Adopt a Senior Dog Month: Reason #5 Why Senior Dogs Are Amazing

Wonder why senior dogs are amazing? One big reason is they show how age is just a number!!

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

November is Adopt a Senior Dog Month. Discover for yourself how older dogs can positively influence your life, and just how it feels to have one show you what fearlessly giving is.

 

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Don’t fear! Senior dogs are very dear — and worth adopting!!

One of the biggest reasons senior dogs, and generally adult dogs, have a hard time getting adopted from shelters is because many people fear loss.

You know a simple way to counter that fear? Flip your perspective! 

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

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5 Great Reasons Why Senior Dogs Rule and Puppies Drool

November has turned into a favorite month thanks to the older dogs in my life. I love senior dogs more than Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce!

My excitement for this month began after we adopted my own amazing Shepherd Husky from the San Francisco SPCA in November. After we shared every “Gotcha Day” and adoptaversary each November, I loved this month a little bit more.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

Since my big fluffy girl had to move on three years ago, I’ve been spending time every week at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue among an ever changing tide of sweet oldsters. They show me how much more fun being around well-seasoned dogs are compared to puppies! 

Curious about what makes these sugar faces so great? Read on and see for yourself  Adorable adoptable dogs ahead!!

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The good feelings you can get from the smell of a dog or twenty

I love the smell of dogs. There, I said it, and I mean it.

Am I alone in this? I hadn’t thought before that something I was badly missing after the passing of my big fluffy dog would be her smell. Her thick Husky Shepherd triple coated fur smell. She had smelled like my beloved childhood stuffed bear who I took naps with and whose plastic nose I chewed. I still have that now fifty year old panda bear.

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Today, coming home from my morning with the oldsters at Muttville, I silently kept noticing the smell of the dogs on me. I could see their hairs on my black yoga pants but I also got little whiffs of scent every time I shifted in my bus seat. And I loved it!

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How do you feel when a dog smiles at you?

I have met emotional support dogs and understand why you would feel calm having a dog close by at all times. Whenever I volunteer at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, the dogs turn any frown upside down.

Our family dogs not only made me feel safe and protected, but on many occasion they also calmed my adolescence. I could turn to any one of them when I needed to redirect my anxiety over family squabbling.

How did the stress of growing up in a turbulent household diminish?

Dogs wanted to play with me. Playing together distracted me for hours from our family worries. And with dogs, there was always poop to be picked up or bedding to be cleaned. They enjoyed learning and eagerly gave me all their attention if I wanted to work with them. Anyone with a dog who loves to fetch knows how easy it is to pass hours tossing a ball. If I wanted to have a dog even just sit next to me and listen to my worries, one of them always would.

Dogs have always been excellent at distracting me. Is there a certain dog gene I carry that makes me susceptible? Is this why someone would visibly and physically respond to a dog they don't know?

This ability to distract and engage my attention so completely continues with dogs I meet at Muttville. Each week, whether I am surrounded by new dogs, or dogs I met previously, they still offer a unique calming effect on my demeanor.

I can understand the role emotional support dogs play. Just look at Oscar's face in this photo, he's showing you how to thoroughly enjoy a walk! 

When you look at a dog's face how does it make you feel? What about a dog's relaxed body language? When they smile do you return the look? 

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Young readers will love the story of Gobi, the little stray dog with a big heart

When I think back to my childhood, I realize that after my stuffed Snoopy, my first real friend was our family dog. I think because of my young age and personality, I was willing and able to develop meaningful friendships with all of our family dogs over the years. Each of them had an important and positive influence over my development growing up in a remote area of a California county. They were my study buddies, cheerleaders, confidants, motivators, and moral compass. I know that is a lot but believe me, never underestimate the power of the human-dog bond.

The support, generosity, and kindness of strangers

This leads me to a wonder pair of books that I was given the chance to read before their official release August 29th, starting with Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart. It's a picture book that offers a humane education for little ones, taking them on an adventure across the desert! They are introduced to a little stray dog whose positive influence has a remarkable impact on an ultra-marathon runner. Based on a true story, this picture book is a wonderful introduction to the idea of compassion for animals, courage and love for a little stray dog with a big heart.

