Gaining an older dog’s trust is slow but I am in no hurry 🍂

What’s amazing about adopting a old dog is the experience of gaining their trust.

There is something special, almost sacred about gaining someone else’s trust. When that someone is an old adoptable dog, the experience is out of this world. It can be life changing for both dog and person.

From my first meeting with an old dog in the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue doggy loft, I observe their manner. I watch each dog for signs of interest, or aloofness. I love these old timers but I am in no hurry or rush. No one wants to be overwhelmed when they are in a new place. My job as a volunteer, and as a human being is to remind these sugar faces that they are in a good place. We are on their side.

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Imagine how your life can change for the better when you adopt a dog

When you start thinking about having a dog in your life, it can be a simple decision, or a consuming series of scenarios. Having a dog is life changing. From your daily routine shifting to center around being, to your Instagram filling up with photos documenting every new experience together. I can still remember adopting my first dog from the San Francisco SPCA.

It helped me to have previous experience with dogs from my childhood, but not by that much in all honesty. The world is a different place from the 1970s and I found everything I needed in the dog community. The benefit to social media and to us being a nation of dog lover is that it didn’t take long for me to find answers to my initial questions, to find supplies, to learn about how to take care of a dog in the city.

Deciding to adopt a dog from a shelter turned into the best, and biggest decision I had made since deciding to get married. Seriously. I really felt everything shift around me after we brought our dog home from Rescue Row on that rainy fall night. Who knew in a few short years our life together would inspire the creation of Grouchy Puppy? I didn’t, but I did embrace wholeheartedly our new life and tried to live in the moment with her.

She introduced me to experiences that no one else can. Our dog human relationship was based on respect, and fellowship. We had our own girl club. As months went by, we learned about each other and probably unsurprising to dog behaviorists, we supported other. Receiving compassion from a dog is a unique experience.

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Our time together has informed my life ever since. When I walk into the doggy loft at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and meet a dog like Midnight, I am reminded of my girl. I can feel the pull from Midnight to spend time with her, to understand her, to appreciate her. Every dog is unique and individual. It is our job to uncover and celebrate their qualities. I can tell you from my experience that when you embrace a dog for who they are, life gets better. Your life together glows brighter. They share even more secrets and magical life lessons with you!

When you choose to adopt a shelter dog give them extra. Give them extra love, and time to get to know you. Give them extra patience to learn how to live in their new life with you. Give them extra reasons to trust you. When you set them up for success, when you trust they are doing their best, that their intentions are pure, your heart will thank you. Your life will glow with goodness and light. A dog who believes in you will only make you a better person.

Midnight reminded me of all these things in our short time together. Imagine what you can learn, how your life can change for the better when you decide to adopt a shelter dog?

Learn more about Midnight, a beautiful adoptable from Muttville: https://muttville.org/mutt/midnight-6052

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My big beautiful reward from a pit bull dog

One of the reasons volunteering at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is worthwhile for me is the education I receive. Each week there is a lesson related to dogs, palliative care for old dogs, myths about dog breeds, or what life is like with a dog.

Last week, I was reminded about how easy it is to make assumptions when around pit bull type dogs. A very sweet old lady, Gemma, was in the doggy loft when I arrived for my morning shift. She’s a big girl with a steady gaze. I blinked first.

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I love all dogs and it surprised me that I reacted to her with even a millisecond of nervousness. My verbal greeting was met with a hoarse bark but no wagging tail when I arrived. With her block head and solid body, I wasn’t sure how to engage with her.

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Stars Shine for Remember Me Thursday Global Pet Adoption Awareness Campaign!

Throughout the world ‪on‬ ‪Thursday, September 26th, 2019‬, social media posts and candle lighting ceremonies will shine a light on the millions of homeless animals still awaiting adoption and encourage communities to opt to adopt to reduce the millions of orphan pets euthanized each year.

This month, Helen Woodward Animal Center will once again unite with animal welfare proponents and organizations worldwide for the 7th Annual Remember Me Thursday®.  Honored on the fourth Thursday of September, the campaign asks pet lovers and animal rescue groups to create an unstoppable, integrated voice advocating for homeless pets to live in forever homes, not die waiting for them. 

Grassroots candle-lighting ceremonies and a global avalanche of social media buzz will shine a light on the millions of orphan animals still awaiting adoption and encourage communities to opt to adopt and reduce the millions of homeless pets euthanized each year.

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You don’t own a dog, you have a dog. And a dog has you!

“You don’t own a dog, you have a dog. And a dog has you!” is a wonderful way to approach life with a dog. It’s a quote I read in a Chelsea Handler book that stuck with me, if you saw her shows, you can tell she’s a big dog lover. (who can forget Chunk!)

If you can imagine a life with a dog, then you can imagine adopting an older dog, and if you are ready to have a dog, then you should consider visiting your local shelter or coming by Muttville Senior Dog Rescue for #ClearTheShelters adoption event tomorrow, August 17th.

