Life with Senior Dog Rescues, Bikini the pig, Stuart the rabbit, and etc.
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Throwback to one of my favorite pictures of Edna (photo cred @shainafishman ). To say I'm crazy about this dog is a laughable understatement. Everything about Edna makes me smile; her waddle, her fat belly, her old lady hair, her love of eating, her love of sleeping, her pure uncontainable excitement about going for a walk only to be completely over it two blocks in. Her insistence on riding along for the Saturday morning burrito run only to whine in the car the entire way. And her intense love of our weekend movie nights, always lining up for the couch in eager anticipation before anyone else, only to be fast asleep before the movie even starts.
I adopted Edna 3 years ago from @dumbfriendsleague when she was 12 years old. This dog, that the previous owners didn't have time for, is an irreplaceable part of my heart. There are different sized and shaped Edna's at shelters all over the world just waiting for their chance to become invaluable in your life.. Please adopt, save an Edna.
I've got dogs on my back, a dog on the front, and both hands are full, so I think I'm at my maximum... I guess I could see if they have some kind of dog carrier that sets on top of my head, but you know that might look a little weird, and I wouldn't want to draw attention to myself.
#blendingin (Don't worry, Englebert and Eeyore are secured in the backpack.)
To get ahead of the comments, if they go to the bathroom I can put all the leashes in one hand bend down and pick it up. Luckily they don't do that very often on a walk but if they do I can handle it.
Since Doris is blind and can't keep up on the group walks I bought her a frontpack so she can still tag along. Engelbert and Eeyore have some breathing issues and to keep their heart rate down I have a backpack for both of them. I'll get a video of it later, but when we are walking with Doris on the front and Engelbert and Eeyore on the back, and all the other dogs surrounding me on leashes, I look like one of those opossums you see in the wild with little ones hanging on every side.
A very kind lady pointed out that it was 5 years ago today that I started this account and this was the very first picture I posted. The little dog in the picture was Wolfgang and I loved him with my whole heart. I named this account after him and every senior dog I have adopted since his death has been in his honor. I wish he would have lived forever, but I love what he left in his place.
Doris update. This picture was taken last week before she got a trim, but I really like it. After week here she has started to settle into the routine. She likes to wander around the yard, she eats like a Great Dane and at night I let her sleep next to my pillow, and I swear I see her smile when I lay her there. At this point I see her hanging out mostly with, Eeyore, Waylon and Enoch, but even Engelbert must like her because he doesn't tell her off like he does everyone else. Bikini, for some reason, absolutely does not like her. . It's weird she's never showed dislike for any dog before but for some reason Doris must remind her of something unpleasant. So I'm giving them their space until Bikini realizes Doris is one of the gang.. After a week its already a little better so I'm sure she'll come around.
Regarding her new name, Dois was my mom's name and as far back as I can remember she always had a rescue poodle by her side. My sister and I used to laugh that mom had way more pictures of her poodles in her purse than she did of either of us kids, and I can tell you those poodle pictures were certainly the first ones she shared with company. So, as a tribute to my late mother and because of some other eerie similarities (my mom's hair in the 80's, sorry mom) I'm naming her Doris. Her name will make me smile, remind me of my mother and make me grateful that I get to watch over Doris in her golden years, once again.
The dogs and I have been up for an hour. They've been outside, I've showered, given out medications and I'm starting to get breakfast ready. But for Bikini, it's still the crack of dawn. She may need the privacy of her own room at some point. I picture her stumbling out at noon with messy hair, rubbing her eyes and demanding to know what's for breakfast.
Minnie, now Doris is home. (On the back of the dog bed on the far right.)
I'll post more about how I named her a little later on but she is a sweetheart and she gets along with everyone and she did amazing on her flight from Florida.
Thank you @truefaithfulpetrescuemission
Update! Lady and Blackie have been fostered to adopt. After a two week trial period with the owners previous dog it becomes official. Thank you so much! I love these two dogs.
Once a month I work with the Maxfund rescue group in Denver to help them find homes for Senior Dogs in need.
You might recognize the red and black Miniature Pinschers in the middle of this picture as I featured them last month, Lady 11 years old and her son Blackie 7 years old. I feel like I failed these two because they should have been adopted quickly and yet they've had no prospects. I'll list a few of the things about them that I'm sure of from meeting them just twice in my home. I can't say how they behave in the shelter but most dogs are stressed there and you only see their true personality when they are at home. I can only tell you how wonderful they both were when they were at my house and I'm listing a few of the things that I know to be true.
They love each other.
They were incredibly tolerant of all my dogs.
They completely ignored Bikini (and she's not so easy to ignore.) They tried so hard to please me and understand what I wanted them to do when we took pictures.
They were affectionate, independent, alert and curious.
They need a home. If you have more questions about them call Maxfund at 303-595-4917. The address is 1005 Galapago, Denver, Colorado. Please go visit them and give them some time to prove that everything I've said about them is true.
