Panda, Age 13, Enjoys Obedience Work

"This is Panda, our 13-year-old Australian Shepherd. The photo was taken she was 7 . Panda acquired her CD and was shown a number of times in conformation but enjoyed obedience much more. She has always been a champion in my eyes. She has a very pleasing attitude, which she passed onto her pups. I dread the day that she walks across that Rainbow Bridge. We love her dearly from the bottom of our hearts." Contributed by Charlotte Kolbe, Port Sulphur, LA. March 1999.

Patch, almost 7, Chose Who Would Take Him Home from the Adoptathon

"I was fortunate enough to have been adopted last May during a Humane Society 'adoptathon.' I had gone to help with the processing of adoptions. During a training demonstration, Patch, nearly seven years old at the time, came over to me, dropped a ball in my lap and waited until I threw it for him.

"We played for nearly fifteen minutes, and I knew that he had chosen me to take him home. Patch is part Queensland Blue Heeler and part Shepherd -- a very smart dog who is extremely well trained. I had lost two dogs in 1996, both nearly fourteen years old, and really didn't think about getting another dog, let alone an older one. Thank goodness, Patch knew better! He is a wonderful companion and watchdog. He loves people, especially children, and would play ball forever, if he could. The photo at the right was taken during the summer in our yard. The girls are neighbors and friends who spent most of the summer walking Patch, playing with him or just visiting on rainy days. As you can see by his expression, Patch was in dog heaven." Contributed by Mary Cornell, Bremerton, WA. October 1999.

Patch .... an Update

June 2001 -- "I wanted to let you know that Patch is still a happy, healthy dog (ten years old this August). This is a recent photo of him. Patch continues to be my best friend and constant companion." Contributed by Mary Cornell, Bremerton, WA. June 2001.

Patch .... another Update

March 2002 -- "As you can see by this new picture, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Patch loves to keep me company when I teach or work on my Online class and his picture is featured on the "Staff Information" page. He is now eleven and still the best friend I have ever had." Contributed by Mary Cornell, Bremerton, WA. March 2002.

Patch .... Remembered in a Quilt of His Many Bandanas
January 2005 --"After a brief, sudden illness (less than 24 hours), my best friend Patch passed away on January 12, 2005, at the age of thirteen years, six months.. He was well and lovingly cared for by the professional staff at the animal hospital and everything reasonable that could be done was done . He was conscious but sedated while tests were run, and every time I would visit, he lifted his head up and put it on my arm while I rubbed his face and back and talked to him. Surgical exploration was indicated and I held him as they administered the anesthetic and then, again, when the degree of the problem was obvious, I held him as he was euthanized. I know he did not suffer at all, I know he felt my presence with him and I know that I am a better person for having been 'adopted' by him many years ago. In the morning before he got sick, Patch did several favorite things -- he took a long walk with me, played in the snow and snuggled up for a nap with his favorite blanket and toy. I am comforted by that and I feel his presence in the house. He was cremated with his favorite blanket. I have so many happy memories of Patch. He had so many friends. I retired completely last summer and we spent almost all our time together. It was a special time for both of us. I decided to make a quilt out of his many bandanas as a reminder of a very special senior dog." Contributed by Mary Cornell, Silverdale, WA. January 2005.

"Puppy" Patrick -- a 17-year-old from Bulgaria!

"This is our dog Patrick (we call him Puppy). He is 17 (seventeen) years old. Born on the 8 of February, 1985. He is not a special breed. But we love him very much." Contributed by J.Nikolova,Town of Rousse, Bulgaria. February 2002. Update, March 2002: "I'm so sad, and it is very difficult to write that we had to put to sleep our beautiful dog. Last Wednesday (March 2), he felt rather uncomfortable and weak. He stopped eating and even refused water. He became weaker and weaker. Finally, he could not walk, and when the doctor came, he discovered a cancer. There was nothing to be done except to save him from suffering. We have one more dog and a cat, but we miss our old dog terribly. I wish all the best to your wonderful site. I hope others with senior dogs will be able to enjoy the love of their old pets for many, many years in the future. With very kind regards and deep sorrow, Jordanka"

Palamine -- Happy 14th Birthday!
"This is our girl Palamine She will be 14 on January 31, 2003. Although she has some health problems due to old age, she is still filling our lives with love and happiness. She is a wonderful, loving dog who shares her home with another dog, two cats and a parrot. She is the greatest companion any could ask for. I am sending this to help celebrate her 14th birthday and we look forward to many more." Contributed by Terry Fastaia. January 2003.

