We have all heard of the term rescue dog. No, that doesn't mean it's a dog known for their heroics. The rescue actually refers to the fact that the dog was rescued from the shelter. It can be a little bit of a dramatic description, like the dog has been saved from a burning building.
Rescuing dogs can be incredibly important though. Puppy farms are notorious for churning out dogs that suffer from ailments, all while dogs in shelters are left without any homes. Sometimes these shelters even kill dogs after they've been there for too long. These dogs truly need rescuing.
Unfortunately, the dogs that have the highest adoption rates are usually brand new puppies from puppy farms, or the younger dogs found in the shoulder. Senior dogs are often abandoned and left to die, however, senior dogs might actually make the best possible pets out there to adopt. Here's why.
The Beauty of an Elderly Dog
It is amazing the impact a dog can have on a person, and vice versa, no matter how short or long the time spent together. Alice Mayne was the owner of a golden retriever named Lily for a quarter of a year, but that was more than enough time for the dog to make a lasting impact on Alice and vice versa. Lily was 12 years old in 2007 when she first arrived at an animal shelter in Sonoma County California. Alice Maybe decided to foster her. 74 year old Mayne said, "She came out of the kennel and gave me a kiss."
Lily was one of those dogs who could charm a cat. Everyone adored her. She was a shining light in everyone's life, despite having a tumor on an eyelid, a blood disorder, and seizures.
Lily's Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary
Alice Mayne described Lilly, saying, "That's the epitome of who she was: just constant joy. You know, 'Life is good. I may be really sick and I may be really old, but this is great. I love this.'" Unfortunately, in 2008, Lily died in her sleep next to Alice mayne. It is tragic, yet Alice was able to create something beautiful out of it. She created a nonprofit to help rescue senior dogs like Lily, Lily's Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary.
This isn't some small venture. It is a five acre paradise in Petaluma, California. There are volunteers there 24 hours a day to help the dogs as they roam free and enjoy their senior lives. "We think these dogs should be treated like family pets and we get as close to that as we possibly can. It's a happy place."
Saving Senior Dogs Week
This week Alice Mayn is launching Saving Senior Dogs Week from November 4th to the 10th, partnering with other senior dog shelters. She's hoping this helps promote the idea of rescuing senior dogs since they are the least likely to be rescued. "For the most part, they're very easy to bring into a household because they're settled. A lot of them are well-trained. They've been through their puppy stages - they're not chewing anymore; they're not running."
According to Mayn, you can see the gratitude in Senior dog's eyes when you adopt them. "That's the thing you learn from these dogs: No matter how bad things are, there's something good out there. Relax and you'll feel better. What we get from these dogs, it's just amazing. ... They deserve love and good care and happiness."
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