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Adopting the senior dog

June 26, 2012

Sometimes when  people are at an adoption clinic, they first browse and then see a dog that they like.  The first question that they often ask isn’t about whether the dog will get along with their cat, how they are with children, are they active or dalm, do they like to chase deer or do they like to sit on the porch, do they get along with other dogs and if so what kind.  Instead they ask “How old is the dog?”  For some reason age seems most important to some people.   Is it because they think that an 8 year old or older dog may not give them the companionship that they want?  Is it that the dog won’t be around long enough for them to connect?  I am not sure why AGE is so important because every dog and person needs love no matter what their age is.

I want to share a story written by Peppertree volunteer, foster dad, and and eventual adopter Mike W. about Clementine, a 13 year old dog who has brightened the life of a family.

“One of our local shelters called us to see if we would be interested in CLEMENTINE.  She was a Golden mix, approximately 13 years old, and a stray whose time at the Shelter was about up. Poor CLEMENTINE had spent many weeks at the shelter due to her age and health issues.

I picked her up from the shelter and brought her to a clinic that Peppertree was having. The poor dog could not stand for very long and smelled pretty bad. Two of the Volunteers gave her a bath and tried to clean her up. She was such a mess. She had no control and was urinating and defecating as she walked. And despite all her problems, she was so sweet and had such dignity that Peppertree decided to take her. Even if her time left on this Earth was short we would make her comfortable and show her she was loved.

CLEMENTINE needed a foster, and I felt since my wife and I are volunteers with Peppertree and we live in a ranch home she would do better at our house because we don’t have a lot of stairs. When I came home with her she had to be carried up the four stairs in our garage to our kitchen. She fell to the floor and vomited up what looked to be blood. We left immediately for the Vet.

Shaker Vet was quick to try and save CLEMENTINE. They did a complete blood workup, gave her a shot, and treated both ears that had a severe infection. I do believe that if Peppertree didn’t take our CLEMENTINE in she wouldn’t have lived much longer.

When we got home I let her out and she would just fall down. This dog totally broke our hearts. My wife and I decided that CLEMENTINE deserved a nice end of life because I don’t think her first 13 years had been very easy. Need I say anymore? Yes, we adopted her.

I’m happy to report that CLEMENTINE has rallied! Now with pain medication, Move Free, fish oil, and a good diet everyday, she is doing much better. She is a part of our family, and it’s like she has always been here with us. She plays with our foster dogs and does well with our two dogs, and two cats. It’s nice to see her smiling through her eyes now instead of the signs of pain and fear. CLEMENTINE is a terrific dog and we are blessed to have her. If she were to die today or five years from now she knows what it is like to be in a family that loves her.”

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