On Wednesday 1/30/13 Integrity StarBeck, a.k.a. Becke the wonder dog will turn 13 years old. I am so grateful for every day, week, month and year that she has been with us.
We got Becke at the age of 4 1/2 years old. She was living with a breeder and was used twice for breeding. The first time at 1 1/2 years old. She had 3 puppies, which meant she had a C-section since the puppies were way too big for normal delivery. The breeder decided to wait for her to finish growing in hopes she would have more room for puppies. So at 4 they tried again, only to find out she was carrying 3 puppies again!
|Playing in the snow in 2011|
The breeder then decided she was not going to use her again no matter how beautiful she is. At the same time we were looking for either an adult dog or a older teen so we were the perfect match. After she had the puppies, we took our older black lab-mix up to meet her and they were just fine together so once all the puppies were weaned and had gone to their new homes, she came to live with us. This is called a "Re-homing" and not "Rescuing".
She was always kind, gentle, easy-tempered and smart. All the perfect personality traits breeders are looking for but she just couldn't carry a full litter. Their loss was our gain!
|Summer of 2011|
Since she was a breeding dog, she didn't have any obedience training at all. She could stand, and stand for a long time, but she didn't know sit, or down, or even how to climb stairs (they had a ranch with no steps) and she wasn't house trained since she lived in a kennel and had an indoor/outdoor pen so she just went out whenever..... no need to ask.
I knew what I was getting into and had a plan.
Since we have a split entry style home we have stairs and so her training began on day 1 with learning stairs. I'm so glad she likes food....
Teaching her stairs was easy.
Now at age 13 she is still kind, gentle, easy-temperted and smart. She hasn't killed August the pest and that is saying a lot!
In fact she has taught him many things and protects him when we go out and he becomes overwhelmed with whatever is happening.
|August being a pest chewing on Becke's ear in 2011|
When we leave work, August comes in from day care and Becke walks up to him to check on him. She is happy to see him go off to day care and happy to see him come back to her.
When we leave the two at home, most times when we get back they are both on Becke's bed resting and in my office, even though they both have beds, August gets on Becke's and shares hers. When we go to bed at night, August sleeps between me and Becke and no one rolls over the 9 pound pest.
|Someone say treat? Big sister and little brother in 2011|
I love all the ages of a dog's life. They all have joys and they all have challenges. Becke is so calm, great with kids, great with other dogs, not bossy, and a gentle diva. But at 13 years old there are challenges. Over the next few days, I'll talk about those challenges and how you too can help your senior dog feel better and hopefully live longer.
Tell me about your dog.....