During this Christmas season, many people will receive puppies as gifts. Puppies are wonderful; so full of life and energy, they offer you many years of unconditional love and loyal companionship. My Wrigley is two years old and I love her dearly. I also have Mattie. She just turned fifteen on December 1st. She has been a constant in my life and if it weren't for her faithful friendship and loving demeanor, I don't know how I would have dealt with the passing of my basset hound, Summer,  in 2009. 

If you are planning on adopting a dog, please don't overlook the older ones. They offer so much love and all they want in return is a loyal friend that will love them and take care of them until their time on this earth runs out.

Below is a poem I found about all those older dogs waiting to go to their new homes.

One by one, they pass my cage,
Too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can’t run and play.
They shake their heads slowly and go on their way.

A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.

Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn’t belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.

Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can’t justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
Those younger dogs get adopted away.

When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw thru the grey, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond the cage

You took me home, gave me food and a bed.
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.

I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To You, my dear person, as long as I live.

I may be with you for a week or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.

And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the angel who made my last days so dear.

Today is Mattie's 15th birthday and Wrigley's 2nd. Yes, they share a birthday. I brought Wrigley into our lives 4 months after the passing of my Summer. After a few days of Wrigley being in her new home I called the breeder to ask the exact date she was born. When she told me December 1st, I was dumbfounded. I remember calling a few people and telling them how coincidental that they shared the same birth date. I know the odds were 1/365, but still it was 1/365! No one seemed as shocked or surprised about their shared birthday as I was, but to me it was confirmation that I had not made a mistake.

On the long drive home to Louisville from Columbus with Wrigley on my lap, I couldn't help but wonder if Mattie would like her. I knew that Mattie was older and set in her ways, but I also knew Mattie was very lonely without Summer. I kept thinking Wrigley is so small, what if Mattie steps on her or what if Mattie chomps her in half? What if Mattie hates her? As the first days passed and they became familiar with one another all my fears were laid to rest. Wrigley took to Mattie as her new best friend and Mattie showed great tolerance for this bundle of energy that took the place of her best friend of 14 years. I couldn't ask for a better pair. I am so thankful to have both of these little creatures in my life.  Happy Birthday Mattie and Wrigley.