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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
German Shepherd Rescue of NE will be doing a website special on seniors this week and asked me to prepare some photos of two of my current seniors, Millie and also Hutch, who I'm fostering for them. I thought while I'm at it, I'd post them here also to encourage others who may be on the fence in terms of adopting or fostering an older dog. The rewards are immeasurable, as many here can atest to. Also, feel free to add your own rescued senior if you'd like.


<span style="color: #CC33CC">Millie, about 14yo, found by Animal Control on the streets of Rhode Island in the dead of winter 2007, escaped euthanasia when the ACO called rescue as a final resort.</span>

"WAIT, are you lookin' at ME?!!"

"So much of life I still haven't experienced yet."

"Yup, that's me, dumped but never been happier, hehe."

"I may be a LOST soul...but only in thought now."

"Thanks for choosing ME, mom."

"Please God, don't let me wake up from this amazing dream."


<span style="color: #000099">Hutch, 10yo (9.5yo on his papers), owners took to vet to be euthanized because they were moving. Vet refused and called rescue, now in foster care. </span>

"Sorry, there are NO puppies in here."

"Pssst, for some reason, despite my age, this person didn't keep on walkin'."

"So MANY new faces in my life now, and they all CARE about me."

"Like this young lady over here, who's on her best behavior for the camera."

"Come on guys, just toss it to pappi."

"As a new prince, I even get my own special toys to play with. I'm sure Mr. Mousy is happy I have a soft gentle mouth."

"Ooops, caught in the act."

"Even princes have to learn house manners."

"But who's complaining, doesn't get much better than this, doncha' know."

"Mr. kong ball and I have become one."

"Oh, no. I never should have dropped that ball."

"Duke, give it up bro'."

"Lovely, now I have to track down two of them."

"Look who has the ball NOW!"

"Thanks uncle Paul, I'll take it off your hands now."

"Not so quickly, Hutch. You must EARN the ball."

"Hey, I know the ball is in your pocket because I smell it in there."

"Please don't make me wait much longer, Paul. I'm just an old man, my heart can't take it."

"Psssst, a little guilt manipulation never hurt anybody, know what I mean?"

"Ahaaa! Two dogs, one ball. You're being very patient, Hutch."


"Gotcha'! That's why they call me Ball King Hutch!"

"Ready for the car when you are gang, half an hour playtime is good for me."

"They say I'm living the puppyhood I never had."

"Thanks to so many generous and caring people."

"I can run and have fun like never before."

"And I can just be myself and still be loved."

"Mostly, though, I will love you a thousand times back. So thanks for giving an ol' chap like me that second chance."


by Shelly Guidotti

"Did you hear that?" the old dog shouted. They all ran to the front of their kennel doors to see if someone was coming to "pick them."

"Sorry," he said to the other dogs as his ears fell down from their perked position. "I could have sworn I heard voices saying, 'Isn't he cute? Can't we take him home with us?'"

"You must have been dreaming again old man," said the dog in the cage next to him. "Anyway, what's the big deal about getting picked ? We've all been through that routine and look where it got us." The word "home" meant little to these shelter dogs.

"Just once, I'd like to feel the warmth of a hand stroking my head," said the old dog. "I'd like to be the one who kisses the tears off a sad face. I'd like to curl up next to a fire instead of this cold concrete. It hurts my bones." He curled up and sighed as the others said, "The only place you're going to find that is in your dreams old man."

* * *
Hank's wife had only been gone a year but the pain was as fresh as if time had stood still. He was an old man now, alone and longed for the comfort that he knew no other person would ever be able to give to him again. What would his life become without her by his side? Hank's cupboards were close to bare now and, although he didn't want to go out, he knew he should at least pick up the basics.

He drove slowly down the side streets for freeway driving had become too challenging. Suddenly, the car started chugging and sputtering until finally the engine quit altogether. One of the basic needs he forgot was fuel for the car! So he coasted over next to the curb, spotting a building within walking distance. Hopefully, they'd let him use their phone.

He walked into an office area and rang the bell for service but no one came. He spotted another door going outside, failing to notice the sign posted "Employees Only". As Hank walked out, he was overwhelmed by yaps, barks and insane jumping from dogs all sizes and shapes.

He then realized he had unintentionally
gone to the dog shelter. Slowly he walked down the concrete aisle looking for an attendant.

