10 uplifting words you will surely find in your vocabulary thanks to 🐶 dogs

Celebrating our Grouchy Puppy ten year anniversary has gotten us to stop and take a look at how dogs have positively influenced us over the past decade. When I look around at the dog books I have read, and the different dogs I have met, what came to me were the many words that have entered my vocabulary because of them. Between the dog books and the actual dogs, there are words that I find myself using every single day.

Have you ever stopped and thought about how a dog (or dogs) can influence you? It was only when I was considering how dogs have influenced me over the last ten years did I pick up on this vocabulary theme. I looked over old blog posts and other pieces, and saw certain words used over and over.

Image from grouchypuppy.com

When I look at the thousands of photos from the oldsters at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue that are still on my phone, these same words come to mind. Our encounters in the doggy loft inspire a word cloud in my head that I hadn’t recognized until now.

What stands out to me, that was a pleasant surprise, was how uplifting the words were. It is pretty wonderful to see how ten years focused on writing about dogs and volunteering with old dogs, had caused this set of uplifting words to become a part of my vocabulary.

Since we are closing out the year, and the decade, I thought it would be fun to share a top ten list. In no particular order, below are ten words regularly found in my vocabulary thanks to dogs. Do they look familiar to you? How have dogs influenced you over the years? Are there words you find yourself using more frequently that may have been introduced because of a dog?

10 words that you will surely find in your vocabulary (I hope!) thanks to a dog (in no particular order)

Inspiration

Love

Gratitude

Hope

Warmth

Optimism

Motivation

Smile

Goodness

Joy

What do you think? How many of these words do you use daily? What other words come to mind that we missed?

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Rediscover the meaning of Thanksgiving with an older dog

It’s Thanksgiving week, a perfect time to share a series of adorable adoptable older dogs from our local San Francisco favorite, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue!

If you’re thinking about adding to your family, these sweet sugar faces are wonderful choices to consider. It is all about making the perfect match and that is something the folks at Muttville have perfected over ten years now.

 

 

Take it from me, after volunteering on a weekly basis with Muttville for about four years, older dogs are perfect companions in a million different ways! Every week there is one or more encounters with a resident of the doggy loft that leaves me encouraged, inspired and always feeling loved.

Visit your local rescue, or come by and visit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and discover why senior dogs really do rule!

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Wow 😳 It’s been ten years since an adopted dog inspired the launch of Grouchy Puppy

A walk in nature, an art exhibit, the autobiography of an inventive person? Where do you draw inspiration? Have you ever been inspired by a dog?

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Ten years ago, a big, older dog, who found her way from the country and into our hearts, inspired the creation of Grouchy Puppy. To many, this may not come as a surprise given how popular dog pages are on Facebook, in Twitter feeds, and how many dog Instagram stars and influencers there are today. However, ten years is a long time ago in dog years and definitely in social media years!

November 9 is Grouchy Puppy Day

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Do you know the face a dog makes when love overtakes worry?

There is a special look and expression, even a sound, dogs make when they feel their own rush of oxytocin inside and under the skin. I have witnessed this firsthand many times.

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With my own older adopted dog, there are many memories of her contented noises and sometimes boisterous body language. I will always remember the day we both knew she was home, permanently home.

The face she made spoke all the words we needed to know that she was unpacking, and letting go of any lingering doubt, fear or worry about us. We knew that our love, compassion and trust had filled every corner of her being, and squeezed out the tiniest bit of residual uneasiness she may have carried.

She knew she was home. She knew we were her home. That meeting of hearts, rather than minds, is a feeling you never forget. 

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At every age, every stage: How dogs help us

Whenever I hear someone talk about how they are not ready for a dog and want to wait for just the right time, I wonder aloud, “when has a dog not made life better?”

