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January 02, 2009

Talk Back: Senior Pets

A number of you liked last week's post on Granny Annie, the 3-legged Boston Terrier whose story a fellow blog reader shared with me. Like Annie's guardian, so many of us have had meaningful experiences with senior and special-needs pets. Here are some of your comments:

I would also like to encourage those working with the elderly to help them consider the future of the pet. It is difficult to discuss, but a good caregiver can find a way. —Happy Camper

It is the older pets, even the abused ones, who look most for the owner to return. They look through the gate, but just a bit behind you, to see if the error has been corrected and you have brought help. My dream was to have a space in my home for one older dog at a time to retire with grace. Living out the days of their lives with dignity and if not the right owner, at least some one to call their own. Finances have prevented that, but Hope Springs Eternal ! and until such time as I can follow that path, I drive to the pound and love them there. Keep up the good work, and we support and love your efforts. —Ardena Perry

There is nothing in this world of animal rescue and well being as honorable as adopting an older 4 legged friend. More than anything, they deserve the best ... —Jonathan Gilbert

This is a great reminder to all that there is a loyal dog's heart inside, no matter what the outside looks like. I have adopted older dogs, that for health reasons, only made it a year with us. I hope it was the best year of their lives and I know it was the really important part of their life story, the happy ending they deserved. I volunteer with the Oldies But Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue based in VA and MD. It was created for that very reason, for dogs like Granny Annie. I am going to share this with my group and hope it helps others to give an old dog a chance at a warm loving home. Thanks for the wonderful job you do heading up the HSUS. —Lois Davis

I love this story!! That's something I've had on my heart for a while. I was browsing through the local shelter's list of adoptable pets, and they had a few special needs ones listed. I'm not able to have pets now, so it was wishful thinking. But whenever I can have pets, I want two cats, regardless of age, but if I ever get a dog, it will be senior or special needs. I'm not a dog person, but they are the ones that have a special place in my heart. —Nione Almie

How ironic that I opened up the blog tonight and saw the subject and story on senior dogs. I am about to euthanize my 13.75 yr. old greyhound due to incurable and extensive orthopedic problems and thought today, "I'm never adopting a puppy. I think I'll foster a very old greyhound or a pitbull next." Seniors are the best, and they're great for us who want to give overlooked dogs some good, loving years before they cross the Rainbow Bridge. I also have an 11 yr. old greyhound, and I enjoy every minute of his funny ways. —Deedee D.

I'm in tears. Granny Annie has opened my eyes and heart in so many new and beautiful ways. I honestly never thought about the older dogs who only hope to find one special person who will love and care for them. Looks like Granny Annie found her angel. —Pamela Bertsch

I want to thank you for writing this piece, it made me and my daughter cry. When we go to shelters to visit the animals, we always spend extra time with the animals that are obviously older and may not get the amount of attention that the younger more attractive animals do. You are so sensitive to note that all animals, no matter what they look like, have shining personalities that far out weigh their outward appearance. We love all animals and it is really heartbreaking to see any animal mistreated in ANY way, ignored or unloved. Thank you for writing this wonderful piece. —Erlyn, Mark and Kaitlyn Garrison

What a beautiful, wonderful touching story! It definitely brought tears to my eyes. Our cat, Summer, was rescued from two young boys that were putting her in a pillow case. So my daughter's boyfriend at that time, rescued her and now she has a wonderful safe home with us! She is deeply loved and I only hope that all animals will be that loved some day. May God Bless all of you who rescue animals and take care of them. All of you should be proud of yourselves! May, thank you for taking in this BEAUTIFUL dog!!  —Karen E Wagner

What a beautiful and selfless thing to do. I think people forget that animals just like people are special and loving on the inside. However, animals show their love and appreciation everyday where as humans get caught up in their everyday lives and forget the simple things in life. —Lesley

Your story on the 3-legged Boston bull terrier tugged at my heart. Until I read that you kept her, I knew we would take her. We have a house full of previously unwanted and somewhat physically damaged pets. There could have been room for one more.They are perfect on the inside and return overwhelming amounts of affection for the little material sustainence we give them. Learning of the good people like you that exist gives me hope that we can offset those many that are not.You all have my best wishes this holiday season. —Arnie Fiergang

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