Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Turning Heartache into Heart-warmth

Working in a shelter I have the privilege of getting to know so many companion animals. Most will be with us for a short stay until adoption. For some this stay is going to be longer, simply because they are older. Take Polly, a really great “puggle” mix who was relinquished to our shelter when her companion's home went into foreclosure. Polly was just a delight to interact with, but she was at the Sonoma Humane Society for two months. Why? I suspect it’s because she had a gray muzzle. Most people are afraid to take on an older animal. Whether it’s because of financial concerns or emotions, it’s hard to say. All I know is that these are the animals that tug hardest on my heartstrings. Their little grey faces make their eyes sparkle. These animals are very deserving of our love, attention and our homes. Luckily for Polly, someone spotted her in a newspaper ad sponsored by Camp Bow Wow, and she is now in a wonderful home with another senior puggle to share her love with.

Buddy is another wonderful example of a very successful senior adoption. At 8 years old, many people might say that Buddy had seen his best days. He awaited adoption for 6 weeks. Then last week, a couple brought their senior girl in, looking for a doggie companion for her. When she was introduced to Buddy, the couple said it was like they were kindred spirits. They knew that Buddy needed to join their family. We’ve already received updates about how well he’s settled into his new home and how happy the two dogs are together.

Ginger, who just arrived at our shelter, is in desperate need of someone with a big heart. She is arthritic, has reoccurring ear infections which makes her head tilt, and she needs to be on a special diet; a tall order for a dog that is already 10 years old. The Sonoma Humane Society is looking for someone to be Ginger’s caretaker during her senior years. We’ll provide her food and medication if you can give her a great home. If you can’t take Ginger, but would like to help her and other senior animals, you can make a monetary donation to the Sonoma Humane Society to our Silver Whisker Club which will enable us to save these precious lives.

And to those of you, like Polly and Buddy's adopters, who make it a habit of seeking out older animals for adoption, my heartfelt gratitude. You give these animals the very best thing they can have during their golden years…a home.