We love old doggies. Our home is full of them: Ginger, who is 13; Gromit who is turning 11; Wallace who just turned 10; and Piglet who is estimated to be 11ish now.
We also love rescue pets. We don't have children, but we do have flexible schedules, and we have a three bedroom home and finished basement to share with our pets. As such, where others think how they could never care for a lot of pets, we have embraced it.
We have a daily routine. We get up, let the dogs out. While the dogs are doing their business, we feed and water the chickens and ducks. When we all go inside, the dogs get fed, and once the dogs are happily eating, we put out cat food for the cats. We keep four litter boxes in our home, and a fenced yard so it's easy to let dogs out as needed. It's surprisingly basic, just multiplied.
Our home is never without pet hair, or muddy paw prints, and we have a LOT of cat trees. But it's also never without snuggles! It is not unusual for us to have all the little dogs and two or three cats on the couch together at the same time. Our animals do a wonderful job of living together, and we have lots of photos of our dogs and cats snuggling together!
This winter we dog sat a tiny long haired chihuahua, Tully. He brought out a side in Piggie, our senior chihuahua rescue, that we had never seen before. She was genuinely playful and confident in a way that was new. She had already grown so much in her time with us, but this little dog somehow empowered her. She was in love.
So we thought if we saw a tiny old chihuahua boy at some point, we'd let her meet him. We weren't actively looking, per se, merely checking our favorite shelters occasionally, seeing who was around. So when a tiny senior chihuahua mix, transported from California, about 11 years old, showed up at the same shelter where we had gotten Piglet, I wanted them to meet.
We took Piggie to her alma mater where the staff fawned over her and how good she looked and how happy she is now. And out to the main lobby strolled tiny little Peanut. Clearly half chihuahua, and half miniature long haired dachshund. He had just one tooth, and was fluffy as can be, and so, so soft. He wasn't crazy playful, but was sweet as could be and Piggie adored him.
That afternoon we rode home with both littles in the backseat - taking turns looking out the car window, snuggling, and napping.
He has been renamed Diego, and we've discovered he's a quirky little man. He's bossy! He prefers the house to be quiet. When the animals get all excited (say someone visits, or one of us comes home from work), he runs around, yelling at the other dogs, until everyone settles down. He's a champion of pottying outside, and also knows how to sit, shake, dance, roll over, lay down, stay, and how to beg for treats.
His time here has increased Piglet's confidence and added that much more love to our lives. He finally had his first glamour shots taken on the first sunny afternoon we've had all spring. Introducing our soft, snuggly, bossy old man. One ear up, one ear down, his only tooth sticking out at a useless angle, we can imagine him yelling GET OFF MY LAWN, but mostly we think he looks like a sweet little teddy bear.