Tag Archives: senior dogs

Shakira

A wonderful holiday gift idea, and the proceeds go to help senior dog rescue groups!

Have you ever loved a senior dog? Do you know someone who has? Then this beautiful book will make the perfect gift for yourself or others — with 50 percent of the author’s proceeds going to help senior dog rescue groups during November and December!

The book is Senior Dogs Across America: Portraits of Man’s Best Old Friend, and I was honored to write the forward. I was even more honored when author and photographer Nancy LeVine chose our beloved dog, Shakira, now gone from us, and our little senior “canine cocktails” Quora and Quixote, to appear in its pages.

As I wrote when the book was released, “While they’re the stars of the book as far as Teresa and I are concerned, it’s full of evocative, breathtaking images that convey the nobility of spirit of these wise, beautiful, loving old dogs.”

We hope you’ll consider this as a holiday gift that will help senior dogs while it brightens your heart or that of someone you love.

And thank you, Nancy, on behalf of the beautiful senior dogs in shelters right now who will be helped by your generosity.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.com.

Note: I receive no financial gain from its sale, although I admit the fact that my dogs are featured in the book compromises my objectivity. I feel safe in standing by every word I wrote.

Beautiful book about senior dogs awakens bittersweet memories

There are some dogs you never forget – and never want to.

I get asked to write forwards and endorsements of books about pets all the time. I try to say “yes” when I can, but when photographer Nancy LeVine asked if I’d write the forward for her book “Senior Dogs Across America: Portraits of Man’s Best Old Friend,” I couldn’t agree fast enough. At the time we shared our home with three senior dogs and one almost-senior, and these beautiful old ones mean so much to me.

Not only did I write the forward, but Nancy chose our beloved then-15-year-old Shakira and our little “canine cocktail” seniors, Quora and Quixote, to appear in the book. (Sorry, Gracie and QT Pi! Age before beauty!)

While they’re the stars of the book as far as Teresa and I are concerned, it’s full of evocative, breathtaking images that convey the nobility of spirit of these wise, beautiful, loving old dogs.

ShakiraSeniorDogsAcrossAmericaThe reason this is bittersweet, of course, is that our dear Shakira left us this year at the age of 16. Seeing her face looking out from the pages of this book reminded me of the day the photos were taken, of the joy we knew at her enthusiasm for running, chasing balls, and being with us. We remembered her as a puppy, as a strong young dog, as a still-wild mature adult, and as she went into her long, mostly-healthy golden years. We will never stop missing her, and thanks to this gorgeous book, we’ll always have a very special way to keep her alive in our memory.

Thank you, Nancy, on our behalf and on that of anyone who has ever loved an old dog.

Please note: You can purchase this book on Amazon.com. I receive no financial gain from its sale, although I admit the fact that my dogs are featured in the book compromises my objectivity. I feel safe in standing by every word I wrote.

Grants for at-risk older dogs will let them rest their weary bones in happy retirement homes

Senior pups have something to wag about this week, as the national nonprofit The Grey Muzzle Organization announces the recipients of its annual grants for animal welfare organizations providing programs for at-risk senior dogs.

Thirty-eight organizations representing 25 states will receive over $225,000 in funding from the group in 2016 to support services, including hospice care for senior dogs who are not adoptable, “Senior for Senior” adoption programs, and medical and dental care. Since 2008, Grey Muzzle has provided over $750,000 in grants to 76 nonprofit organizations in 30 states in support of its “vision of a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid.”

“The Grey Muzzle Organization was with Muttville Senior Dog Rescue from the very beginning,” says Sherri Franklin, Executive Director of Muttville, another 2016 grantee. “Without their support we wouldn’t be where we are today, saving more senior dogs than ever!”

This year’s Grey Muzzle Organization grantees include:

  • Tyson’s Place Animal Rescue, a Michigan organization dedicated to helping terminally ill people care for–and ultimately, find homes for–beloved pets like Bosco, a 14-year-old rat terrier mix currently up for adoption.
  • Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary on the Big Island of Hawaii, where dogs like 13-year-old Pono, who recently found his forever home, are treated to therapeutic swimming pool visits as part of their medical care.
  • Austin Pug Rescue, where the breed’s special medical needs are a priority. 11-year-old Ebenezer, who had to have all of his teeth removed due to severe periodontal disease, is now feeling fresh-mouthed and fine!

“One of the most gratifying parts of our work is getting to hear success stories about second chances for dogs in their golden years,” says The Grey Muzzle Organization Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer. “We’re thrilled to help so many deserving organizations give senior dogs the happy endings they deserve.”

The national nonprofit The Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters

Age-old tricks to keep senior dogs comfortable

It’s currently Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and as the proud Dad of three senior dogs, I can tell you these “golden oldies” are a treasure beyond price. While it can be hard to imagine our beloved dogs growing old and facing the health problems that come with age, if you’re blessed enough to have a long-lived pet, eventually you will have to face Father Time together.

The good news is, growing old doesn’t mean your dog’s qualify of life has to decrease. Below are three challenges your pooch may face as he ages, and with your help, he’ll face those challenges head on!

  • Blindness. Dogs actually handle losing their eyesight very well. As long as they know their way around the house and yard, they’ll develop a walking route that works for them. Try to avoid creating changes in the house to keep your dog feeling secure. You can even purchase “dog halos” that will encircle your dog’s head and keep him from bumping into things, just like the Muffin’s Halo in the photo we got for our beloved Shakira!
  • Deafness. This is another old-age ailment that most dogs handle well. The biggest concern is making sure your dog knows someone is about to approach him. Sudden, surprising contact can make your dog jump and maybe even nip. Make sure everyone who has contact with your dog knows to announce their presence with a sharp clap or heavy footfalls.
  • Leaking. Overnight incontinence can be very upsetting for your pooch. Remember to never yell or punish an incontinent dog — they’re not doing this on purpose! Make sure you take her out right before bedtime and put a water-absorbent material in his bedding, like an incontinence pad or a rubber-backed mat.

Always discuss any aging aches and pains with your veterinarian! With your help and understanding, your dog’s golden years will be quiet and full of love.