Jamie, approx. age 6
There is something very heart breaking about the Holiday season. What should be a time of togetherness, peace, friendship, and love (both human and canine, alike!) has become a time of 'out with the old and in with the new'.
I've noticed that many senior dogs are making their way through our shelter. Some in relatively good health and others unfortunately not in good health. Perhaps the owners of these senior pups were going away on vacation and didn't know what to do with their pets while they were away....so they gave them away. Perhaps the owners couldn't afford to buy Christmas presents for their family and keep their family pet....so they gave them away. Perhaps their dog was costing them a fortune in vet bills due to their declining health...so they gave them away.
Whatever the case, more and more seniors are making an appearance as I walk through the kennels at the shelter. Looking into their eyes makes me feel sick in the pit of my stomach.
In their eyes is confusion, loneliness, fear, sadness, and sometimes absolutely nothing at all. I can imagine that the dogs are confused to find themselves away from their home...I can imagine that they are lonely because they are separated from their person. I imagine that the environment is terrifying after being used to something else for 6, 8, or 10 plus years.
Some of our current seniors are handling the environment better than others. They're tough cookies, alright. In fact, some members of the Canine Senior Citizens club wouldn't believe you if you TOLD them they were old fogey's!
Take Shona - a happy, happy, happy girl who LOVES to go for walks even though she has a rear leg injury that causes her to swerve from side to side. Or Jamie - a spunky, frisky fella that has come alive! since his arrival in September. Don't forget Shani, a friendly, cuddly, and well behaved dog that prances like a puppy in the play area and walks like a lady down 4th street. Dear sweet Emma may look sad, but she's a firecracker when she's by your side on a walk. Loving Milffy would gladly sit in your lap for the rest of her life if you'd let her. Leah and King, were surrendered together and are at their best when they are walking side by side. Snap, an easy going elderly gentleman who is experiencing what it's like to be cared for and loved. And last, but certainly not least, Mr. Babu - a grouchy, but enjoyable companion none the less, who is happy to not have a giant matted ball of hair and poop hanging off his butt. (Please, don't ask.)
I don't know what kind of life these dogs had before the came to the shelter. But I do know that now that they are here...they are receiving nourishing food, medical care, shelter and most importantly love and attention. These dogs are all desperately awaiting a home to call their own, a home where they can live out the rest of their days cherished, safe, and happy.
Please consider fostering one of these Canine Senior Citizens or better yet, adopting one and giving it a place to call home.