This beautiful 15 year old girl will soon be a part of wolfgang2242. She's blind and deaf and has a bad heart, and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to be able to give her a home for the rest of her life.
Thank you @truefaithfulpetrescuemission for pulling another senior from the shelter before it was too late. Rescue groups like them are out there every day fighting to make sure these dogs get another chance at life. Your support is so important.
I'll keep everyone posted on exactly when she will arrive. She just had an EKG as well as a senior blood panel to make sure that she was healthy enough to travel (in plane with a passenger). Josh..... this one's for you.
The morning temperatures have been hovering around 0 degrees here for the past few days. So, except for Enoch, I put coats on each of the dogs and Bikini before they go outside. I'll let you guess which one raises the biggest fuss. Here's a hint; if the big bad wolf huffed and puffed and blew her house down, she would just complain about it until he went away.
Enoch (the Irish wolfhound) and Melvin (the Dachshund) have formed a very special friendship. Melvin has only been here since August, but he's already made friends with everyone (well everyone without hooves anyway). I find him napping indiscriminately with each of the dogs but the only dog I ever see him play with is Enoch, which you can probably imagine it's quite funny. I've tried to get a video of it but it's usually over by the time I'm done fumbling around with my phone. Enoch will gently bite Melvin on the butt and then Melvin will chase Enoch around the house. Melvin, with his two inch legs and long body, loping around the house chasing a dog that can literally run with the wolves. It's beautiful really.
(photo bomb by Edna)
Here's a throwback from the early days of this account. Front-and-center, a younger, slimmer (but just as ornery) Bikini, and then the rest of the crew behind her with a few that are no longer with us. The faces of this account will unavoidably change over time, but the message of love for senior adoption will remain the same.
Loretta, Phyllis,Josh ,Engelbert, Waylon, Hercules, Eeyore, Madelyn, Edna and Bikini.
The combined ages of these four rescues is almost 60 years. They come from completely different backgrounds and they have completely different personalities and looks. But they're all friends now, and they all know love and they all know security. #thisiswhyirescue
Loretta 16yrs, Eeyore 17yrs, Englebert 11yrs, Edna 15yrs.
She's sleeps in on Sundays.
In both good times and bad I'm always grateful for the love of each one of these guys. (Bikini is keeping her love in front of the fireplace today, but I know it's there....) Thank you for all the kind words regarding Josh's recent death. I'm still making my way through the comments but they are touchingly comforting.
At night I always count all the dogs when we go to bed to make sure no one is missing. Tonight, we are missing Josh.
The death of a pet is always a punch to the gut. It doesn't matter if they've been sick and their death is certain, or if they are taken without any real warning. I've had pets die both ways and I can't tell you which is worse. The pain is just piercing, and the ache of their missing presence follows me everywhere. Josh passed away without warning. We just celebrated his 17th birthday a few weeks ago and I was certain that 18 and probably 19 was easily in his future. But life has a way of tricking you sometimes and he left as quickly as the decision was made to take him in, almost 3 years ago. He was the stoic, regal presence of this house and without him everything seems off balance.
He suffered with pancreatitis for years and never complained even though it can be extremely painful. That's just the kind of dog he was. He was never demanding of attention or full of expectations. Even when he would lean into my leg for affection, I always knew it was more for me than it was for him. He just wanted me to know that he was there if I needed him.
I know I was blessed to have this dog for even a day, or a month, or 3 years. Until we meet again Josh.
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A few months ago Animal Planet came to my house to film my dogs (and Bikini) for a segment on The Dog Bowl which will be airing this Saturday on the Animal Planet channel. It's a spin-off of their popular Puppy Bowl, but with older dogs featured from 15 shelters in 11 states. If you have time, tune in and hopefully we can find homes for all of the homeless dogs they will feature. Saturday February 3rd at 8 p.m. eastern time on Animal Planet. further info on link in bio.
Except for Edna in her fancy new owl sweater, most of my dogs are sporting football jerseys this week in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl. "Security" seems a more logical choice for Engelbert though since he's always on the alert and he loves to tell everyone what to do and what not to do. Not to mention @jodipicoult gave him that shirt.....
I think of all of us in the house as one well-adjusted pack, but there are subgroups within the pack that have their own special relationships. For example, Bikini pairs up with Enoch. Before I had her spayed it bordered on a fatal attraction, but now, much to Enoch's relief, it's more of a normal friendship. Eeyore and Englebert are almost never apart. They are obviously best friends. They clean each other's faces and Eeyore is the only dog that Engelbert allows to eat his food. No one else is even allowed to look in that direction. And then there is Edna and Waylon in the picture. Even though I don't see them hanging out together much during the day, they always end up cuddling at night, even if it's just back-to-back, or one paw on the other. Their personalities are very different, but I can tell they find comfort in each other at the end of the day. I think they are a good fit, like two old pieces of a puzzle.