I wanted to do this now, before I’m really wrecked, because one of my passions is not simply animal adoption, but the adoption of older animals (and older child adoptions, but that’s another topic for later). I met Timberlake, a Labrador-Rottweiler mix, in 2010, when I was undergoing a severe mental breakdown during the merger of Activision and Blizzard Entertainment, for whom I was working, at the time (BE, not Activision). I met him at PetSmart, while my husband and I were shopping for cat food. The adoption reps handed me a leash attached to Timber’s collar, and the rest is history.
At the time, they told me that he was possibly eight or nine years old, but it became clear very quickly with some love and proper care, that he was actually probably closer to two or three than eight or nine. When we first met, Timber was 99lbs on the dot, and his fur was so patchy, we were told that he had mange.
As it happened, the skin issue was simply a yeast infection that cleared up with a round of anti-fungal meds that he was super good about taking, and within a month he was 110lbs, which was normal, and he looked absolutely fabulous. It was about that time we realized that all this, combined with the immaculate state of his teeth, meant he was nowhere near eight years old.
So we proceeded to take the best care of him that we could; grain-free food, vet visits, tooth-brushings, everything you could imagine. He’s born of two very mellow breeds, so he’s a perfect companion to me, who benefits from a quiet, loving companion, and he’s friends with everyone he sees, even if they see the Rottie first and shy away. He recently experienced his first heartbreak, when his best neighbor friend moved away, but he is coping well. He was promised visits, so he’s looking forward to those.
But he is now coming up on, at least, nine or ten years, and his muzzle is becoming salt-and-pepper, and, unfortunately, he’s been showing signs of early dementia, including hallucinations and newly-developed fears of certain sounds.
He’s still got a ways to go, though, and I wanted to share a few pics of him while he’s with us, because an “in memoriam” is just not fitting for the beautiful life that is my Timberlake’s.
Timber and my mom’s basset-dachschund mix, Annie, taken shortly before he needed his Thunder Shirt.
Trying on his Thunder Shirt. It helps a lot with his new anxiety!
Edit: I just remembered, and wanted to add, since it’s so terribly sweet, when we lived in Austin, we were in this bougie sort of apartment complex where a few families had taken up residence after the real estate bubble burst in earnest. So there were children around, and one of them was a very small red-headed boy who got picked on a lot by the other kids and left behind. One day he met Timberlake, and mind, this kid could have ridden Timberlake like a horse with no issue. He fell instantly in love, and Timber was his immediate friend. Having been a kid who was frequently bullied and left behind, it really made me proud that my wonderful pup could in some way help a kid’s life be not so shitty. Timber learned when the school bus came by, and every time he heard that diesel engine pull away, he knew it was time to run downstairs to play with his friend. Truly, more people should be like dogs.