoughts on “My 13 yr Old Puppy

  • As you know all of my pets are rescues too. They all have a story and came into my life at different times for different reasons. Zippy, my three leg wonder, is probably the one who has touched me the most though. He was there as I said goodby to my 17 year old cat, Bengal.
    As for Toby I wish him many more days of sunshine and hope that the meds give him comfort. Did you remember to mention the Gabapentin?

    • Hey Linda – Thanks for remembering our discussion about my sweet old fella. We opted for the 5 weeks of one injection a week, plus doubling the dosage of oral meds he is on. He is incredibly healthy otherwise. His joints, bones and ligaments are just giving out. We discussed surgery on the blown ACL, but the overall consensus was he is too old and the surgery would rob him of two valuable months of his life and likely send him into a decline from the stress. He Is very comfortable right now, sleeping well – and bright eyed when he’s awake. I am so relieved. I really thought I was going to have to make a terribly tough decision when I took him today. I cried like a baby afterward from the relief of knowing he can be happy and comfortable. 🙂

  • I came home one day to find a scared, 12 wk old brown pup hiding under my deck. Long story short – he had no home (a dump off in the boonies) and decided to let us entertain him for 12 1/2 wonderful years. Sadly he left us early in December 2012 after developing serious seizures. We cried for days, always looking for our “Teddy-Boy” upon arriving home. It was too quiet and our space was “just a house”. We were devastated!
    Just before Christmas, a friend sent a cute puppy holiday message, which linked me with a local rescue. A picture caught my eye and I was obsessed. I had to meet the handsome boy, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. We went to meet and it was love at first wag! He was skinny, wormy and had ear infections. Was in a pound for a month (his owner didn’t want to pay the fine to get him back!) then at the rescue for over a month. We brought him home last December 28th. Now he is a healthy, happy, bouncy, loving 3 year old and our house is a home again! I’ll always have rescues in my life from now on!

  • Hi Cathy,
    We have a 15 year old mini-daschund. He’s our 6th daschund and most of them have been either rescues or gifts. He has several issues and is going blind and deaf, but he still knows what time is treat time and were to get them so I can totally understand where you’re coming from with Toby. Our prayers will go out for him to feel as little pain as possible. Stay positive and just give him love!

    • Hi Sharon! Thank you!! It was an emotional day for sure … I love the story about your mini-doxie knowing when treat time is coming!! Tooooo adorable!! 🙂 Thanks for the uplifting note. I appreciate it!

  • Big hugs to you and Toby!

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