Three kennels down on the right, the old dog calmly sat there. Why should the old dog get excited? No one would want him. But, he sensed a need and couldn't resist offering a kind look and a gentle wag of the tail. As Hank neared the old dog's cage, he laced his fingers through the chain link to steady his gait and the first feeling of comfort he'd remembered in over a year came from a wet nose and lick across his arthritic fingers.

Just then a voice of authority sounded, and Hank jumped. "I'm sorry sir, you aren't supposed to be in this area!" she said. Luckily Hank didn't know he had walked into the "final area" where unclaimed dogs were scheduled to be put down. There went the nudge and lick thing again. Hank looked down to the most pleading eyes he'd ever seen.

Ignoring the attendants order to leave, Hank asked if could he see the dog closer? Her demeanor changed completely and her sternness melted away. She had forced herself to be this way so she could do the part of her job she despised. She brought the old dog out and instantly the two souls -- once so lost -- found reason to hope.

Hank's cupboards were now filled, a warm fire crackled and the old dog Smiled inside as he remembered "only in your dreams." Closing his eyes he felt Hank's hand stroking his head whispering "sleep in heavenly peace".

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Recently, as I was coming off my shift, one of my patients told me he had made it big with investments during his life, and had everything a man could possibly want in terms of family, home, vacations, and toys, but that he'd give it all back for just one more day as a healthy man. It's not an uncommon moment on my job, but this particular person struck a raw nerve that morning.

As I left the building, the sun streaming down on my face, I decided to fight the fatigue and live the day as if it were my last one as a healthy woman. So what did I do? I rushed home, packed up the dogs, and headed to my own personal paradise up the road, a peninsula which leads out to Boston Harbor, where Paul and Star also met up with me.


"Last one in eats LAST tonight!"

"Aren't you glad the days of proving ourselves are all behind us now, Millie?"

"So Hutch, you eatin' last tonight, hehe?"


"Matsi, you came in last, so you get our leftovers tonight.

"I'm not sure I like where this is going."

"But that's ok because you can stand to drop a few pounds anyway."


"You ok, Dude?"

"Man, whatever posessed you to say something so stupid?"

"I dunno, just trying to knock the b*tch down a notch."

"Hey, anybody hungry, hehe?"

"Of course, you know 'who' won't be eating first tonight."

"Hmm, looks like the boys are working out the rest of the dinner arrangements."

"Yup guys, nothing like sitting back and soaking it all in!"

"Man, what a day, can't wait to see what's around the NEXT corner."

"We never know, Hutch, but everybody needs to live life to our fullest potential, and recognize our smallest blessings."

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Originally Posted By: MomtoBeauand RileyI have some seniors to show off here too: Alma, the big success story, Ranger, Jesse, Zoebel, Dixie from WV (who turned out not to be a senior, but was originally posted as one). I hope you won't mind, Donna, if we hijack this thread.

It's my mission to shed some light on how great our seniors are, and to dispel any myths, such as the one I hear most often, "bringing them home to die." They may come home half dead from being treated that way in shelters, but it's not been my experience that they ever wilt away in a loving home.

<span style="color: #CC66CC">So go for it Cila! Any any other proud parents of a rescued senior, get those pictures out!</span>

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Re: PROBLEM posting from home

Originally Posted By: MidgetDonna,
tried to PM you, but it won't go through.

I'm still trying to figure out this new system here. I 'think' it should be all set, let me know otherwise.

Really glad people are enjoying the pictures. I'm actually posting here from work, without any problems, but when I try to post from home, I get blocked. Probably something to do with my firewall-anyone have any ideas on this?

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Originally Posted By: Sean Rescue Mom
You really should consider a second career as an author. I see books all the time with photos and captions that aren't half as good as yours. Let's see, what should the title be? Maybe something like "Young at Heart."
Thanks Midget. My dad recently published his first book at 70 yo. It was his life's work, and he's been pushing me and offering to help me. His book btw is called 'Young God', regarding the evolution of religion, and it's on Barnes and Noble's site.

So I traveled down that path with him, and I'm a little intimidated by the process. But it's always in the back of my head somewhere, so maybe someday...

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
So I'm here at work able to post, but once I get home, my security software (I think) will keep me from being able to post on this forum. Anyone know anything about that? I've got Zone Alarm firewall, and I think that's the culprit. Anyone have any ideas how I should resove that one as I'm going to have photos to post again soon.

On another note, I've started to delete the million pm's from years past in my mailbox, and I think I'm down to only 5 pages now. Wondering if that helped now.

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Yesterday, Millie started to urinate blood, so I brought her to the vet this am, knowing she probably had another urinary tract infection, which she does. She also had her 6month bloodwork done along with a stool sample, and she checked out great.

