My wife and I moved from New York City to Arizona in 2014. Why did we decide to leave our families and friends of 10+ years, and move across the country to a state where we knew virtually no one? One reason was to get a yard — and of course, a dog.
We grew up loving animals, but neither of us had had a dog in many years, because caring for a large dog is difficult with a small NYC apartment (plus, that lifestyle is largely unfair to the dog). A few months after we got settled in Scottsdale, Erin and I were excited to find a rescue organization that specialized in placing senior dogs.
We first met Caroline in June of 2014. She was a 9-year-old Australian Cattle Mix. Her old family dropped off Caroline and her companion dog — for unknown reasons — at the county shelter. Caroline’s companion was then adopted, so they sadly became separated. Forever Loved then took Caroline in as one of their very first rescue pups.
We couldn’t imagine why Caroline had been at the shelter for almost a year when we met her. She was playful, healthy, and as sweet as can be. Erin and I fell for her and her silly flopped-over “3-o’clock” ear immediately.
We adopted her after the July 4 holiday, and our new house finally felt like a home.
Erin and I don’t plan on having children, so we have wanted to fill our life with dogs. We choose to rescue senior dogs (Caroline and three others so far, all from Forever Loved) because they:
- need and deserve homes and love (their previous humans may have let them down)
- are so giving and grateful for the second chance you’re giving them
- are so well-behaved and generally calm
- don’t contribute to the nationwide puppy mill epidemic
We had Caroline for over 3 1/2 wonderful years. She was a bit of celebrity around town — people recognized her when we brought her to restaurants, and she was also featured in a PetSmart Charities article. We brought her everywhere we could:
- Arizona Diamondbacks MLB games
- road trips and beaches near Los Angeles
- half a dozen breweries
- my office on many a Thursday or Friday
- hundreds of walks along the desert garden path near our home
- a few long-distance dog charity walks
She was a faithful and loving companion to Erin and myself, as well as our other pets. She always had a smile on her face, and was affectionate and calm. Many of our friends across the country met Caroline, and even those who didn’t, often commented with pleasure when we posted pictures of her on Facebook.
We love our Caroline, and we love the work Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary has been doing. She’ll always be our “Original Pup.” There really is very little that can be more rewarding than welcoming a senior dog into your family.
–Drew Eastmead, board member