Gobi Picture Book
Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart [picture book, 4-8 years]

 

Both books are about teamwork and power of a dog's positive influence, but the young reader edition adds a lot more to the 'man meets dog' story...

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Older dogs teach us patience and how to fill up your love tank!

In our hurry up, I'm always late world, spending time with an older dog can be the perfect counterbalance.

Time together may help you gain a thoughtful approach to the next hour of the day, or maybe the whole week ahead. After a few one-on-one minutes with an older dog, I have left motivated and empowered, focused more the softer side of life.

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Discover why senior dogs rule when you fall in love with Seymour!

Certain dogs have these furry faces that are look like they have a world of information waiting to share with you. Then when they're oldsters, their sweet face looks like they got into the sugar bowl. Seymour a cute blend of Terrier is like this. It’s hard not to fall in love with Seymour, he’s such a mellow and easy going fella. 

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We don’t know much about his past, but we can tell that all he wants is to love and be loved! Seymour is great with other dogs of all sizes and enjoys all the hustle and bustle of the Muttville loft. He’s easy to walk on leash too.

Seymour will make a great addition to any home! He's a love bug!

We think Seymour is about 16 years young, weighing about 14 lbs.

Due to Seymour’s advanced age, heart disease, and arthritis, he is available for hospice care adoption.

Here’s what Seymour’s Foster has to say about him:

Seymour is the biggest sweetheart! I would adopt him if I could – he brings so much joy with his perennial puppy smile, tolerance for wearing cute flower crowns and bow ties, and ever patient cuddles. Naps are the name of the game with Seymour. He loves following “his person” around. He perks up whenever he can go outside for a walk, and although his preferred pace is a bit slow, he really enjoys being carried in a dog carrier around. I take him in a dog backpack on a bike and on Bart for my commute (an hour each way) & I hardly hear a peep from him. Seymour is house-trained but does well when let out regularly during the day. He doesn’t have accidents overnight. Seymour is the most amazing dog for someone who wants an easy-going companion to accompany them around. He is low maintenance and full of cuddles – and it is just to cute to watch him take naps next to you on the couch or while working!

Fall in love with Seymour at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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Patricia McConnell Gives Fearlessly in her New Book "The Education of Will"

Anyone familiar with my blog, or the Grouchy Puppy motto, will know that the central theme to the writing and social media posts is the broad positive influence of the human-dog bond. 

The Education of Will
When Dr. Patricia McConnell published her new book, The Education of Will, I was immediately interested because it spoke to what I hold dear, the positive influence of a dog. However, her stories of facing one fear after another pulled me through the book. Her self-effacing and humble style of sharing filled me with empathy. It isn't easy to face our fears even with the help of a special dog. 

"I knew Willie like I knew myself. I knew what it was like to be happy and friendly on the outside and yet spend much of your life in fear."

This mutual memoir is a story of injury and recovery, but in addition to the themes of trauma, fear and love, I felt forgiveness, empathy, and compassion were striking themes throughout the book. 

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National Dog Fighting Awareness Day with ASPCA and Sir Patrick Stewart

Dog fighting is cruel. Dog fighting is the ugly side of humans. I believe one way to counter animal cruelty is to raise compassionate children, to positively influence our communities about dogs. 

April 8 is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day, an annual day to raise awareness about the prevalence of dog fighting and encourage animal lovers to take action against it.

Throughout April, the ASPCA is teaming up with Sir Patrick Stewart and asking animal advocates to #GetTough on this cruel practice by posting a selfie with their pet to their social media channels, flexing their arm muscle in solidarity with the movement.

PatrickStewartGetToughShareable

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Have you ever thought about what it means to have an old friend?

One of the benefits of volunteering every week at a senior dog rescue is that I am never without an old friend to visit with, and it feels pretty great. Each dog there offers me something. Look at Henry, this blend of Basset Hound and happiness. Imagine what conversations you'd have together!

image from www.muttville.org

You can't make old friends, but you can adopt one.

Whatever our age, there are times when we need someone to bounce ideas, or share deeply personal thoughts. Who says that 'someone' can't be a dog?

I have all kinds of conversations with the different dogs I meet. It's very satisfying. I love how each has their own way of responding. I might get a wag, a bark or an attempt to climb into my lap. It's a real treat when a dog offers me a little kiss!

