For folks who may not know about Roy, he was one of the most fearless, loaded with personality, independent pugs I've ever been blessed to meet. I'd filled out an adoption application specifying an older (10+) male. The rescue president called. "You wanted an older boy? I just got one in I think would work. You wanna come over and meet him?" So Cj and I drove over. The Prez always has a bunch of fosters and newly-arrived "hold" fosters (waiting to be picked up by their foster homes) pugs around, so when a little gray-faced senior boy came up to greet us, we asked, "Is this one ours?"
"Nope," she said, pointing to the back yard, "See that little lump in the shade? That's yours. I'll get him."
She went into the yard, came back with an armful and set him on the floor in front of us. Cj and I looked at him. We looked at each other. We looked at the Prez. We looked at him. Standing in front of us was possibly the most ancient creature on earth. 95% blind, 100% deaf, gray all over, looking a bit like someone had wadded him up and tossed him, and roughly 120 years old. (when we took him to the vet for a check, his official, professional, highly trained opinion of his age was "somewhere between 17 years old and four years older than God.")
"His name is Roy. The adoption coordinator named him for her father, because he grumbles like him. What do you think? You said you wanted a senior." said the Prez, encouragingly.
"I think I want one that will survive the trip home," I replied. "What's his story?"
She told us. He'd been found, dumped, ancient, blind, deaf and terrified, in a busy parking lot. Animal control had picked him up and called OPR, knowing he stood a less than zero chance of adoption at the shelter. The fact that he'd managed to not get run over was a miracle and a marvel by itself.
I looked at him again. He grinned at me, head tilted because he couldn't lift it up all the way. I sighed. Cj sighed. We melted, handed over the adoption fee, signed the paper, gingerly picked up the elderly beast and headed for the car.
Adopting Roy counts as one of the smartest things we ever did. I rather expected a doorstop - at his age, how active or interested could he be? Instead, we got a dog that let nothing deter him. He'd climb into the strangest places, ninja roll off the bed, chase your toes and nibble on them if you were slow with his dinner (and had an impressive grip - Cj would dance around hollering "Roy, let go!" while I giggled and reminded her he was deaf and couldn't hear her fussing). His attitude about everything was "ME do!" He didn't like to be carried - he'd walk, thank you very much. (Took forever, but we'd get there.) He slept between us every night; for the first two weeks, he'd wake me up with nightmares, howling and shaking until I'd pick him up, rock him and soothe him back to sleep, reminding him he was found and would never be lost again. He had a smile that could melt any heart and he used it. When I'd get home from work, he'd come toddling over as fast as he could (and he could get up some speed when he wanted), get up close to see what shoes were coming, and grin when he recognized mine. He had a loud, sharp bark that could shatter glass, but only used it when his grumbling didn't get your attention. We got to love and spoil him for about nine months before he slipped off to the Bridge. He left about two years ago, and I miss him still.
Happy New Year to all, from the Shady Rest!