On Saturday, from 10AM to 4PM on Rescue Row, senior sweethearts will be looking for love and companionship, a cheerleader, a champion, or simply a caring person to write their final chapter together with. 

Are you an introvert? There is a dog just for you! Want to be the loving hero to write the last chapter in a dog’s life? Here is a sweet sample of the available sugar faces at Muttville:

 

All over the US there are available dogs ready to get another chance at having a forever family of their own. If you live in the Bay Area, stop by Rescue Row in San Francisco and visit Muttville Senior Rescue, the San Francisco SPCA or San Francisco Animal Care and Control for lots of adoptable cuties!

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Visit Clear The Shelters.com for a list of ALL the participating rescues and shelters close to you: http://www.cleartheshelters.com/

Adoption fees are reduced or waived for qualified adopters thanks to the financial support from #NBCBayArea and #Telemundo

 

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Fifth Annual Clear The Shelters 🐾 Adoption Event Saturday August 17th

#ClearTheShelters returns! This nationwide adoption event that attempts to clear the shelters returns for a fifth year! If you or a loved one is ready to have a dog this is the weekend for you. Thanks to the sponsorship from NBC and Telemundo, adoption fees are waived, or reduced, at shelters during this special weekend. 

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Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is joining more than 50 Bay Area animal shelters and rescues who will offer low cost or waived adoption fees on August 17 

Visit ClearTheShelters.com to access a list of local participating shelters and rescues 

 

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Muttville Cuddle Club: Where Older Dogs Give Love Get Love(d) by Seniors

There are more older people who are life long dog lovers than ever before! These folks are positively influencing senior facilities and retirement centers to accept dogs either as residents, or at least as regular visitors, and I’m here for it!

Another important issue is that as we age, a dog lover may reach a point when they can’t take care of a dog, but they still enjoy giving and getting the canine affection. They intrinsically appreciate the human dog bond.

A very sweet way to access the love and affection from a dog is cuddling and for those in the San Francisco Bay Area, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue offers Cuddle Club!

 

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It ain’t easy being a big adoptable older dog

Given my personal experiences, I might have to confess to having a special place in my heart for adoptable big older dogs.

The bigger the dog, the bigger the love? For some of us, it sure can feel like you’ve been hit by a ton of bricks when you feel the love and affection and attention from a big dog like Hamilton or Nikki. When they gaze into your eyes you want to always have the right answer to their questions. If they want to go for a walk, you want to say yes. If they want a little taste of your hotdog, you want to say yes.

Thank you Muttville

When I learned that the guardian for Hamilton and Nikki passed away, which is how they found their way to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I felt a rush of compassion for this pair of big dogs. They are big hunks of love and they know how to engage with people.  

The morning when I arrived at the doggy loft, and took these photos, I laughed when I saw how Hamilton convinced multiple volunteers to take him for walks, while Nikki napped and lazily greeted newcomers with big head butts of fluffy affection and tail wags.

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They had thoroughly worked their magic on us all. Now they are in loving homes but their story is a wonderful example of how, even in the big city, giving a big dog another chance at a loving home is worth it.

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Thank you Muttville Senior Dog Rescue for stepping up for these big older dogs, who still had a lot to share with us humans about why dogs make life better, and why yes, sometimes the bigger the dog the bigger and heavier the loving affection.

My big dog may have crossed over but these encounters are wonderful reminders of why we fell in love with her and what an incredible opportunity she gave us. I’m still grateful for her many lessons and experiences together, unique to life with a small dinosaur.

If you get a chance to have a big adopted dog in your life, I hope you’ll consider it.

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Have a Cup of Cuteness at Muttville’s Boston Tea-rier Party Adoption Event on June 29th and June 30th

If you are looking to add a sweet little cup of cuteness into your life, this weekend make your way to Rescue Row in San Francisco, for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue’s Boston Tea-rier Party! 

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

O Henry you sweet, sweet, adorable love bug! Look at those eyes, he’s charming his way into your heart without even realizing it. He politely stared into my eyes until I opened my arms to let him climb up for a cuddle...

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Henry is a friendly mutt who could do just the trick for you! Slow and steady, Henry loves to hang out with other dogs, sit in laps, and be pet for hours! 

He is the king of lowering blood pressure, and keeping the blues away!

Henry is a small, light brown Terrier mix with grey around his muzzle and a calm disposition. He has the sweetest little face in the world and loves you as soon as you show him affection.

Henry is curious and friendly, and would be quite at home in any sort of living space, and would even go on walks if you asked nicely!

Henry is a perfect, chill companion who needs a loving home. Come meet this incredible boy!

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Stop by Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco and let Henry win your heart! He won mine!! What a little snuggler...

Henry is estimated to be 9 years young and weighs 17 lbs.

