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Beautiful Senior Dog Photos and Stories – Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 in our exhibit of incredible, touching, sweet senior dogs. Click here for details of this very special Dogster feature, which continues...

Maria Goodavage  |  May 3rd 2010


Welcome to Part 1 in our exhibit of incredible, touching, sweet senior dogs. Click here for details of this very special Dogster feature, which continues throughout the week and weekend.

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I am submitting a picture of a dog we rescued after Thanksgiving last year. She was abandoned on an oil lease in West Texas about 20 miles from no where. It was really cold that day, and we were expecting our first snow that evening. My husband was working out on this lease, and as he was leaving , he saw a blur of color out of the corner of his eye, and a dog appeared in front of his truck. He said ” She stopped in front of the truck , and wagged her tail…He said she looked so lost, I had to pick her up”. When he got home, he tells me” I gave a girl a ride this evening……I said, “Oh really?” He said “You wanna meet her?” I knew then, it was a dog..I went to look at her, and she was a skin over bones English Pointer. She was ice cold, and starved and yet, she looked at me and wagged her tail, as if to say” Can you help me???” I instantly picked her up, she was so skinny and cold She had been attacked by dogs, and her feet were bleeding and raw..I gave her a warm bath to try to warm her up, she was like ice.. I had just made a batch of chicken -n-dumplins the previous day, and heated that up with some dog food, and she chowed down. She spent the next 4 days under my desk, just sleeping,eating and drinking water. She was so scared and exhausted,we had to carry her outside to potty.She weighed only 30 lbs…

I reported that I had found her, but no one ever came forward. She is the most grateful dog.She looks at me with those big brown eyes, with so much love and gratitude, I promised her that it would be “easy street” for her. We named her Lucy Lou, after a pointer that my husband had previously. I got her all vetted and now she is a healthy happy girl! she is the best snuggler and when the weather is bad, she is right in the middle of the bed,hugging us to keep her safe. I let her, cause she had such an ordeal out there on that oil lease,and she is so sweet,I can’t refuse her.That is my old dog for today. We lost 2 others last year to old age, but this one is still with us, and I want to celebrate her life! She is a wonderful addition to our family, she makes dog # 5 for us. It inspired me so much, that I am now part of a statewide rescue group for Great Pyrenees.I had adopted a rescue last year, and felt that even if I help just one dog at a time, it is worth the effort. Thanks for honoring our old dogs. Everyone loves puppies, but it is the old dogs that get my heart. — Mary Taylor

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We adopted Buck when he was 6 years old. He died in January of this year at 15 years. He was a handsome, brave, and loyal friend. At 11 years, he chased away a mountain lion which was crouched in the grass 10 feet from where I was walking. He became known by many in our town as “my Hero”. — Patti Kayne

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dancer

This is Navaho MoonDancer. She was born on August 29 1994 and crossed the rainbow bridge on Oct.3 2007. For 13 years she was my best friend. She even saved me from assault once when we were out camping.I keep her picture hung on the wall beside the bed so she is the last thing I see before falling asleep and the second thing I see after waking (the first is my “new” adopted terrier cross,LOL). Rest in Peace my friend,we will meet again. — Karen Hoffman

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Bandit was our first retired greyhound. We adopted him in 1990 when he was 5. Without a doubt, we were very lucky with our first retired racer – he was the perfect companion. He was easy going, self-assured, loved people and other dogs – cats, not so much. He had a gentle, but very deep soul. His eyes saw everything. He was clever and funny and loved stuffed toys. He was a great public relations dog for greyhound adoption. Bandit slept with us every night – usually on his back with feet in the air. He loved to ride in the car and to run where it was safe. Kids thought he was a tiger because of his brindle coloring. He raced Grade A at West Palm Beach Kennel Club, but had a fabulous retirement with us. He lived to be 16. This picture was taken about 3 months before he went over the Rainbow Bridge. We still miss him every day. — Diantha Grant

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Tess is 12 years old. Tess came into my life on my 40th Birthday. I named her Tess after the Angel Tess on Touched by an Angel. Because she is Black with attitude.