Millie's sponsor bought her a little red wagon so that when she gets too tired or sore to walk, she now has her own Milliemobile, which you'll probably see a lot in photos from now on as we use it all the time, especially for long walks along the beach, where she's making lots of new friends.

My niece finally moved in permanently now, and she has claimed Millie as her own dog, and the two have become inseparable. She runs to the door when she comes home from school to "see my baby Millie", and she sang a song that she wrote for Millie at breakfast this am.


"Hey Melissa, don't forget to help your ol' granny out."

"OK, Millie, we're going to see the doctor now."

"Ah, yes, the busy emergency room, this may take awhile, Millie."

"Oh, look, that must be little miss Millie watching TV with her friend."

"Feeling anything suspicious, Dr. Grimes?"

"Excuse me, I think that exam made my dog very thirsty."

"...her name is Millie and she's 14yo...a mean person threw her away, and the shelter saved we get to keep her...she's a really good girl, you can pet her if you want to...she's so sweet she gives kisses on your hand...I wrote a song about her, do you want to hear it?...I'm so happy because her doctor said she's going to be ok...tomorrow when I come home from school I'm going to take her to the beach..."

"Auntie, what does handicapped mean?"

"I'm thinking my new best friend Melissa is somewhere preparing my dinner?..."

"Later alligator."

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Originally Posted By: MidgetDonna,
I give up!! Maybe when you send me a pm, I can reply, but for the time being you are incommunicato! Chris

What I should have done is give you my email address, which is [email protected]. My box still needs further attention, and it's slow going as I'm saving some of the pms that have good information in them from years gone by.

I'd love to see and post your pictures of Lady, which realistically would happen on Sunday. If Lady's mother lived in this area, I'd also hire her right now!

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Originally Posted By: AniadoubleThe Milliemobile is fantastic!!!!! Mellisa is such a great little girl!!!!! Bravo ladies!!!!!!!
It's turned out better than I ever expected Ania. There were a few days that Millie wasn't walking well, so I used the Milliemobile to keep her rested, yet still mentally stimulated outdoors. And she's now back to her baseline with walking again. Had me a little scared though.

Hutch is still with me, and doing great too. Sometimes I go on special adventures with him for individual attention, which I did recently with another volunteer and his adopted rescue. We simply walked the beach to get some lunch and back, but because it was so hot, Hutch was wiped out by the time we got home.


"We took a nice walk to Hot Rod Harry's this week."

"Let me tell you, they have the most delicious french fries around!"

"There was so much to see at the beach I didn't know where to begin."

"So I started by working the wall with Rocky."

"Although sun worshipper I'm not!"

"Hey Rocky, you're looking a little thirsty, dude."

"Is anyone else thirsty?"

"I 'might' know of a good place to get a cold drink."

"Woah, what the...."

"I really wasn't that thirsty, man."

"It's not bad once you get used to it, Rocky."

"See, even my foster mom thinks so."

"I have to admit, it's nice to be cool and dry now, hanging with Nanni Millie."

"Not to mention, soooooo very life."

"But someday I'll have a new forever family, just like Rocky."

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
My brother turned his condo in for a house with a pool (concrete liner), and so I took advantage of the opportunity to swim with the dogs.


"Wow, this place is cool."

"Don't forget me!"


"Look, even Millie is loving it!"

"Millie, you go girl!"

"Ready, Hutch?"

"I've got it."

"This guy sure loves his balls, eh?"

"Millie sure built up an appetite from that swim, Jane."

"Auntie, I'm teaching Millie how to float now."

"Sorry, Hutch, there's only one Millieboat, you'll have to find your own way down the river."

"That's ok, I found my own fun..."

"Watch closely."

"Keep your eye on the ball, Hutch."

"Don't lose it."

"Remember, paw, then ball."

"Cute, isn't he?"

"Oh, and he's still available!"

"Never a dull moment watching Dominic and Hutch together."

"C'mon Millie, let's hit the pool again."

"I want to float with you forever and ever Millie, or at least until bedtime."

"Wow. I think I'm dreaming about my own personal paradise."

"With some good friends to enjoy it with."

"Please Lord, may I never ever wake up from this wonderful dream."

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Originally Posted By: MidgetHutch is supposed to be 10?? No way!!!! ...Whoever has never had a senior doesn't know what they're missing.