Learn more here —> https://muttville.org/mutt/henry-6601

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Recognizing the joy of senior dog adoptions in San Francisco!

Thank you San Francisco Mayor London Breed for the new proclamation recognizing the positive influence of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. June 6th is now Adopt a Senior Pet Day in San Francisco!

To celebrate this wonderful occasion, come down to Rescue Row on June 6, for a very special happy hour adoption event from 3PMto 6PM.  If weekends are better, Saturday, June 8th, Muttville is hosting an adoptathon with extended hours from 10AM to 4PM. (Details below)

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“Muttville represents San Francisco values at their best!”

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Why dogs are adoptable and why we embraced the word ‘surrender’

We fell so hard in love with our adopted dog that within months of bringing her home, it felt like she had been with us forever. I remember staring at her wishing I had known her as a puppy. I dreamed up scenarios of her life before us. We exhaled in her presence, as if we’d been holding our breaths expecting her to disappear, as if she was too good to be true. She was about five years old and perfect. It took no time before it was clear she was the missing piece to our family puzzle. She plugged herself into our life and home completely and seamlessly. I pinched myself every time she walked into a room, or I walked in the front door and saw her big fluffy face.

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Owner surrender

Adoptable dogs become adoptable for a bunch of reasons. They are often picked up as strays. Sometimes their person passes away, or their family is moving somewhere and can’t take them and the dog is taken to a shelter or rescue. Many of the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue dogs were strays or surrendered for some reason.

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Discover why senior dogs rule and caring about dogs matter: Meet Ginger Rogers

Is it true that like attracts like? I do find myself pulled towards certain older dogs when I enter the doggy loft each week at Muttville. Sure, some are just so outwardly engaging that most dog people would notice them and respond. I certainly greet all the dogs with happy good mornings, followed by questions about their night. I try not to wake any who want to sleep in, or generally disturb any of the dogs who just don’t do mornings. Not everyone is perky first thing, and that includes dogs.

Spice Girl or Spicy Dog

There is a dog that has been with Muttville longer than usual who I find relatable in a million ways. She is what is called “spicy” or rather, she can snap at you if you’re not watchful. What I love about her is that I get it. I can relate to the desire to react negatively or at least guardedly to others. She’s wary, but at the same time I can see her desire to engage. I can see her body language trying to communicate that she wants to be pet, but just in a certain way and for a certain length of time. If those planets don’t align, then forget it.

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She needs to call the shots and that’s okay

I have a strong feeling that Ginger Rogers is a wonderful little dog who just needs someone who gets her. Someone who maybe has their own particular set of rules, therefore appreciates and respects hers. She needs someone who respects her individual nature but also appreciates it and will accommodate it...maybe even enjoy it. She needs patience. I used to enjoy seeing my big dog tell other people when they were doing something wrong. She told them when they weren’t petting her properly, or when they were too loud near her.

Ginger Rogers is a sweet old lady. I know she will find her person. I’m glad she has Muttville in her corner.

From Muttville:

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Do you have a social contract with your dog?

Before we adopted our first dog, I told my husband that having a dog, especially an older dog we didn’t know meant we were taking out a social contract with the dog. For me, choosing to bring a dog into my home and family is something I take serious, because I believe loyalty goes both ways.

People talk about what loyal companions dogs are but they deserve loyalty too. So when my husband was ready to have a dog, I made sure he understood what intentions would be and what my part in the relationship would look like. I explained that any adoption meant that I was agreeing emotionally, financially and spiritually to commit to this dog forever. Til death us do part. 

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And when we finally adopted our dog from the San Francisco SPCA, that night, I literally looked her in the eye and shook her paw, saying I will do my best to set her up for success and give her the best dog life she could have in the big city. I promised her that I would try to never let her down, to not take her for granted, and to appreciate her dog qualities, for as long as she gave us. We had nine incredible years together that I believe were made indelible because of this social contract.

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Tuesdays with Muttville 🐾 Senior Dog Adoptions at SF/SPCA Fillmore Campus

What a wonderful way to share space and get adorable adoptable senior sweethearts in front of potential new families. Spring has sprung with adorable adoptables!

Today begins weekly adoption events called, Tuesdays with Muttville Senior Dog Rescue at the Pacific Heights campus of the San Francisco SPCA. Stop by each week between 12 and 4pm, and discover why senior dogs really do rule!

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When: Tuesday, Mar 19, 12:00 - 4:00PM through April 9th

Where: SF SPCA Pacific Heights, 2243 Fillmore Street, San Francisco CA

Join Muttville at the SPCA Pacific Heights location for Tuesday adoption hours this spring! Come meet the mutts from 12-4PM on their Fillmore campus. Getting ready to fall in love with your new best friend!

More info: https://muttville.org/event/20190319-tuesdays-with-muttville-spca

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