Tess received Rottie Ruler of the week, because she saved me. Husband was gone on Deployment and the “Kids” woke me up needing out on a Winters night. I thought OK I’m just letting them out real quick. At that time they went on leads. I was barefoot and ice was everywhere. The girls took off and pulled Max’s lead out in the middle of the driveway. I reached for it and fell. and could not get back up. I called for help to no avail. I called for Tess and she came to me and I told her “Tess take me to the house.” And She did. Tess Pulled me to the Deck where I could get a hold of the hand rail. If it wasn’t for her I would have frozen, because I live in the country and no one could hear me call for help. So Tess (being Old) Came through for me. She is my OLD HERO! — Vicky Wenzel Mom of Tess

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Socks

Socks (February 8, 1993 – January 5, 2009) was a terrier mix and the very best friend a kid could ever have.

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Maxwell

Maxwell (July 21, 1997 – May 25, 2007) was one person’s trash and our family’s treasure. He was a loyal and trustworthy pal.

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moxiestanding0

Don’t let the gray muzzle fool you into thinking that this old dog is ready for retirement. Until recently Moxie was my service dog and I have made the very tough decision to allow her to retire before I have found a replacement. I adopted Moxie three years ago at the age of eight and trained her to help me in my daily life. This slightly senior canine went from beloved pet, to life altering service animal.I think she is grateful for the chance as well, she had no less than 10 homes before I got her, and come June, this will be the longest home that she has had in her 11 years of life. — Kate Clarkson

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Here is Ebbie lou’s winning photo from the Easter Bonnet competition this year!!! Ebbie is a 9 year old collie who, as a puppy, was sold to a couple who eventually, over the years, started having problems. It ended up in divorce and Ebbie ended up living 24 hours daily, 7 days a week in a doghouse in the frigid north country; her only human contact was her once a day feeding. Through a series of events she was rescued and I was the lucky soul to adopt this gentle, senior 9 year old collie. She is gentle, loves to be next to me and lick my hand and now has had her chance to shine in the sun as a Senior Dog – next stop, “America’s Next Top Model”!!!!!!!!! — Terri Miller

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champflowers

This is Champ, my beautiful 7 1/2 year old Golden Retriever. He’s just starting to enter into his “golden years”, and is very calm and smart. He knows many tricks and commands, one of his best being balancing up to 11 milkbones stacked up like a tower on his nose. Champ’s favorite things are getting attention, sleeping, and swimming. — Candice Sedighan

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Hershey is my princess who will 9 years old on May 28th. My baby had a rough start in life in that she was thrown from a moving truck at 4 weeks old. I saw it happen and immediately scooped her up. At that moment, she became by baby. She won’t let anything stop her. She tore both ACLs two summers ago, and left the hospital from the second surgery already putting weight on the leg. Hershey was my first dog, and we have sense added Harley and Sophie to the family. Because of Hershey, I now have a service dog for my disability, because Hershey is what taught me about the magic of what it is to have a dog. — Martha Eubanks

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This is my Golden Retriever, Ginger. These photos were taken in Shawano Wisconsin on our last vacation together. She came along on vacation every year and visited quite a few places over the 11 years I owned her including the Adirondacks, NYC, Maine and the Smoky Mountains. Ginger was the best dog I could have asked for, she loved people and other animals and was the most tolerant/friendly dog I’ve ever met. She was a therapy dog and continued to be one into her senior years, and helped many people. Ginger passed away in October 2008 at 12 years old. — Lizzi K.