Peachy Goldberg, a Three-legged Chihuahua, Finds a New Home

"At the shelter where I work, we have a program that supports low-income seniors and disabled folks, helping them to keep pets when limited finances or disability make it difficult. The SHARE program also finds homes for animals left behind after a client of the program dies or goes to a nursing facility. I met Peaches the first time about three years ago, when her SHARE client guardian died, and she was at the shelter looking for a new home. I had considered adopting her then, but another SHARE client who had recently lost a pet adopted her through our 'Seniors for Seniors' program.

"I would see Peaches from time to time, when she came to stay at the shelter during the time her 'mom' was in the hospital. She is the cutest, sassiest, three-legged Chihuahua you will ever meet! During her stays, Peachy was never confined to a kennel. Instead, she would visit different offices throughout each day.

"Last year circumstances took a bleak turn for both Peachy and her 'mom.' Mom was diagnosed with cancer, and, in September, Peachy almost died of liver failure. It is a mystery as to why Peachy survived.....we still don't know the cause, or if she may still get ill again and die. Peachy became homeless, however, right before Christmas, when her mom's battle with cancer ended in her death. Peachy found herself once again needing a home, but, with her liver disease, was a risky adoption for the general public.

"Well, I senior Jakob Berman had just gone to the Rainbow Bridge after a wonderful, magical year....why not another oldster? After a month of fostering, Peachy officially became part of my family -- in time for Hannukah and Christmas. She loves her life with me and really digs the active 'go to work' lifestyle she can have. She loves car rides, chasing my feet, hiking, and visiting all her buddies at the shelter. Her liver seems completely healed; so who knows....she could live to be 100!" Contributed by Nann Dawn, Novato, CA. March 2001.

Pearl, "Too Old to Adopt"

"This is my Pearl. She's estimated to be between 10 and 12 years old. I work with Illinois Doberman Rescue, which is how I discovered her. She had been found by a Good Samaritan, living on the streets in northern Indiana. Luckily, the woman who found Pearl called Doberman Rescue. Since she was 'too old to adopt,' I decided to take her, and I haven't regretted it for a minute! She is the sweetest, most-'velcro' girl ever. My only regret is that I haven't had her to properly spoil her entire life." Contributed by Amy Wukotich Chicago, IL, January 2000.


Peluche, in Nicaragua, Member of a Great Family
"Here is my lovely dog Peluche. He is 14 years old. He is sick right now, but before that he looked like a five-year-old puppy!! He likes to take a bath each week, and runs and plays with his son, a beautiful, 7-year-old dog named Elliot. We are a great family!" Contributed by Lissette Carranza, Nicaragua, April 2004.

Pelusa, 17 Years Old, A Really Lucky Dog in Chile

Pelusa, Son Oso, and Patricia"Seventeen years ago my brother was walking along the street in Santiago when he saw a man mercilessly beating a little puppy. My brother stopped him, saying, 'If you are so brave, try it with me!' The man was scared off, but the little dog looked up at my brother and started to follow him. At that time, my brother had a shoe factory. He took the little dog there, thinking she could be useful in protecting the building. While living there, she became very fond of chewing on leather. She seemed to be a happy dog, except that my brother began to notice that she would hold onto his leg when he was about to leave, as if to say: 'Please take me with you.' He didn't think too much of it until he discovered that some of the workers at the factory were beating her when he wasn't around. He decided to ask my parents if they could take Pelusa to live at home with them, and, of course, when they heard about the situation, their answer was a definite 'yes.' Pelusa was about a year-and-a-half old when she moved home. She was quite hyperkinetic, destroying everything, and especially our leather shoes! But with love and patience, we were able to teach her to behave properly. So Pelusa is 17 years old now and very, very dear to our family. She sleeps a great deal since she is old, but in the afternoon she asks for her walk in the square. It's a short walk, and afterwards, when we return home, she lies down again to sleep next to me. Here in Chile it is much too common to find homeless dogs in the streets. Our family loves dogs, and we find it very hard to see this. As a teacher, I hope to organize an effort to teach children in the schools about taking care of pets -- preventing pregnancies and finding homes for those in need of them. It would be wonderful if this could become a reality." (Update June 1998: "Pelusa died last Friday, May 22. About a month ago, she stopped using her back legs. Treatment with corticosteroids didn't work. The vet prescribed medication for her heart problem so that her last days were comfortable. I fed her soup as long as she would accept it and was with her when she died, kissing her head. The house is so empty without her.") Contributed by Patricia Constenla, Santiago, Chile. (Photo: Pelusa & her son, Oso, with Patricia Constenla)

