“If the kindest souls were rewarded with the longest lives, dogs would outlive us all.”Unknown
When I arrived to meet Backup, I was energetically greeted by two of his house mates at the door. I didn’t immediately see the older golden retriever I was there to photograph but what I did see was a home filled with happy, well loved dogs. As I walked into the living to see a snoozing Backup by the hearth, I also saw walls filled with pictures of dogs and framed memories from agility competitions. I knew instantly that I’d love Backup and his owner Mary.
Backup did not immediately run to the door to greet me; those days of jumping up are past I believe. However, as I sat down beside this 16 year old golden retriever, he instantly lifted his head up to happily say “Hello”. This greeting was exactly as Mary had previously described.
“Most of the day now he sleeps on the hearth in front of the fireplace. His sense of smell is still excellent and he senses when someone from outside of the family enters the house, getting up to greet them. He is a model of what we wish for in our dog’s old age”Backup’s mom, Mary
These words from Mary rung true the second I met this sweet old dog. He is 100% everything we hope for with our old dogs and so much more. However, I also believe his family is what every dog could hope for as well.
In his hay day, Backup was a champion agility dog with NADAC, earning the high award of NACH. The image below is actually taken at a show with some of his agility friends. While some dogs hung out in their kennels, Backup and his friends got to hang out in the Corvette. Not a bad life.
At 16, several years past the average senior age for a golden, he is no longer running an agility course. You can see from the photos he is blind and only has one eye. His hearing has left as well but not his joy and NOT his sense of smell for all the treats I brought along.
We took Backup outside for a few photos and he showed me that 16 or not, this guy still loves life. Some dogs have an infectious personality when you’re around them and this was Backup. You couldn’t help but smile being in his presence and you could feel his kind soul.
After an hour outside we came back in where Backup quickly fell back asleep by the hearth where we originally started. Getting your photos taken is hard work!
Thank you, Mary for sharing Backup with me. His sweet soul stole a piece of my heart.
If you’re interested in reading more from the Senior Dog Project check out these recent additions. Keiran, Brisby, Dash, and Roy.
Thank you for the lovely article and photos of the fabulous Mary and her beloved dogs.
You’re welcome! It was really a privilege to meet her and spend some time with Backup and her other pups. What a fantastic person. I wish all dogs had homes like that.
Backup was a big part of my life and my dogs. He was a great dog and had an awesome life. Backup passed …he will be missed.
Such sad news. He really will be missed. Thank you for sharing about, Backup.
Such a beautiful story, I’ve known Backup for half of his wonderful life and it was such a pleasure to have been his groomer for so long. He was always so happy and acted like a young pup even despite of his age. He had the best life with his fur siblings and his amazing owner Mary.
❤️Forever in our hearts and never forgotten❤️
Thanks for sharing! I only spent a few hours with Backup but his “youthful” personality was contagious.
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