An unconventional rescue dog helped give his elderly owner another two years of life, the man's daughter believes.
Roberta Levene knew it would be difficult to find a replacement for her 96-year-old father-in-law Reuben's much-loved spaniel, Teddy.
Several calls to various rescue centres came to nothing, even though Reuben was more than happy to take on an old dog with problems - he joked that they would be a perfect match!
But while Roberta appreciated that Reuben’s age was an issue, she explained that the dog would have a strong support system. The Cinnamon Trust, a charity that provides practical help with day-to-day care to preserve treasured relationships between owners and their pets, had already agreed to walk the new pet. And the family and carers would also be involved in the dog's welfare.
Then Reuben spotted Bambam, a Lhasa Apso, on the NAWT website. At the time, Roberta did not know that Bambam had already been adopted from the rescue centre once before, but it had not worked out.
She said: “For a little dog, he certainly is a large, vocal character. He has problems with other dogs until he gets to know them, is deaf, or - like many males - has selective hearing, has separation anxiety and loves to watch television".
"But given that he goes crazy if he sees an animal or blonde woman on screen, watching the box is an ‘interesting’ experience! Not everyone can or wants to handle this type of behaviour.”
Understandably, NAWT Watford wanted to make sure that Bambam was going to go to his forever home. The process had begun and after several visits to the centre and Reuben’s home, Bambam joined the family.
“It was a match made in heaven,” says Roberta. “Ruby didn't go out that often, but when he did Bambam came with him, so separation anxiety wasn't an issue. And as Ruben read voraciously and played bridge a lot of the time, the TV wasn't on that often.”
The little dog became a loving and caring presence in the home, and was with Ruby until he passed away a year ago. Roberta believes “Bambam helped give him a further two years”.
She adopted Bambam a week later, and he is now a big part of the family’s life. His life has changed a lot, as he is now out and about with Roberta most of the time.
The family has worked on his separation anxiety and he can now cope with being left for a couple of hours.
Roberta said: “We will forever be in NAWT's debt for agreeing to let Reuben adopt Bambam. They took all the circumstances into account and made the best decision, for all of us.”
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