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Happy Tail: Dolly - a new life for an old dog
Dolly was old when she came to Sugarfoot Rescue. She was good with the other dogs, never aggressive but never made any attempt to play with them. She always had the saddest eyes that went so deep it was as if she had a very sad story to tell. She did, but all that changed when a woman from Louisville saw Dolly's photo online, and sensed she would be a perfect quiet companion for Bodhi. Click on headline for story with photo(s)
The next earlier Happy Tail: Meant to be - The Lindsey Wilson College Coach and his dog
By Peg Schaeffer
Dolly - a new life for an old dog
A year ago a man stopped at the farm to tell us about a dog that had shown up at his house. She was very skinny and had been there for a few days so he knew she must be a stray.
He asked us to take her in. He brought back a senior female black Lab who was emaciated. She obviously had been nursing a litter of puppies and they had literally sucked the life out of her.
She looked tired, worn, and brokenhearted.
She was very wary of me and was just happy to have some food and a warm place to sleep. We kept her in our kennel area because she wanted to be left alone. She spent most of her days sleeping either in the sun on warm days or under the heat lamp when it was cold.
I had her spayed and she gradually began to gain weight. She still remained aloof and although seemed happy to see me would never give me more than a quiet wag of her tail. I would offer her treats and she would gently take them from my hand but with nothing more than the cursory tail wag.
She was good with the other dogs, never aggressive but never made any attempt to play with them. She always had the saddest eyes that went so deep it was as if she had a very sad story to tell.
Maybe she'd been abandoned after her puppies were weaned, maybe her owners moved and left her behind, maybe she had a loving owner who died and the family didn't want to care for her.
But whatever her sad tale was, it had broken her heart.
A woman who had seen Dolly's story on Petfinder emailed me and asked about her.
We communicated back and forth several times about her. This went on for 3 or 4 months. Her name was Elizabeth Pike and she and her husband, Andrew, lived in Louisville. They had fallen in love with this lovely dog over the internet and wanted to adopt her.
They came out on a Sunday with their senior dog, Bodhi, who is 14 years old. They wanted him to have a quiet friend to keep him company and lay in front of the fireplace with him on warm days.
Dolly was amicable enough but not excited. She let them pet her but never really responded.
She wouldn't walk on the leash with them.
She looked at me like I was betraying her too. My heart strings pulled for this girl but I cannot keep all of these dogs. It's my duty to find them a home where they will be part of a family. They need a place where they can receive more love and attention. A place they can call home.
We had to carry Dolly to put her in the back of their SUV where her new friend, Bodhi, was sleeping. She lay next to him, rested her head on her paws and off she went to her new home.
Her new owners have been very patient with her. Here's a note I received from them on Christmas: "Merry Christmas, Peg! I hope you and yours are enjoying a wonderful holiday season. Just wanted to give you an update on sweet little Dolly.
Since last we were in touch, she had a visit to the vet. They estimated her age at about seven, and they all commented on how sweet she is. They said she should be well-adapted to life here within 6 weeks. I hope so. There are times I think she misses you and her many puppy friends.
She still stays pretty close to our old, Bodhi. She is learning her new routine more and more each day but still spooks quite easily. We haven't even started leash training yet, but she does usually come when Andrew or I call her. She still doesn't like the hardwood or tile floors though. She likes to stay on the rugs. Mostly, she just enjoys lounging on her new fake fur blanket or bed.
We are very glad she is here with us and all our family love her, too. We'll keep you informed on her progress."
This is the latest note I've received about Dolly. It's quite obvious she has found a new lease on life:
"Dolly is settling in and knows our daily routine quite well. Her new daily routine mostly includes a lot of napping in her new bed in between meal times.So Dolly has been given a second chance at love. She deserves this and I am happy that Elizabeth, Andrew and Bodhi found her. She will live the rest of her life out knowing love and learning to be happy again.
These dogs have already lived the majority of their lives with someone they loved unconditionally. They don't care if you're rich or poor they love YOU. But then to be cast aside like an old shoe is just unforgivable. Senior dogs have a slim chance of being adopted. Most people feel they don't want to adopt a dog who maybe has a year or two left to live.
But who's to guarantee how long any pet will live? A puppy can contract a disease. A young dog can be hit by a car. They don't come with a warranty. They all come with a guarantee of a friend that will love you forever.
They don't stop loving you as you get older and you shouldn't begrudge them the fact that they age faster than we do.
Please don't overlook the senior dogs. Don't look at it as if they only have a few years left. Just think that you can make their last years their happiest years - years of love from you and love from a senior dog that will be devoted to you until their last breath.
I leave you with this:
When I am old and grey
Peg Schaeffer, the writer, runs Sugar Farm Rescue, with one goal, she says. "I want to work myself out of a job. I'm hoping, one day, there won't be dogs and cats needing rescue."
Help for her mission is always appreciated. Here's contact information. Peg Schaeffer
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675 - ED WAGGENER
This story was posted on 2013-01-20 04:41:17
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