"Yes, Midget, I'm TEN years old, and would you believe there were SIX applications for me?! It was hard to choose from so many great senior-loving candidates, but I now live my dream life with chickens and horses and a cat sibling who really likes me, and two great parents in a house by the ocean. My foster mom will be doing a happy ending photoshoot next month and you'll get to see me living oh so happy, living in style, hehe."

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
There are so many seniors who are living their final years in misery, either banished to the backyard, eternally housed in shelters, or in 14yo Shadow's case, abandoned when his loving owner passed away. For six months, a frantic neighbor fed him as he lived in his empty house, not being able to bring him home due to her sick husband. He faced certain euthanasia when the house was sold last month, but luckily GSRNE was able to take him into their program when a spot opened up at my house.

So, without further ado, meet Shadow:

"When transport volunteer, Liz, brought me to my foster home last month, I was very tired and very scared."

"I wasn't really sure if anyone would like me."

"But then I met my new friend, Melissa."

"And she was really nice to me."

"First she helped me get acclimated to my new backyard."

"Making sure the others respected me."

"I even got the best belly rub EVER!"

"Now I follow that girl EVERYWHERE."

"From her flower-blowing parties..."

"To her cheerleading practices...."

"To long walks along the beach..."

"To tranquil moments under a tree."

"I just love BEING with my new friends."

"And to think I was so confused the day Liz brought me here."

"My heart was so void of hope when I arrived."

"I had to wonder if old age and loneliness were one in the same."

"And if love was reserved for young hearts only."

"Well, I hate to say it, but I was WRONG."

"As I am OLD and I am LOVED!"

"And I am OLD and I am CHERISHED!"

"And I am OLD and I am AVAILABLE!"

"Ooops, meant to add OLD and GOOD-LOOKING, too!"

"So I'll be right here with my foster family waiting for that one special person who will treasure an old chap like me."

"Hey Millie, do you see my new family coming yet?"

(To adopt Shadow, call GSRNE 24-hour hotline at 978-443-2202.)

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Update on Millie:

She couldn't be doing better. She continues to be on Synovi 3 supplements and has more good days than bad in terms of walking. She's happy all the time, and continues to make people laugh and smile. Here's a few of the day to day moments in the past few months with Millie:

"The world always looks more inviting when we're behind our own wheels."

"Melissa thought she could quench my thirst with her soda, hehe."

"Cute little girls go with pretty little flowers and special dogs like me."

"Did I ever tell you how complete strangers love to grab me and kiss me?"

"And so I warm their hearts with my own kisses back."

"There is still no place like home."

"To have a family to call your own."

"And someone to share in the good times."

"But sadly, I'm one of the FEW fortunate ones."

"If we throw away our elders, who will teach our young?"

"Don't forget, adopt a senior like me (sorry, I'm taken, hehe)."

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Originally Posted By: Travis_s_MommyI always enjoy your threads. You've really made me fall in love with Seniors.

I feel as if I'm missing something and forgive me for asking...but what happened to Sally? Is she still with you?
Hi Ashley,

Thanks for thinking of her. The short answer is that my sister and her family were supposed to adopt her when they bought a home, BUT in the end, her husband became chronically ill and they all moved in with me. They were too overwhelmed for their own dog, so I would have gladly kept her except the perfect home came up, so she now lives with her birth mother and we continue to see her at family outings, including Octoberfest next weekend. She was a highly adoptable dog, so being able to successfully place Sally allows me to continue to bring in the older ones who have no hope.

BTW, you can see Sally photo updates in Duke's thread. Her mom just wrote to me and asked for all the Sally photos from her previous life as she loves her to death. I wasn't sure about having the two females under one roof, but it's working out great!

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Do you remember Gentle Ben who was posted on this forum from last fall? That's who Shadow lives with now.

Here is Ben's FORMER petfinder ad, then later I'll post some updated photos of Shadow with Ben in their happy new life together.


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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Originally Posted By: AndreaGOh no, no more Sally-dog?
It must have been really hard letting her go, even though I understand your reasons.
And yes I tear up EVERY freakin' time I open you threads, you pictures and captions are priceless! Hugs for you and your precious seniors.
There would one less here in my house without you, so this is sent to you by Yoda with love: :apple: Happy fall! :falltree:
Hi Andrea, yes, it was really hard to let Sally go to her new home, but it's great that she's close and knowing she is with her biological mother. And since Melissa moved in and I've watched them all try to cope with her father's illness, it's reinforced for me that it was definitely the right decision. She's also starting to understand more about the concept of fostering and being in a position to help more dogs, especially the seniors. I'm lucky I get to groom her at such a young age!
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