Robbie, a child who has suffered abuse and neglect and spent years in foster care, can understand how older dogs from asylum centres feel. The longer a child lives in foster care, the harder it is to get them adopted. The same is true for older dogs from asylum centres. Most foster parents want children or puppies, but everyone deserves a loving family. So when Robbie was adopted by Maria Henry Gay and her husband, the family decided they would only take in older dogs. Even if they can’t spend many more years with the dogs. They still give them love for the rest of their lives. One of the “old” dogs, as the family calls the adopted dogs, was Buffy.
Buffy needed her teeth cleaned and some pulled, but because of her age, the vet did a blood test first. Unfortunately, the results showed that the elderly dog was suffering from advanced kidney failure. The family decided that the best and most loving thing to do was to let her go before she lost the will to live and stopped eating and drinking. Maria wanted to make sure Robbie was on board with the decision and picked him up from school. When she told her son the sad news, he told her he wanted to be the one to hold Buffy when she went to heaven. Buffy fell peacefully asleep on Robbie’s lap.
The family was inconsolable, but knew it was the right decision. Maria was very proud of her son and said: “When I got home, I told him how proud I was of him because he understood the importance of taking care of older animals and making sure they never suffered.” to which he replied: “I know what it feels like not to be loved and cared for. I don’t want any of my animals to ever feel that way. It’s sad for us when they get to heaven. For them, it’s a happy day. Thank you for being proud of me. Are you okay, Mom?”
Although the family mourns the loss of their beloved dog, Robbie reminded his parents that it’s not how long you have a dog, but how much you love it that matters most. He knows what it’s like to be unloved for so long and finally find a loving family. He said to his mother: “You’ve only known me for two years. However you love me like you’ve always been there. The family will continue to adopt older dogs and give them the love they deserve. Adopt, don’t buy!
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