They say that love will find you when you least expect it. This year I had pretty much given up on love. At least for the time being. I decided that I was perfectly happy hanging with my dog Lucy and doing whatever we want. We have a great life together.

To kick off this dating hiatus I deleted all the dating apps from my phone.

Except one.

I still had Petfinder. I didn’t realize that would be the app that would bring my new beau into my life.

A Rescue Dog Love Story

I discovered Burt’s profile in early September and our whirlwind romance began! I first reached out on a Saturday and learned that he hadn’t been in a serious relationship for over a year. I could tell that he was ready to find love, so I arranged to meet him that Tuesday.

On our first date, he flirted with me for over an hour and I was completely smitten! I introduced him to my family (aka Lucy) on Thursday. We all hit it off, and Burt came straight home with us.

What followed was a typical dating story. Burt couldn’t get enough of me and Lucy! He wanted to be as close to us as possible at all times. To be honest, he was a little clingy. There were times at the beginning when Lucy and I had to give him some tough love. When he got a little too obsessed and mouthy we both just ignored him.

Anyone who’s been in the dating world knows how powerful the silent treatment can be! Burt learned that we can all get along better when he relaxes and trusts that we won’t leave him.

A Rescue Dog Love Story

Also like a typical boyfriend, Burt ate all the food he could find in my house. When I left him alone he raided the cabinets and drawers, eating things I never thought would be appetizing like raw flour or red pepper flakes. He even figured out how to help himself into the freezer!

Of course, dating later in life (Burt’s about 7, which is like 49 in dog years!) means that Burt came with some baggage. He disclosed on his profile that he’s “special needs” and I found out that means he has epilepsy. As a 30-something single girl, I’m not really in a position to turn someone down because of something like that. I knew we could manage Burt’s epilepsy together and that being part of a loving family would do a lot to ease his stress.

Lucy and I made room in our home and our hearts and Burt filled up every inch that he could. There was a little redecorating that had to take place, but it was all worth it!

A Rescue Dog Love Story

We’re two months into our relationship and all of us have learned a lot. The similarities to actual dating are really remarkable! The best part about a relationship with a new dog is that not only did Burt gain a new woman in his life, he actually gained a whole family. Everyone in my life, from my sisters and parents to our dog park friends have welcomed Burt with open arms.

Some give Lucy extra snuggles and treats to make up for her not being the only child anymore. While others help Burt catch up on some of the attention he missed out while being unattached for over a year.

It sounds cliche, but when people tell me how lucky Burt is I can’t help but respond that I’m the lucky one.

We love you Burt!

A Rescue Dog Love Story

Check out adoptable pets in your area on Petfinder. The rescue where I found Burt is Action for Animals. If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, check them out! They provided amazing care for this senior with special needs for over a year, and have several other similar long-term resident pets who get the same kind of love that Burt received in their care.

Looking for a way to support Action for Animals but you don’t live near us? I’ve arranged for them to be an official shelter partner with Inkopious. Shop with code BURT and you’ll get 10% off your purchase of their stylish dog breed illustrated clothes and accessories, and Action for Animals will get a percentage of the sale! So far we’ve raised several hundred dollars. Thank you!

Love Senior Dogs? Then you’ll also love these posts:
Deciding to Adopt a Senior Dog
Holistic Care for Your Senior Dog and How Much it Costs
Podcast Episode 26: Liz Rubinstein of GingerLead Dog Support & Rehabilitation Harnesses
How Acupuncture Benefits Your Senior Dog

Originally published on November 10, 2018.

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