Love dogs too? Want a fun way to celebrate Adopt A Shelter Dog Month with your dog, and help raise money for animals in need? Join in the ASPCA's 31 Days of Rescue Dogs Campaign!
Participants will be asked to post one photo of their favorite rescue every day, and each post will encourage their friends to donate $1 a day in exchange for 31 days of adorable photos. The featured dogs can be rescues, fosters, or shelter pups in need of homes.
Each post should contain the hashtag #31DaysofRescueDogs for the chance to win prizes and be featured on Pit Bulls and Parolees.
When you spend time with older dogs, it feels like you've been given a free meditation lesson. Hanging with Murphy here in the doggy loft at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I literally could feel his soothing aura embrace me while I sat next to him on a bed.
Older dogs offer you something special, often intangible.
I believe strongly in the power older dogs have for enriching our lives. Opening your heart and home to senior dogs is worth the inevitable future loss. Why? That answer varies for many of us, but it could be simply that you appreciate quality over quantity. I learned this from experiences with my beloved dog. After she passed on, I miss her but the feeling of gratitude I have for the quality of time we had together overwhelms any sadness.
When a loved one passes away, their loss can knock you for a loop, even when they are showing signs their time with you is coming to a close. Imagine the devastation when two loved ones unexpectedly go within days of each other? That recently happened to long time senior dog lovers and adopters, Karl and Jessica.
Karl and Jessica shared their sudden loss in an email, which they graciously allow me to share below. I hope you'll read it and take away the message of how the enrichment you get from caring for and about older dogs, far outweighs any pain.
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, as a participating shelter will be waiving fees all weekend for qualified adopters. Come down to 255 Alabama on Rescue Row, 10:00AM to 4:00pm!
The San Francisco SPCA is throwing a street fair on Rescue Row with games straight from the midway, delectable sweet treats, vegetarian nibbles, oodles of fuzzy new friends to take home with you, and the return of the notoriously creative dog costume contest!
This is a contest of Olympic proportions, so get your glue gun fired up and strut your dog’s stuff on the runway at 1pm. At stake, bragging rights and prizes from NBC.
Last year it was the SF/SPCA's most successful adoption weekend ever, finding forever homes for 111 animals! All animals adopted from the SF/SPCA will go home with their new families for free. *
Events on Rescue Row: 1pm Saturday Only Dog costume contest (Registration 10:30am-12:30pm)
All Day Saturday and Sunday FREE adoptions at SF SPCA Mission and Pacific Heights Campuses Big Jenga! Colossal Connect Four! Crowd-art watercolor wall Midway games Selfie station Bouncy obstacle course And more!
*SF residents will be required to pay SF dog license fee.
When I look at an old dog staring out of the window at the doggy loft, I see someone who understands loyalty. The older dog has experienced what it feels like to be a part of a team. They know what it means to be able to depend on someone. I sense they are feeling the loss and it breaks my heart. My compassionate response is to give that old dog all the love and affection they can tolerate, to show them that they weren't wrong to trust us. I feel compelled to step up and show them their loyalty is valued, even more than love.
Mandy is an old dog at Muttville who understands loyalty. I took her out for a walk one morning and her focus wasn't on peeing, it was finding a certain someone or their car. We race-walked down the street pausing at every, single, parked car. She determinedly sniffed each door and tire before moving down the row. I asked her repeatedly to please go potty, because it was nicer for us all if she did her business outside, rather than in the doggy loft among the other dogs. She ignored me. She had priorities.
I don't know many cocker spaniels but I do recognize loyalty, and what it means to be part of a team.
When I spend time with old dogs I always seem to come away with a new wisdom or reminded of a forgotten lesson. Recently I sat with a big old girl named Bridgett. Her quiet watchful gaze followed me around the room until I stopped mopping and came over. She had fit her large shepherd body onto a piece of AstroTurf along the far wall. I couldn't tell if she missed laying on grass or wanted a little private space.
Since her eyes were open I decided to go visit. I'm so glad I did. Bridgett lifted her sugar face up and calmly gazed at me. I took that as a green-light and sat down on the floor. We chatted.
This is Danny, a very clever senior dog from Muttville. Without me saying a word, he walked up during my recent volunteer duty, and put out his right paw. It was still pretty early on this San Francisco morning, and I needed another cup of coffee, but this little cocker spaniel was intent on showing off his tricks.
Unlike my big old Shepherd Husky, Danny didn't need to sit down to shake hands. He also proved he is ambidextrous by offering his left paw a few minutes later.
Volunteering at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue every week brings me in close contact with old dogs. All of my desire to help them get another chance at love and affection with a new family is satisfied by the end of my shift.
This week I had the unexpected additional pleasure of spending time with Patricia, a shepherd with the looks and personality of my heart dog who passed away almost two years ago.
Instead of feeling sad about my loss, or reminded of the hole she left behind, I felt joy. I felt gratitude for having some time with another dog who enjoyed my company so much she dozed off on my feet, and stuck close to me every chance she got. I even got a very sweet smile reminiscent of my angel girl. Her soft eyes and fur are an elixir and soothing balm to noises in the world.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, come see Patricia for yourself and find out what I mean! From the Muttville posting:
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is a special kind of shelter. Maybe it's the old dogs, or maybe it's the volunteers, but when you are inside Muttville, your life gets brighter. Mine has.
Helping write the last chapter of an older dog's life feels amazing.
Let me tell you, it's easy to advocate for animals when you've a senior dog trying to snuggle up next to you. I've been volunteering a few hours each week at Muttville and these old dogs don't pull any punches. They are professionals! Muttville mutts either boldly demand you give them affection, or purposefully seek out a quiet blanket in a peaceful corner.
Thanks in large part to their continued focus on education, and successful use of social media, Muttville has had an explosive growth in the last four years. In 2012 they also signed a lease for their building, giving Sherri, the founder and executive director, her house back.
Though she still has several dogs with her on any given day, the doggy loft at their home on Rescue Row and the many foster homes allows Muttville to help many, many more senior dogs.
Muttville has about thirty dogs in their new building on Alabama Street, with another 80-90 in foster homes. What is unique is that the few kennels you'll find in their headquarters all have open doors. The dogs are free to sleep wherever they want.
Jackpot & Jax were both adopted later that day
Of the hundred Muttville foster homes, 70% have cared for 10 or more dogs. That says a lot about how committed you become to advocating for senior dogs after helping your first. Older dogs shut down the most in a loud and crowded place like a city shelter. This contributes to their depressed and quiet demeanor, and doesn't help their adoption chances.
The open doggy loft and family of foster homes allows Muttville mutts to blossom and show their true loving nature.
Choosing to adopt a shelter pet can have wonderful consequences for both of you. When you decide to adopt a senior dog, you open yourself to a world of love. When kids care for animals, they learn empathy and compassion.
Promoting dog adoption, advocating for senior dogs and championing well-run shelters is something we can do every day, not just once a year, don't you think? Join me!