Welcome to Part 3 in our exhibit of incredible, touching, sweet senior dogs from our readers around the world. Click here for details of this very special Dogster feature, which continues throughout the week. And please wish Munch — the adorable old boy atop today’s post — a happy 16th birthday! He’s still jet-skiing, swimming, and zipping around the Bahamas on a motorscooter. If only we could all be doing that when we’re in our very golden years.
This is Munch. He always looks happy. He will be 16 years old the 5th of May 2010. I love him more than anything and the feeling is mutual! He was born in Venice, CA, USA but now lives in Nassau, Bahamas. He’s the benevolent leader of our pack of four dogs (one male who is his actual son and two local female mixed breeds). Munch is an American Staffordshire Terrier / Labrador Retreiver mix. He is still very active and enjoys running in the field every weekend, taking walks on the beach and going for swims in the ocean. Munch loves to ride on the motorscooter with us around the island! He can jetsi too. He sleeps in bed with my husband and me every night. We cherish every minute we have with him. He is such a wonderful dog. He and I have a special communication going. I will love him forever. — Barbara Christofilis
Fate is the way to describe how Bailey came into our lives. After the loss of our very first GSP rescue, Courtland, our family felt incomplete. Courtland had created a deep love for GSPs in us, and we knew we couldn’t live without one. One day, we were driving down the road and we saw a young GSP and a Collie running off in the distance. The dogs didn’t have collars and we knew they must have been strays. However, we just weren’t ready for another dog yet, so we didn’t stop to catch them. I’m not sure why, but afterward, my mom told several people about these two dogs we saw, and had even described the GSP in detail. Several days later, my aunt called our home and told us to look in the newspaper. There was a picture of a young female GSP in the pet adoption section. My aunt had thought it looked like the dog my mom described to her. When we saw the picture, we wondered if it was in fact the GSP we had saw. We immediately went down to the shelter to see her. The volunteers at the shelter told us they had found her running with a Collie and both were picked up and never claimed. We were amazed that it was the GSP we had seen! It had to be fate! By then, the Collie had already been adopted, and we took Bailey home that day. It would have been wrong not to.
Thanks for doing this contest. I’m hoping it will open people’s hearts to senior dogs that need homes.
Max’s story evokes tears and outrage in whoever hears it. It began when he was little more than a pup in Florida. He was rescued by a kind hearted family and raised with love and affection. He lived in the house and was truly one of the “kids” for more than 9 years. Then, the daddy got transferred to North Carolina for work. The company was paying for the rental home the family would live in, and all seemed fine until they arrived. The landlord at the rental refused to allow Max in the house, and he was banished to a small kennel in the yard. He watched his family come and go – occasionally they would play with him and let him out to run, but that grew more and more infrequent. He got depressed and refused to eat. Finally, not wanting to watch him starve himself to death, they dropped him off at the county shelter where they were told that senior dogs were extremely hard to place, and that owner-surrenders were the first ones to be put to sleep. Without another glance, they signed the surrender forms and walked out the door, out of his life.
Lisa, the adoption coordinator at the shelter, saw something in the old dog and promised herself that she’d do whatever it took to save him. Unfortunately, he grew more depressed in the shelter environment and finally, she called me to see if I could place him. I came to meet him and instantly saw that he wouldn’t last if he had to stay there. I took him home with me (all 40 lbs of him) and brought him into our house and made him part of our family (we already had 6 rescues) while I tried to find a home for him. It took a couple of days for him to realize that he was back in a home and had other dogs to play with and a farm to run on, but he started to eat again and gradually gained back his weight. My husband announced that it would be cruel to try and place him somewhere else, especially since he fit in so well with our pack. He officially became a part of the Frannicola family in the fall of 2009. He now weighs a whopping 85 lbs. and is a healthy, energetic, fun-loving boy. The pictures attached show him at the shelter, and sound asleep after Christmas dinner, 2009. We love our Max-A-Million!!! — Joy and Art Frannicola
Tsuki was born June 18th, 1993, and will be 17 this year (only a year younger than me), and is a shih-tzu Tibetan Terrier mix. I found Tsuki at a no-kill shelter (which lied about his age) in August of 2008, not in the best of shape, and took him home the next day, and he has slowly come out of his shell for us since. His adventures include escaping the yard and landing himself in doggie jail, jumping out of the cart at Petsmart onto concrete floor, and breaking off his leash to bark at another dog, all of which he survived with little more than sore muscles. Despite his penchant for trouble, we don’t know what we would do without him. — Talitha Hannifin
This is our beloved boxer Buster, just a couple of days before he died. When we adopted him we were told he might be 8 years old. He lived another 6 years after that; most likely he was 11 or 12 at the end. He was the sweetest, gentlest dog I’ve ever met. He loved every child and got along with all dogs and kitties. I miss cuddling Buster, my snugglemonster. — Debbie
Our beloved dog, Goldie passed away this year at age thirteen (born in 1996). She was the best dog we’ve ever had, she was smart, loyal, sweet…My parents adopted Goldie when I was a year old, and when she passed I didn’t know how to live without her. I remember one day, when mom didn’t feel like getting up, she encouraged Goldie to “get the motes!”. After a minute or two, Goldie actually grabbed the remote and took it to my mom. We were so proud of her, we could not believe how smart she was. She knew so many tricks. My favorite trick being “BANG!”, where she would flop over on her back. Our lovely mutt, (whom we believe was a golden lab/German shepherd mix) truely was made of gold, for how shiny her yellow coat was. As she grew older her “golden years” were soon in the past, replaced with a more white coat. She got arthritis, and could no longer do her tricks anymore. My mom and I held her as the vet gave her that fateful shot. She got so bad too soon. The pain of losing your best friend is remarkably painful, unbearable, even.