Pepper & Buffy, "Pound Puppies" Now in Their Senior Years

"Our Pepper, who just turned fourteen this summer, is a big part of the happiness in our house. We found her thirteen years ago at the shelter -- a bouncy pup who had been returned twice, because of her hyper-playful personality. Even though it was hard getting her through her puppy- and teen-years (she destroyed whatever she played with), we hung in, and she has been a delight ever since. She is now failing slowly -- eyes are starting to cloud over, fatty tumors hang around her funny, little body, arthritis has taken its toll, and a heart murmur keeps the vets from doing anything for her tumors; but she still manages to chase that mail truck. We dread the day when our Pepper will have to leave us, but we know she has had a wonderful life and has repaid us back ten-fold for giving her a home.

"Pepper's constant companion until about a year ago was another pup from the shelter. She lived to fifteen and was our heart and soul. When she died, we adopted a five-year-old Cockapoo, 'Buffy.' Buffy and Pepper had to decide who was going to be the 'Alpha' in the house, and, after several quarrels, old Pepper showed she still had the upper hand. Now they are the best of friends. Buffy loves TV and attacks it if any four legged animal crosses the screen. She is the most lovable and precious dog in the world, and I hope we have her for many, many years.

"There is nothing more precious then a shelter dog, or, as we like to call them, our 'Pound Puppies.' " Contributed by Barb from Maryland.

Petey Gives the Best Kisses

The Senior Dogs Project posted an ad for Petey, a Boston Terrier, who had been left unclaimed at a vet's office in Marin, CA, for quite some time. When Lori Eaton came along, he endeared himself to her on the spot and found himself a new home. Lori writes:

"Adopting a senior dog has been one of the best things I have ever done. Adopting a younger dog wouldn't have been any guarantee that I would have him any longer than I will have Petey.

"I had really been looking for a female dog, but, after hearing a little bit about his circumstances, I decided not to be so sexist and to meet little Petey. Well, he just captured my heart the moment I saw him strutting his stuff!

"It has been such a pleasure to have Petey in my life. I've enjoyed so many of the advantages of an older dog -- such as his being more settled and already housetrained. In no time at all, Petey and I had our routines established. I love coming home from a day at the office to see his little tail wiggling and a smile on his face because he's so glad to see me. And, oh, he gives the BEST kisses!" -- Contribured by Lori Eaton, Marin City, CA, December 2000. Photo by Josephine Zeitlin.

Ping Is a Snuggly Sweetheart
"Ping will be 13 in August. She came into my life two years ago, when I adopted her from Crest Care Chinese Crested rescue --a group of very nice people who helped bring Ping into my life. When she first came home toToronto, after an 11 hour drive from Illinois, she was scared and wanted nothing to do with anyone or any of the three cats in her new home (snap! snap! snap!); but wouldn't you be scared if you lost your home after 11 years? We got to know each other, and now Ping is a snuggly sweetheart who likes to sleep on her cushions on the sofa and is very fond of french fries. People say that Ping is lucky that I adopted her at such an old age, but I think the lucky person is me!" Contributed by Christina Teixeira, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. July 2003.

Pita Pie, a Dignified, Sweet, Gentle Soul
"Pita Pie entered my life for the first time three years ago as a foster dog at the age of 5 or 6. I fell in love with her, but, as I was new to fostering, I felt I shouldn't adopt the second dog I had ever fostered. Pita was adopted and returned three times, due to her severe fear of thunderstorms. Each family seemed willing to work with her, but, when it came down to it, wasn't willing to watch the weather, rearrange schedules and monitor her sedation. We were hoping to find the perfect family where someone was home all the time, so she wouldn't have to go under heavy sedation during the frequent Texas thunderstorms. When I got the call that she was coming back again, I decided to adopt her as my own. She was 8-9 years old by then (old by Great Dane standards) and had some hematomas in her ears, but was still the wonderful Dane I fell in love with years ago. We took little walks together, she had spurts of energy playing with my roomate's puppy, and she loved to sunbathe with me. She was a dignified, sweet, gentle soul and I felt such an honor that I was FINALLY the person to give her a forever home.

"I had six blessed months with Pita Pie before she was diagnosed with aggressive liver cancer and I helped her to the rainbow bridge. She died knowing what it felt like to be truly loved. I wouldn't trade those six months for anything. I still foster for Great Dane Rescue of North Texas and our group continues to rescue and find homes for Senior Danes. Pita Pie's legacy lives on with each and every special dog we rescue. Thank you for letting me tell Pita Pie's story. She has been gone three months now and, while I still miss her, I know she is happy." Contributed by Sara Craven, Plano, TX. September 2003.

