Leo came to me in January 2019 at 14 or 15 years old. He is a very happy, lovable Black Lab/Border Collie mix who has all the personality of a lab. He is friendly, adores people and loves to go on walks. Even at his age he loves to chase me in the park. But more than anything, my St. Leo loves to eat! He paces around my feet when I am in the kitchen, and if I am even five minutes late with mealtime, he lets me know it.
I adopted Leo from a rescue in Arizona and had him shuttled to New Mexico. He was found abandoned in a field. Leo had a range of problems when they found him: deaf, blind in his right eye with fading vision in his left, full of arthritis, and severe allergies that led him to lose a good deal of fur. Unbeknownst to the rescue, Leo also had significant cognitive disorder as well as congestive heart failure.
Leo was a tough adoption because his brain couldn't make sense of the change in living situation and he struggled to understand the new routine. He cried and paced day and night for a month. But then, slowly but surely, he started to get the hang of it. With a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, Leo's dementia and congestive heart failure greatly improved. He even remembered how to run! I greatly enjoy his company: he has such a pure and innocent goodness about him. He makes me happy.
Leo started to decline in August of 2020, not too long after Bug's death. His dementia became severe and he started to lose control of his body, falling down often and unable to get up. He lost interest in walking during the mornings, and forgot how to get the food out of the bowl. He paced and paced for hours at night, unable to sleep, for several weeks. On our last day together, Leo had a miraculous day of clarity. He slept through the night for the first time in weeks, got right up for the morning walk, ate well out of the bowl, and spent an hour running around at our favorite park. It was a great gift to us both. Leo died on September 25, 2020. He is deeply missed by this broken heart.