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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How do you celebrate a milestone and DOGood? With a Baggu Tote ♥️

This year is the tenth anniversary of Grouchy Puppy and that means we need to celebrate! A decade is a long time in human or dog years. Since supporting animal nonprofits has always been an important component of Grouchy Puppy, I thought it would be nice to create a new tote and send ALL of the revenue generated to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue!

Take a look at the very cute, yet practical, Baggu Canvas Tote and Crossbody Bag:

Every purchase of this bag for the rest of the year will go towards helping the wonderful sugar faces at Muttville. Each time you pull this tote out when you head to the farmers market, think of the pups. Use the crossbody feature to keep your hands free during vacation photos and sprints through the airport.

With every bag that is purchased know that a senior sweetheart has been helped. Visit our Grouchy Puppy store on Zazzle now and DOGood.

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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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Dog lovers in Denmark and Danish “hygge”

To many of us, actually millions of people according to trade associations, dogs mean everything. We love them more than most people. We spend more on our dogs than we do on ourselves. We care about their wellbeing and spend tons of time and money making sure they live their best lives with us. After spending a week in Denmark recently, I can confirm the Danish feel this way too.

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Last month, I went to Copenhagen and experienced the best of Scandinavia. Spring was beginning with longer hours of blue skies, fewer wool layers, and many people riding their bikes with their dogs! I saw dogs on walks, in cars, inside department stores, and at cafe tables. I even watched one wait patiently until his person returned from having a drink inside a bar. 

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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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Lessons learned from dogs and my biggest mistake made I still feel guilty about

Have you ever done something to a dog, that years later, you still feel bad about? Maybe the biggest mistake I made when we adopted our first dog was six months after we first brought her home. I can still remember every detail and this moment happened over ten years ago. All I can say is, thank goodness dogs don’t hold grudges, and are predisposed to living in the moment. Sure, I can make excuses to let myself off the hook but I decided it was better to focus on learning from the experience and appreciate her ability to teach me such an important lesson.

The short version of this story is that I assumed (yep, big mistake right there) that because we’d only had adopted her six months ago, and because she was a dog, staying with another dog, in the home of a dog trainer, that she wouldn’t miss us. I was wrong. Very wrong. I didn’t know that she could, or would, bond that quickly with us.

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

When you think of having a personal cheer squad, this is the dog for you! He's the perfect wee man who makes you feel like the best thing since sliced bread. Look at how he holds your gaze confidently while looking very dashing in his warm fleece!

This little guy is a beautiful chocolate brown chihuahua who was brought into our local shelter as a stray – are you ready to give him his forever home!?

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Smoochie is cool with other dogs and enjoys meeting new human friends.

He’s got a great little pep in his step for your weekend adventures but is chill to just hang on your couch while you are at work all day.

Hurry and snap this little guy up, Muttville is estimating Smoochie to be about 9 years old and 7 pounds.

Fall in love with Smoochie at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

Here’s what his foster has to say (Pssst be ready with the ahhhhhhhh):

Smoochie is an incredibly affectionate dog. He is most happy when there is a lap for him to sit on. If there is no lap available he is the king of finding or making nests in the cutest places. He loves a nice walk around the neighborhood as long as he doesn’t have to do it in the rain or through puddles! He is fine hanging out on his own at home, but will be very very happy when you return. His little tail will wag wildly and he’ll run to you barking his greeting.

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KQED SF & PBS Digital Video Short 🐶 How Your Dog's Nose Knows So Much

Dogs are infinitely interesting to me. They do everything from make my neighborhood better by their very presence, to making me healthier by lowering my blood pressure. I am endlessly fascinated by their behavior and why they seem infinitely smarter than most humans at times. 

I love reading books about dogs. Soldier Dogs, by my friend, Maria Goodavage, is an outstanding book about America's military working dogs. (Read my 2012 review) The Education of Will, is an incredible memoir about empathy, compassion and forgiveness for both the author, Dr. Patricia McConnell and her dog. (Read my 2017 review) I absolutely loved reading the book, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Dr. Alexandra Horowitz. As a layperson, this book really got me interested in knowing more about the science of why dogs do what they do!  

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After reading that particular book, I paid closer attention to how dog's sniffed me during my Muttville Senior Dog Rescue shift. I'm also happy to report that earlier this month new research shows that letting dogs exercise their noses is good for them! Read the blog postAllowing Dogs to Sniff Helps Them Think Positively by Dr. Marc Bekoff.

Public Television is a great place to learn, and my husband and I have been long term supporters of our local PBS station, KQED. They also produce an ultra-HD (4K) short video series with PBS Digital Studios called Deep Look. It’s about exploring big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small - from grains of sand to squid skin. They have a new Deep Look video, “How Your Dog’s Nose Knows So Much,” about the science behind dog noses.

WATCH: New Deep Look Video from KQED and PBS: How Your Dog’s Nose Knows So Much

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