I took the below video of Buttercup yesterday - August 18th - she'll be 18 years old. I adopted her August 18th, 2003 - so I'll have had her for 9 years, and when I adopted her in 2003 the vet figured that she was about 9 years old.
I had no hesitation in adopting her because she was so alive, and had such a huge personality and I bonded so closely with her - her advanced age didn't bother me at all. When I did adopt her though - she was very old - she had luxating patella in her back that was very bad, but the longer I had her - the better it became.
Because I had Charlie and Daisy - and various other big dogs through the years - Buttercup got to live a big dog lifestyle - every day, 365 days a year we went somewhere offleash for at least an hour a day - and that kept Buttercup young. It's only been the last couple of years that she's started to slow down.
When people say to me that they their lifestyle is too busy to adopt a dog - I tell them that there's a dog out there in a shelter for everyone - a person who works full time and comes home at night and is tired and just wants to hang out - is the PERFECT home for a senior dog. And you should not be afraid that the dog is going to die in the first six months - Buttercup is the living truth of that - I have had her for a blissful, healthy 9 years.
A senior pet wants nothing more than a place to hang out and receive unconditional love for the time that you're home - and when you're not there - they're more than happy to guard their bed, eat some kongs, and listen to the radio.
The greatest thing is - at 18 years old - Buttercup shows no sign of slowing down - she has no interst anymore in going for one hour off leash walks anymore - but she certainly has the energy to be carried so that everyone else can go for one hour off leash walks - she is very adamant about not being left at home alone! If you've followed this blog, you know that Buttercup has had a very serious job for the last year - and she doesn't take any sick days or vacation - she is here to protect me - and she takes it very seriously, and as far as she's concerned, she's not going anywhere anytime soon.
These little bichon interlopers need to keep their distance. I think she may just out live them. I hope that happens, because I do not know what I'm going to do without her.