This old guy's face says it all. He passed away yesterday in the arms of a new friend after leaving the shelter (he was a stray) and after relaxing into a week-long compassion hold. Rumor has it that the cute girl dog in the house, Grace, perked up Morley's spirits a bit during his final days. Way to go, You dawg.
We're surmising, but it sure seems like a lot of sick and older dogs have been losing their homes since the economy started wacking out on us. Vet assisted euthanasias can cost as much as $150 and lord knows treating canine cancer is only possible for people with Whole Foods life styles ... So, here we are. Getting depressed about it is certainly an option, but so is setting out to do nice things like this:
I met the owner of the Senior Dogs site years ago when I impulsively pulled a tired senior doberman from Berkeley Animal Services. Senior, as in sunken eyes ancient. I had the idea then that Doberman Rescue would surely want him. Ha! And so, Tim and I were 'stuck' with the (forgotten) challenges and huge rewards of loving Henry - the oldest, most wonderful doberman ever known - to me, anyway. Thinking of that dog still squeezes big fat tears out of my eyes. Old dogs are the best.
Donate your old fluffy blankets to your shelter so the skinny dogs can sink into a good sleep. If they'll let you, give a shelter dog a bath and let your fingernails grow out a bit so you can dig in deep when you lather. That's sheer heaven to a dog that hasn't been touched in years. Drop off some stew or roasted chicken and ask shelter staff to give to dogs on their last day (They will) Everyone should be so lucky. Can you do a compassion hold and let a sick dog like Morley have a final week or two of comfort in your home? Ask your shelter to consider you for this kind of work. Read this website for more ideas: Senior Dog Project
Here are two seniors that recently charmed their way into our adoption program. They aren't ancient - in fact, at 8-some years old (guessing) they both have spunk to spare. But we expect that they aren't going to fly out the door anytime soon due to their age. That's okay...We're counting our blessings in the meantime.
Below: Frida Brown
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Morley's Photo: Nicole Rattay, his final friend.