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When you stop and think about how dogs fit in our lives, it feels to me like they fit into every stage and moment of my existence. When I was a child, dogs were my best friend and teacher. Later on they became my helper, and co-worker. Ten years after I adopted my first dog, and launched Grouchy Puppy, there has been a steady stream of dogs positively influencing my life. Their ability to give fearlessly to us continues to entertain, inspire, and console.

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Reasons why we should love old dogs

Why do I love old dogs so much? This is a fair question given how popular puppies always are. While I have nothing against puppies they are just not for me. Their high energy and constant need for education and monitoring is exhausting. I love all dogs very much which is why puppies keep me in a constant state of worry over their development and care. By the very fact they are in this stage of growth, any mistakes or bad habits they develop thanks to me, are mine to deal with at a later date.

Given all that described potential stress, you might guess that I have never had children or been a school teacher. I’m also the youngest amongst my siblings so my supervision skills are strictly based on managing a few people, or the occasional project at work, not the best skill set for taking on the responsibility of a puppy. However, older dogs are a whole different beast. To begin with, there is my absolute love for the oldsters.

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Having experienced my own dog going through her golden years, the affection I feel for seniors is deep. Spending weekly volunteer shifts at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue has confirmed my love for the sugar faces is not limited to my own dog. Big ones, little ones, blind ones, deaf ones, three-legged ones, terminal ones, I absolutely love all these old dogs, and I am here to tell you why!

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Senior dogs inspire: Meet Samba the Tripawd

Meet Samba. We ran into her on the streets of San Francisco where she was showing two young boys how to sit and wait for a treat. I love seeing dogs out on walks. Often I exchange a smile and a knowing “dog lover club” look with the person, or sometimes just with the dog. I wave at the dogs if they look at me, otherwise I gauge my reaction based on them. When a dog is on a mission to poop or pee in a particular place, or get to the dog park, it would be criminal to get in the way.

 

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Why We Love Older Dogs and What’s so Wonderful About Senior Dog Adoption

Do you ever see yourself in a dog’s face? Does a dog’s adoption story ever resonate with you? I’ve noticed that the older I get the more I see myself and even my daily life in the life of older dogs.

When my own dog entered her golden years I saw my parents in her daily struggles, and aging process. She showed me a lot about what they were going through with their aches and pains, slower pace, greater need for naps, and dietary changes.

I swear both my parents and my old dog shared a love for snorting at me in disbelief when I would ask them something. (In my dog’s case, it was my asking her the rhetorical question, “do you want to go for a walk.”)

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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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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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More life lessons from dogs. This time forgiveness.

Volunteering at a senior dog rescue has exposed me to all sorts of dogs arriving for different reasons. Some dogs are strays, others have the misfortune of having their person pass away unexpectedly. Everyone agrees that all the dogs are loved no matter where they come from, or why they are with us at this advanced age.

Something that gets people to dance around is the subject of dogs who get surrendered by a family. I've heard people take absolute positions on this. They feel that if you decide to have a dog then you better keep that dog no matter what. These people have little empathy or compassion for anyone giving up a dog.

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I have a more nuanced response thanks to dogs like Otis.

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Dogs don't know what a holiday is, only that you're there with them

You know what's so great about dogs? They don't care about the holidays. Dogs don't know about Cyber Monday sales. They only see the new toy or smell the freshly opened bag of treats.

Dogs have a way of getting us emotional humans to focus more on their funny antics, and less on those door-buster commercials running on television. Sure, they'll sit next to us on the couch to watch You've Got Mail for the tenth time, but only to get the belly rubs.

 

A video posted by grouchypuppy (@grouchypuppy) on

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Older dogs offer you something special, often intangible

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.

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Older dogs offer you something special, often intangible.

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Serial senior dog adopters stay focused on happy times together even after unexpected loss

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.

If you missed them, I recommend you read their three guest posts from earlier this year, about their senior dog journey: It started with Tara, Continued with Bobo and Jameson, and their journey is Destined to Continue.

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.

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An update to our Senior Dog Journey

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