Keller's Sweet 16

On September 26, Keller turned 16 years old! If he were a human, he'd be zooming around in a car right now but because he's a dog, he's instead curled up under a fleece next to me, watching old Community episodes.

I adopted Keller 10 months ago and every day, I am consistently reminded of how great a decision that was. 

The Origin Story

Keller was found as a stray when he was 14, his eyes and ears clouded with infections, missing half his teeth, afraid, alone, and feeling very uncooperative. Initially, he was sent to the city shelter, where his age, his poor health, and his 'aggressiveness' immediately landed him on the euthanasia list. The big animal rescue in town, Austin Pets Alive, took him in and cleaned him up. They found out he was completely deaf, partially blind, underweight and gave him the treatment he needed. In exchange for their hospitality, my scared little dude tried to bite them. 

By all accounts, he was very unadoptable. He flourished in his foster home, becoming the sassy, very vocal, very loyal pup he is today, but after over a year, I'm sure his foster owner thought he was going to be there for life. 

Around Month 13, I was at a coffee shop, browsing through available dogs as a method of procrastination, when I saw Keller's picture and description on the website. He was old. He was crotchety and to me, he was absolutely perfect. One month later he was my dog! The first dog I'd ever had on my own and goodness, was it awful. 

The transition period was hard. He didn't know me and I'm sure he was having flashbacks to the lost time he was abandoned. He shook in his kennel and shied away from the touch. He sang the song of his people at 3 am and took approximately 20 minutes to find a satisfactory spot to pee. He hated walking on concrete but he also complained when I picked him up. For about 2 months, we lived in this stalemate and I was convinced he was going to be the one to cave first.

I was right. Eventually, he started to warm up to me. The carrying he had hated became his preferred mode of transportation. I found out he loved to sunbathe and to watch TV on the couch, never more than an inch or two away from me. Now, he is my best friend. Yes, an elderly Chihuahua Mix is my best friend. 

Every day, I am thankful for the shelter that did so much for him and I am thankful for the people who were patient and kind enough to get my boy to his 16th birthday. And if you're considering a dog but aren't sure you want the high-energy craziness of a younger dog, I would recommend checking out your local shelters for the senior pups. All of those myths about them not bonding with their new owners or about them being boring are wildly off base. 

Keller gets into more shenanigans than I would have ever guessed and every day, he politely requests to be tucked into bed next to me, and keeps me company through the mornings. He gets so excited he runs in circles when I come home and he enjoys a healthy dose of Hulu (Fall TV lineups though....). 

Happy birthday, my first dog! Thank you for being you. 


  1. Aw this post is so sweet it brought a tear to my eye! Happy Birthday Keller! :) Looks a total babe. I would love love love a dog but I'm never around so it would be too cruel :( No judgement that he's your best friend, dogs totally one up humans haha :)

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    1. Thank you :) He's a pretty cool dude.