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Figo Pet Insurance: The Roberts family and senior pet adoption

Lucy & Maggie: Senior dog adoption stories

It had been a rough time for the Roberts family. Their son Gage had been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that was destroying his kidneys. By the age of eight, he’d already experienced dialysis and was facing a kidney transplant. After school, he’d come home and sleep until dinnertime because his condition was robbing him of energy. His mom, Julia, thought the love of a dog would make this time a little easier for Gage, so the family set out in search of an adoptee. 

They arrived at the shelter with a mental sketch of the dog they wanted—young and small (under 45lbs), with a loving temperament and good manners around kids. (Keeping in mind, Gage’s younger sister, Quinn, who suffers from the same genetic condition as Gage.)

When they couldn’t find a dog to fit their wish list, a shelter worker gently steered them toward longtime shelter resident named, Lucy. Lucy, a 6-year old and 65 lb. mutt, had a gentle disposition and a natural love of kids. After a family huddle, Julia signed the papers and they took Lucy home.

The fit was perfect from the start. Lucy fit right in with the family, and she quickly bonded with Gage, lifting his spirits and helping him cope emotionally with the health challenges he faced. She was by his side after he returned home from surgery and helped him through his recovery.

Lucy spent her remaining 8 years with the Roberts family and was deeply loved. However, at the age of 14, her health deteriorated. She passed away at home, in Julia’s arms.

After a month passed, Gage decided he was ready to welcome another dog, and the family again chose another senior adoptee. Maggie, a border collie with heterochromia (eyes of two different colors), was adopted at the age of ten, after she was returned to the same shelter (now Best Friends Animal Society).

Her prior owners had adopted her at age two and had kept her for eight years, but she did not get along with other animals. She also had a reputation for being less than patient with kids and was considered “hard to place.”

The Roberts’ went ahead with the adoption and brought Maggie home. At first, Gage had trouble warming up to Maggie. Her temperament was quite different from Lucy’s, and for a few weeks the Roberts’ wondered if they’d made a mistake.

Then something happened: Maggie began to bond with Julia, following her around the house and settling into a routine. Soon she worked her way into Gage and Quinn’s hearts as well.

Over three years have passed and Maggie, now 14, is still doing well. The Roberts have never regretted their decision to adopt her, and vow to only adopt senior dogs in the future. The road ahead may not be easy, but where there’s love, there’s a way.


Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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