What's wonderful about having a dog as a friend is that their positive influence is never-ending, and it never goes away even when they leave us.

My beloved dog passed on almost three years ago but thanks to our time together, and many conversations, I discovered Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.

I've been getting up at six once a week for a year now. Helping care for the furry oldsters first thing in the morning always makes the day, and my life, a little brighter. I've appreciated their friendship and ability to always make me feel good.

Look back up at Henry again. Have you thought about what it means to have an old friend?

Learn more about Henry, and Muttville.

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Have you ever noticed how some dogs smell like a stuffed animal?

When I was three years old my parents rehomed an older dog. At the time, we lived in the high desert of Southern California, in a tiny town of cinder block houses. Her family knew ours and my mom thought the dog would fit in. She did, so much so that I stopped playing with my dolls and only wanted to be with her. She was a big, fluffy Samoyed dog who I believed needed me to brush her, every chance I could.

I could sit for hours on the dirty concrete in our car port, surrounded by potential playthings, and only care about her well-being in that hot arid climate. I felt so calm next to her dusty fluffy bear-like body. I would smile into her panting face. Why care that my doll could walk with a push of a button, when I had an open mouth breathing lion to care for? I had a wild beast as my best friend, who smelled like a stuffed animal.

We were inseparable. I never played with dolls again. When I look back fifty years later, I can see this was no coincidence but fate. I had been destined to be a dog lover.

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Enter Chispa. During a recent morning session volunteering at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I met this lovely lady that you see here. In less than a minute, she brought back memories of my Samoyed. Softly petting Chispa between the eyes, letting her creep closer as she accepted my love, I felt a familiar warmth pass between us.

Without hesitation I leaned in to feel her fluff with my face. Not only did she let me, she closed her eyes and settled in for whatever else I had in store. Is my response common to other older dog lovers? Do we all have this imprint that stays with us? You read the phrase, "dog print on my heart" but this sensation I feel is at a molecular level.

My time volunteering at Muttville is always satisfying, but moments with dogs like Chispa are restorative. I hope someone out there with extra love finds her. She will repay you with the sweetest breath, the kindest eyes, and a quietude to balance the noisy world of today.

Thank you Chispa for taking me back in time.

Have you noticed the similar smell between a stuffed animal and a dog? When did you know you were a dog lover?

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Cute News Desk: Your first dog or next dog could look like this...

You never know what kind of dog will adopt you, and vice versa. This is true whether you discover the love of an older dog, or a young one.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

You could look down and recognize a fellow companion ready to share your adventures and life. I believe we meet the right dogs at the right time, that the match is made from equal parts timing and openness, with a dash of magic.

But that's just me.

What do you think?

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Offer some affection to a senior dog, and your heart will get HUGE

What is so special about dogs, especially old dogs, is their ability to pull you out of a funk. You know, when you feel blue or maybe just out of sorts.

Dogs seem to do just the right thing, at the right time. It doesn't have to be a dramatic move, but it could be they simply need you to take them out to go to the bathroom or give them a few scratches in a place they can't reach.

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Dogs have a way of getting you to focus less on whatever is bothering you and more on them. Their sweet but steady demeanor reflects a serenity that can quiet the noisiest mind. 

Introverts would do well to spend time with a senior dog. Someone prone to depression could benefit from time with a dog.

What is so wonderful about a dog is the simplicity of your time together, and interactions. They love you without reservation. Their needs are not complex.

A dog has no hidden agenda or ego. They offer a pure form of companionship that can change your life for the better.

The hardest thing is quieting your own internal dialogue so that you can hear and understand what a dog is saying to you. 

If you can be quiet then no doubt you'll learn about how dogs communicate, and as you spend time with them don't be surprised to feel their positive influence

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You can feel TREMENDOUS when you spend time with senior dogs!

A little known secret in the medical and canine community is that older dogs have super powers. Yep, senior dogs have the power to heal you, to make you feel tremendous!

If you've never experienced life around an older dog, you might be skeptical of these claims, but hear me out. I am speaking from recent experiences with senior dogs, not just remembering my life with my old dog. 

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Look at this image above, and tell me you can't imagine how it must feel to get that many close snuggles at one time. Not frantic puppy love, but slow and steady warmth.

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