It’s been over three years since I began showing up for morning volunteer shifts with the senior dogs, and it still never gets old. Ha! These old timer jokes write themselves when both the dogs and the volunteer (ahem, that would be me) are on the older side of life. Yes, the dogs are old but helping them start their day off right is very enriching, for both of us.
Something I've noticed over time is that the dogs coming through the doggy loft may change but many of the conversations remain the same. I certainly have noticed a pattern to some of the morning rituals and remarks passed between dog and volunteer. It can be quite endearing to see new volunteers be surprised at how fun the morning shift can be, and how relatable the oldsters are.
The following are the ten most common questions or exchanges, I say or overhear (!!) on my mornings at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue:
- I don’t have anymore sweetheart.
- Oooh, what's your story little one?
- How’s that? Does this feel good?
- Hmmm that’s some pretty wicked morning breath you got there buddy!
- Ahhh, look who’s sleeping in this morning
- Shh don’t tell, here’s a little extra piece of chicken
- Good morning! How did you sleep last night?
- Do you like to be picked up? You do! Okay, let's go look outside and see what everyone is doing this morning!
- Hey! More poop?! Didn't you just come back from a walk? Lol
- Whoa, man! That’s a whole lotta backwash in your water bowl
I love seeing new volunteers embrace these senior sweethearts and their morning routines. For some it is their first time spending meaning moments with an older dog. I spoken to a few about the similarities between these dogs and their grandparents. We laugh together and I believe many of the younger volunteers take away experiences that reinforce compassion for the elderly, and for animals overall.
Can you guess which comments or exchanges were from me? How many of these or similar questions do you have with your own dog?