Adopting a senior dog from an animal shelter

Adopting a senior dog from an animal shelter


Hi guys, welcome back. This is kind of a random video, but I promised I’d make it. So here it is. This is the story of me adopting a senior dog, Alaska. So the intro to this story is kind of long and I don’t know how to make it brief, but anyway. Alaska is my first dog so not gonna lie – I
was a bit scared to commit, because I knew she’s a senior dog and I have had no experience
before I got her. But the truth is that the moment you set your
foot in an animal shelter – none of that matters. At all. So one day – after contemplating it for months, literally,
– I just get up and get in the car. When I arrive there, I walk around, looking
at the cages, packed with dogs that all wanted my attention, obviously. And I just walk around, walk around… And suddenly – our eyes meet. I see this incredibly thin, weak and apathetic
dog with barely any teeth. She is so absent it almost feels like
she’s a ghost. Just a shadow of her former self. While all the other dogs jump all over the
cage and bark violently, she stays still and with her lost yet gentle, heart-breaking gaze,
she silently begs me to get her out of there. And I’m pretty sure you know how this part of the story
ends. I take her home, but later that evening, it
turns out that her mental condition is way worse that I anticipated. She’s scared to walk out the door, easily
startled and afraid of people, not to mention the ridiculous amount of fleas and dirt she’s
covered in. And at that moment – I panic. Not gonna lie, first few hours were not easy. There’s a difference between adopting a well
mannered, normally behaving senior dog and one that has no clue what it means to be a
part of the human world. Around the time of the adoption, I was trying
to put my life back together after a very difficult period yet here I was. Now having to take care of a dog that required
more that I thought I had to give. Fortunately, that night a friend of mine comes
over to help me out and offer some words of comfort. Later, I decide to give Alaska a nice bath. She is so tired she literally falls asleep
in the tub. Looking at her, right then and there I know
there’s no turning back and however difficult things might be, I’m not taking her back to
the shelter. First few days test us both. She’s depressed, not vey responsive, sleeps
all day. Doesn’t act like a dog at all. But slowly, day by day, with a pinch of patience,
she starts to open up… Until an unexpected event shakes our world
to the core just two weeks later. One early morning I am woken up by a loud,
continuous banging noise, so I run to the other room to discover Alaska on the floor,
paralyzed and covered in her own faeces, foam dripping from her mouth. Just an incredibly terrifying sight. Not knowing what to do, I just stand there,
thinking that it’s over. But suddenly, she comes around so we go straight
to the vet. Diagnosis is quick: EPILEPSY. Not a mild case either. As it quickly turns out, the seizures come
in clusters up to 7-8 per day, each lasting more than 5 minutes. So I decide to take her to another clininc
that specializes in neurological disorders. It’s 2 am and one of the vets says that it’s
probably a brain tumour and since Alaska’s very old, there’s no point in doing any other
tests, especially not MRI scans because they’re going to cost a fortune and they won’t help
anyway. When he hints I should consider putting her
down, I refuse to listen. And we leave Alaska at the clinic, under observation
for now. I head back to the car and completely break
down. What am I supposed to do? I didn’t adopt a dog just to put it down two
weeks later without knowing whether there’s anything else that could be done for her. On the other hand, I’m not entirely sure if
I have it in me to continue. But I finally get my shit together and make
a final decision. We will fight. So we put her in an induced coma for a few
days until the epilepsy meds start to work. Otherwise – the frequency and strength of
the seizures will be life threatening. We take an MRI scan. Multiple blood tests. For days on end, I stay by her side, not sleeping
while she drunkenly paces around the flat, whining for hours. Finally, we manage to calm the attacks down,
although they still haunt us every month. And let me tell you – they aren’t pretty. Pee and poo everywhere, no sleep cause of
the pacing and whining. She’s exhausted, I’m exhausted. Not looking great. She’s still severely underweight but when
I take her back home from one of the many vet visits and she pulls on the leash, displaying
an incredible will to live, I know it’s not time to give up. Not yet. So we start from scratch. I slowly help her gain weight. We get rid of any deficiencies she had. We get rid of ringworms and gastric issues. We run an MRI scan along the way and it turns
out she does have a small change in her brain that could potentially be a tumour and if
it is, she’ll get significantly worse within the next few weeks. I decide to carry on, because we did not get
this far to give up now. Everyday, I slowly work with her to open her
up to the things she’s been missing out on and I show her that there’s more to life than
being locked away in a tiny, dark shed. The process requires patience so one day,
when she finally happily runs by my side, I cry as tough I just saw my own baby taking
its first steps. I know, a little bit cheesy but what can you do. She’s such a brave dog. I must’ve taken her to the vet at least 40
times in just two or three months. And all that effort eventually pays off when
she finally gets as close as she can ever be to being a normal dog. And it feels so nice to see her enjoy the
simple pleasures after more than 10 years of being miserable. What this story has taught me is that our
limits stretch far further than we think they do. Yeah, cliche, cheesy, cringy. Whatever. If you told me last year I’d be a part of
this story, I wouldn’t believe you. These things only happen on the internet. I never thought I had it in me. I never considered myselft to be particularly
selfish, but selflessly putting another living being first is something else and I just didn’t
think I could do that as someone who’s scared of commitment. To be completely honest – if I knew Alaska
suffered from epilepsy before I adopted her – I’m not sure if I’d do that, just because
she was my first dog and it would’ve been irresponsible. But now I know that none of that matters. You can’t decide what life throws at you,
but you can decide how to respond to it. You can take the dog back to the shelter or
decide to immediately put it down or you can test your limits. This was by far the most difficult thing I’ve
ever done, but nothing else could’ve taught me so many valuable lessons. Nobody wants to adopt senior dogs, so they
just stay in shelters forever, their light slowly fading each day. People predicted the worst and tried to convince
me there’s no point in trying because Alaska won’t be around in a few weeks anyway. Yet – against all odds – here we are. Almost a year later, still haning around. Some days are better than others. She still sruggles with cognitive issues and
her epilepsy meds are so heavy that they aren’t really helping. But the adoption gave her an opportunity to
experience what freedom and true happiness is like for the first time ever. So even if she doesn’t have that much longer
left now, it was all worth it, for the brief moments of sweetness she still brings to the
world every now and then. I know adopting a senior dog might seem scary,
but please remember Alaska was a special case. Most of them are perfectly fine. They are the ones that need us the most yet
we treat them as though they are invisible. The love you’re given in return is priceless
and can never be duplicated. Very few things in life feel as good as the
warmth of a senior dog’s gratitude.

