Dog mellows with age and find his forever home

After 10 years of waiting for a home, what’s another five months? Not much, if you ask Nicholas the dog.

Aging dog mellows

The wait was worth it! Nicholas, or Nick, came to Best Friends as a puppy a decade ago. He’d been found as a stray. For a long time, he had a lot of energy in that ol’ body of his. One trainer who knew him back in the day described Nicholas as a "fiery go-getter" (which is a polite way of saying he was a real handful!). But, as is often the case with dogs like Nick, with age comes a certain mellowness. Not every day must be spent as a conquistador. Sometimes it’s okay to, you know, relax!

Volunteering at the Best Friends and falling in love

His timing was right on, too. When Valerie Kacherian first came to Best Friends in December 2006, she asked when volunteers were needed the most. While volunteers are a huge help all year long, the coordinators told her that January through March tend to be the slowest time. Valerie’s solution? Come to volunteer one week in each of those three months.

In January and February, she volunteered with the dogs and cats from Lebanon. Then in March, she decided to try something different. She wanted to volunteer at Old Friends, where the older dogs live. And guess what? After years of shuffling all around the sanctuary and trying to find his niche, Nicholas ended up moving to Old Friends only weeks before Valerie volunteered there. She asked if there were any dogs who’d been around awhile that she could take on a sleepover. Nick’s name came up … and it was love at first sight. Not hard to guess why. Nick had a sign over his play area warning about the possibility of being kissed to death.

Yet Valerie was just in the process of moving to Denver, Colorado. She didn’t feel she could take Nick right away, but she filled out an adoption application anyway. Four months later, with everything else in order, she came back for her boy. Such a celebrity and long-time resident surely deserves a going-away party, right? Nick had quite the send-off, and even got to sample all the people snacks set out on the table! (Well, that may not have been part of the plan exactly …) But hey, for a dog his age, the right to snitch people food now comes with retirement.

Photos by Michael Rinker

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