My most fond memory of Goldie was when we were both little and I held on to her tail as we walked around in endless circles. It was my most entertaining game as a child. My parents said I used to called her “Kah-kah”, because I could not pronounce Goldie. You wouldn’t understand how much unless you’ve lost
a pet of your own. Thank you. — Michele K, age fourteen.
This is Chillee. In the photo, taken in 2006, he was 14 years old. This was before he went blind and deaf. In November of 2009, I had to have him put to sleep. He was a good dog and I miss him. I even miss his snoring. — Kerrie
Gretchen is 9 years old, she is getting a little slower, and although she is a grey dog to begin with, she has white fur coming in around her mouth and face. She still has her moments of spunk, but her favorite thing to do is lay on the couch with me under her favorite blanket. — Kathy Small
This is Sadie, a basset-beagle mix who loves sleep almost as much as she loves food. Sadie was born December 6, 1997 and is now over 12 years old. While she doesn’t normally get to wear a jacket in winter weather, this past winter I jokingly put my other dog’s jacket on her, only to see her become as excited as a puppy and prance around the yard while I shoveled piles of snow from the driveway. She is quite the character and never ceases to make me laugh–I know that I am very thankful to have found her. — Sarah Huguenard
Princess is about 10 to 11 years old. she has arthritis in her hips and has a hard time getting up in the morning especially in the winter. she enjoys playing outside sunning herself and sleeping. my mom does not think she was many years left in her but i think so. My parents have thought to put her down a few times but i have managed to convince them other wise. She has been with as long as i can remember and very special to me. Sincerely, Princesses Sis
Dogs name Toby
Age 13 (4/18/96 01/30/2010)
This picture was taken at Thanksgiving in 2005 after we just moved into our new house. Toby was 9 at the time. We look back on it and give thanks everyday that we were fortunate enough to have such a wonderful sweet dog for almost 14 years. He was a very important member of our family and we will love him forever. — Stacey & Tim Papinchak
Meet Snuggles, my beloved Cocker Spaniel. He was my heart. 13 1/2 years of unconditional love. Born 1/24/96. CHF took my baby to the Rainbow Bridge on 9/19/09. He was here with me when he left. My heart broke and has not really healed. There are still tears for this precious baby. No one understands the love of a dog unless you have had one. This was the last picture I had that he wasn’t looking really sick. This was taken about 2 months before he passed away. — Lisa McClure
Name: Maxine (Max for short)
Age: Appx. 17 years (and still kicking!)
Her story: I was 5 years old, and this scrawny, half wild looking dog would wander up to my parents convenience store begging for food. I always would sneak her hot dogs when they weren’t looking. They apparently knew I had been doing this, and found out who owned the dog and asked if they weren’t going to take care of her, could we have her. She has been mine ever since! That dog followed right on my footsteps for years and years. She raised me, really, and accompanied me on my many adventures. She saved me from a few snakes, helped me save a horse’s life who would certainly have been a goner, and served as a marvelous watchdog. Maxine was about a year old when I got her at age 5, and now I am 21. She is still alive and, other than the occasional stiffness and arthritis, is doing just grand in her retirement. — Stacia Bennett
The attached photo is of my pal Satchmo who is roughly 13 years old. We got him after he had been hit by a car and no one claimed him. He was about 9 months old then. He’s a big baby and doesn’t like to be left at the hospital . . . He loves to meet other dogs and does a lot of the things most dogs do, for good or bad. He is also the inspiration behind the website www.PleaseFeedTheDog.com
Be kind to dogs on the way up, cause if your lucky, they’ll be there for you on the way down too. — Angelo Zinna
This is my most senior schnauzer, Sophie. She is 9 currently but will be 10 in November. She is diabetic and has also started having seizures. She may be the smallest of my three schnauzers but that doesn’t stop her from ruling the roost. She grooms the boys and cleans out their eyes and ears whether they want her to or not. If they squirm too much, she puts her paw on their head to hold it still until she is done. She is a sassy little spit fire who I hope has a few more good years to come. — Angela Roth