54 thoughts on “Adopting a senior dog from an animal shelter

  1. I would be incredibly grateful if you could watch the ads on my videos sometimes, so that I can come back and do this full time again.
    If you're feeling generous, you are more than welcome to donate through PayPal to [email protected]
    Thank you xx 🙂

    Alaska is currently staying at my parents’ house, they live in the country and she’s got a huge garden to roam around. Sadly the narcotic epilepsy meds are so heavy that she had panic attacks when she was at my place (and even Tomek’s place with a tiny garden) and I wasn’t even able to take her on a walk without her being terrified. Another huge thank you goes out to my parents! X

  2. Whenever I want to refer to an example of the goodness there is in the human soul , I refer to yours and Alaska's story ❤

  3. this is the type of videos that should be over millions of views ❤️ your soul is so kind and gentle thank you for sharing this beautiful story 🌸❤️

  4. I love this story so much…
    I have two troubled dogs from shelter and they are the best company I could imagine. Please adopt! The love of these dogs and how grateful they are makes me try to be a better human everyday 💞

  5. You are an amazing person for taking her in and loving her ❤️ thank you for giving her a good life for her last days. You inspire us all thank you so much ❤️

  6. makes me sad this only has 330 likes. you are really incredible. makes me wonder. people who liked your other videos aren’t here to support you on all your videos. i would watch ads for free for you.

  7. How beautiful that Alaska has this opportunity to feel trust and love and joy again in her safe bond with you. Such a beautiful story and great message.

  8. i wish I could give this a thousand thumbs up. i love you for many things, and one of them is adopting a dog, let alone a senior one.

  9. You have a big heart ♥️ , If people were half like animals , the world would be beautiful … Is touching see Alaska be happy 🙏😍😍😍 Have a nice day 🙂 💞🐺

  10. I don't know if you've heard of the channel The Dodo but this story needs to be featured on there. You're such an amazing person

  11. Ami en lo personal mejor adoctaba a un niño desamparado y no a un perro Ami los únicos perros que me gustan son los hotdogs

  12. Wow… your heart is so pure. I'm getting emotional…
    This dog had such a big chance to find you. As a volunteer in a animal shelter in France I'm quite shocked that they left this dog like that. I know that in my refuge Alaska would probably be euthanized… But here you are facing its problems. We struggle so much to find good people that could adopt old animals and you just face this situation and it was your FIRST dog !!
    I hope you will enjoy every moments with this beautiful sensitive angel and maybe adopt an other dog later, because they're just amazing friend.

  13. Quote a motto from mine local dog shelter, "Adopting a dog you dont change the whole world, but whole world will be changed for the dog" And that you did, from sad dog at the beggining to much more happier dog with hope.

  14. Niesamowicie wzruszające, masz bardzo dobre serce❤️ Alaska jest cudna! Sama mam pieska ze schroniska i jego wdzięczność to coś wspaniałego. Dzięki za ten film:)

  15. Such a beautiful story. Made me well 😭. Kinda different storey but similar situatin my budgie Bobo few weeks ago was accidentally got trapped in the door.
    He really should of died then but I tried to keep him awake through the shock. I didn’t wanna take him to the emergency vets as it would of caused distressed and it was bonfire night so fireworks etc in uk 🇬🇧. I nursed him gave him lots of cage rest. Took him to the vets a few days later she was Adimant he was starting to die on her and said give him an hour I said give him a chance and got some pain relief. She was wanting me to do the more humane thing and put him down. Even thinking am I being fair I said I’ll give him a few days if he detrriorates I will consider it.
    Miraculously wen I got home he pulled through even flew round the room. Which was a massive improvement
    Hey he just progressed we even got a closer bond I never gave up on him the vet was stunned and said he was incredibly lucky 🍀 he’s always been a timid budgie rarely likes to come out his cage and I have to encourage him. But he’s more content now then he’s ever been, even tho he’s disabled he relies on me sometimes to get about if the flying is too much and I rely on him for that love and the content he gives me and reminds me that never give up and try and try don’t write anything off straight away believe and give that chance. Pets aren’t just pets they are u Babies as well
    Much love ❤️❤️❤️

  16. Thank u so so so much for adopting this beautiful dog and for being so dedicated to taking care of her even though it’s been difficult honestly so inspiring because so many people would be too worried to take on something like that including me so just really admire u and Alaska for pushing through ! 🙂

  17. when we were getting a dog we went to one of the most overpopulated shelters in my city. it was so sad to see all these dogs there barking wanting a home. then we finally got towards the end and we saw this silent senior dog in the corner of her cage. her previous owner had died a few months prior and she was getting closer to her.. date.. i knew she was the one not many would want. old, caked in mud and feces. we came back the very next day and when we saw her she was actually excited. she has her issues and needs but she instantly became a part of the family. i truly wish older animals werent ignored. they deserve better. i am so happy for you and alaska to have found each other. i salute you. thank you for being the hero this dog needed.

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