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The oldestdog in our pack is our Alpha Bitch- P.D., ( Patti’s Dog). She is a 13 yo Jack Russell Terrier who rules with an iron paw. She has not slowed down, still Lure Courses, Races,does Go To Ground and still leads a 3 Russell pack in Ground Hog Hunting. Our Greyhounds are in awe of her and I still use her in my Dog Training
Classes. P.D. is one of the toughest dogs I know, she is a Therapy Dog, an AKC CGC and has won Confirmation Classes as well as Obedience. — Patti A. Goettler

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biscuit

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This is our old dog, Biscuit. The older he got, the more we loved him! He was a rescue dog, but I am not sure which of us was the rescuer and which was the rescued! He joined our family when our children were growing up and was a faithful pet for about 12 years. Two years ago he passed away in his sleep as gently as he lived his days. Biscuit was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of dog! RIP. — Linda Steeves

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This is a photograph of my Casey. She was 14 when she passed away in 2009 from bone cancer. Casey had an almost human personality. She was very expressive with her eyes and little vocals. Sometimes when she would be sitting next to you, she would all of a sudden lean over and put her head on your shoulder. We miss her very much. — Pat Booher

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This is Casey, my 14 year old female Chow/Aussie mix. I rescued her from a shelter when she was 8 weeks old. She was a big ball of fur and I knew that she was the one for me. She sleeps inside when it rains or when it is cold. She comes into the house when it is hot. She tries to get in my lap or in bed with me when we have thunder and lightening. She loves her “doggie” pool in the summer time. She loves ice water. I could not ask for a better baby.

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dolly

Dolly has an incredible story and is very special to me and many others.

In the summer of 2008 I was working at the SPCA in Vancouver as a veterinary technician. An old pit bull was found in a nearby city after being hit by a car. A good samaritan brought her to the emergency vet clinic in that town, and she was then transferred to the SPCA Hospital.

She began to suffer from bloat as a result of her trauma. Amazingly she survived the surgery to correct the bloat and began to win people over at the clinic. She stayed in the hospital for a week, and no one came to claim her.

I had met her at this point, and loved her, but I already had two dogs and three cats at home. I couldn’t stand the thought of her going back to the shelter; she was old, rickety, and a pit bull. Her chances of adoption were not good. Nobody really had an exact number on her age: at this point we figure she could be anywhere from an old looking 14 (she seems to have had lots of puppies) to maybe 17.

I convinced my husband to let her come home to “foster” for a couple of weeks until we could get the rest of her medical issues sorted out (being old she had quite a few funny lab results).

She came home and settled in very easily. I have a second younger pit bull as well as a German Shepherd mix, and Dolly was excellent with them as well as with my cats.

She came to work with me every day and her personality became to come through. Dolly is one of those rare dogs that can be described as “bomb proof”. She was great with people, kids, dogs, other animals, you name it. I was also doing some dog training at that time, and she came to classes, helped socialize puppies, and even worked as a “dummy dog” on some dog aggression cases. Of course I can’t take any credit for her amazing temperament, but I sure appreciated it!

As time went on it was clear that she was with us permanently. I thought it would be too stressful for her to change homes again, and so I officially adopted her.

Not that life with Dolly is all easy: She has quite the collection of health issues. She is almost totally deaf, and her eyesight is going now as well. Her liver enzymes are a bit off. Two winters ago her arthritis was so bad we thought we would lose her, and medication for the arthritis landed her in the emergency room with bloody vomit and diarrhea. Last winter she was diagnosed with severe congestive heart failure and takes a new round of pills for that. She’s not really house trained, and can’t be left alone for very long, or crated. And now she has a lump on her eyebrow that the vet says could be a tumour…reality is beginning to set in that she won’t be with us much longer.

But her great “Dolly-ness” makes up for all that. I love the fact that she is a pit bull, and has actively helped in showing people what a pit bull can be, not just a “monster” that they read about in the news. She comes to work with me at my new job in a dog bakery, she always wears pink, and people love to see her snoozing away in her bed behind the counter.

For a dog that was supposed to be “temporary”, she has made a huge difference in my life, and she’s been a part of many other people’s lives too (she was even featured in last Christmas’s SPCA video with Sarah McLachlan).
She’s an amazing dog and I’m grateful for the chance to make the last few years of her life as happy as possible. — Allison Schaefer