Who Will Ever Adopt This Dog? by Danielle Rackstraw
Peri: to know him was to love him. There was something quite special about this senior gentleman, who was of partial English pedigree and so very proper in his personality.
We met Peri for the first time when he was already in his golden years; however, his reputation and his pedigree were known by many breeders who showed Cairn Terriers. Peri had an excellent breeder who was also a professional dog handler. Peri was a finished AKC Champion and he also made his mark with the ladies with whom he courted. When his breeder and owner died suddenly, all of the dogs that were not previously signed over to a new owner were placed in foster care or new rescue homes. Peri was not a young dog at that time, so he was available for placement. He was adopted by Pat and Jane who later adopted Silly.
Pat and Jane took Peri to handling classes, and it was there that he learned to respond to a flickering or blinking light. This early training was the foundation for his later training as a hearing dog. As Peri aged, his ability to hear also failed. It was time for Pat and Jane to get another dog that could also be trained as a hearing dog: not only to aid them with their hearing, but to help Peri with his hearing loss as well.
Peri and Silly immediately became the best of friends. George and I became very close to the new owners of Silly; therefore, we also became family to Peri. I loved this special little guy, and still today, I can feel his sturdy little body in my arms and feel his eyelashes against my cheek.
Pat died first. His death was not unexpected. We made arrangements to keep both dogs at our home until Jane could move into a smaller home in a different city. It was not too many months later when it was discovered that Jane also had cancer. We once again picked up the dogs and we would care for them when Jane was in the hospital for her treatments. Jane felt it was time to place the dogs, but we felt that there was no hurry to do this. Both dogs were able to visit Jane in the hospital just a few days prior to her death.
Jane was an intelligent woman. She was well aware that Peri was about fifteen years of age at that time. She knew he was quite hard of hearing and his vision was poor. Peri developed a 'tic' the last year or two of his life with Jane, so his little leg moved almost all the time as if one was scratching his hip muscle. Peri was incontinent when he slept. BUT, Peri was the sweetest little gentleman on earth, and I KNEW he still had a few good years in him. BUT WHO WOULD ADOPT THIS DOG?
Life has a way to taking care of itself. While shopping one day, I ran into a former neighbor of Jane's. She inquired about the dogs and I stated that I had placed Silly and that we still had Peri. She mentioned that one of her neighbors just had their elderly, deaf father move in with them, and that they were looking for an "old, gentle and slow" dog. WELL, did I have the dog for them! Peri was adopted the following weekend. He had a new home. Like the new owner said so eloquently "an old geezer dog for an old geezer man". Peri and his new owner both died about two years later during the same month. I am sure that they both gave joy and extended the lives of their best friend.