Senior To Senior | Don & Bear

Bear came to BTAA as an owner-surrender. He was a friendly 7-year-old dog, and there was no question about it, he was a well-loved companion, but life circumstances prevailed and he needed a new home.

Not far away, Don, a 76-year-old Bonner County resident, was grieving the recent loss of his 14-year-old beloved canine companion, Penny. With him every day, Penny kept him company and they had routines, including her morning treat ritual. She passed peacefully of old age and is buried on his property. Her grave is lovingly marked with fresh flowers.

When she died, the lilies planted in Don’s yard bloomed. “It’s the first time the lilies have bloomed in nine years,” Don explained. “The last time they bloomed was when my wife passed away.” The lilies are a spiritual signal that everything is ok.

Don, like many seniors, questioned whether he should have another pet. He worried that his own time would come, leaving his pet alone. But, when a neighbor showed Don a video of Bear at Better Together Animal Alliance’s (BTAA) care center, Don fell in love. Upon meeting, the pair went for a short walk and their bond was sealed. Bear had a sleepover, and the rest is history in the making.

BTAA believes the human-animal bond is for everyone, no matter their age, and senior pets are adopted by seniors free of charge. Bear was adopted by Don at no cost, making adoption easy and barrier-free for seniors on a fixed income.

Don and Bear are settling into their routines and life is looking bright for both of them. Don walks Bear a half-mile every morning, and Bear is learning not to chase wildlife on their country property. Bear settled in quickly to Don’s lifestyle, and although BTAA provided a dog bed and some blankets for Bear, he doesn’t need them. He sleeps on the bed.