Poppie....the 17-year-old "Popular Princess of Cornwall"

"This is 'The Popular Princess of Cornwall,' otherwise known as 'Poppie.' Poppie is 17 years old and the best companion you could ever ask for. She has been very healthy her whole life. Poppie loves to hike in the Colorado mountains and dig her face in the snow. She loves all kinds of people, especially kids." Contributed by June 2001.

Portia, Now 13, a Very Wise Dog, Chose a New Home for Herself at Age 8

"I found Portia on March 13, 1993, during 'The Storm of the Century.' She and a canine companion took shelter from the ferocious storm on my porch. I took the dogs in and called the Humane Society on Monday. Her owners had also called, and they were all reunited. To my horror, however, the owners really only wanted the younger dog. In talking with them, I discovered that they let Portia, an 8-eight-year-old purebred Great Pyrennees,
roam wherever she wanted, hoping she would get hit by a car or just never come back. They took her home, but she returned to my house for three nights running -- a trip of several miles. On the morning after her third nocturnal journey, I called her owners and told them she'd chosen a new home. She's now 13, and I haven't regretted her decision once." Contributed by Melissa Snowden, Norcross, GA.

Preston and Jenny, Providing Life Enrichment in the UK
At the left, 14-year-old Preston; on the right, 12-year-old Jennny
"Thank you for such a wonderful and helpful website. As a UK-based guardian of two senior rescued dogs, I find your advice invaluable, especially as I have adopted my two late in their lives. Preston is now 14; I took him just over a year ago. In April this year, we adopted Jenny, now aged about 12. Her family decided they could no longer care for her due to her bladder problems. These two dogs have enriched my life beyond measure, and I would encourage everyone to consider an older dog. I know I shall face heartbreak at some point in the next few years but it will have been all worthwhile." Contributed by Debbie Mallett, United Kingdom. May 2004.

Punky, A "Precious" Dachsie, Adopted via the "Web" at Age 12

Punky"My name is 'Hylton's Wee Punky,' or 'Punky,' for short. I'm a red sable Mini Smooth Dachshund, 12 years old as of May 15, 1997. I am also a Rescue Dachsie. You see, about a year ago, my original owner went where I was not able to go with her. Because she loved me so very much, she surrendered me to the Dachshund Club of America, and I was placed into their Dacshund Rescue Program. To be honest, they did not think that I was a very good candidate for rescue because of my age. But they agreed to try. They posted information about my availability on the Dachshund Rescue Website. AND GUESS WHAT!?! IT WORKED!!! My new daddy saw the listing and was so afraid that I would be 'put down' if a good home wasn't found for me, that he agreed to adopt me. I'm happy and healthy, and I hope to be able to give him many years of love. Many people won't adopt a Dachsie my age, but my new daddy looked beyond my years to see a beautiful heart. I know I am special to him and that's why he calls me his 'precious Punky.' " Contributed by Benny Archuleta, Jackson, FL

Puppers, a "Throw-away" Dog Who Would Have Failed All Those "Adoptability" Tests

"Puppers was a 'throw away dog' that I located through a 'free to a good home' ad in the local newspaper. The family advertising her was fairly well to do, but they weren't willing to pay to have her euthanized or accepted into a shelter, so they opted for the cheaper ad. Based on the shape she was in when I got her, I used to say, 'Nobody in their right mind would take such a dog; so, then I came along.' She looked into my eyes, and I looked into hers, and there was an instant connection -- 'There you are.... I accept you .... you accept me.... let's go now.' And that's what we did. Puppers got into that old 1978 Oldsmobile that I'd bought for $65, and we never looked back. By the time Puppers and I 'met' and then went on to our relationship of over seven years, neither of us was into frisbie or jogging five miles.
"We had a closeness -- a bond -- not made of fun and play times; rather we were both at a point in our lives when basically we just wanted to BE with each other. Puppers would have likely failed all the tests that you're supposed to use to 'choose a dog.' Furthermore, I, as a 'prospective dog owner' would have failed the corresponding tests. My income is well below poverty level, I'm disabled with a head injury and back problems and, hey, my fence is falling down, too.

"Puppers was an Aussie/Border Collie mix. She was every inch love and gentleness (despite a slight police record), and she was sweet and gentle to her last breath. Puppers was my doorbell, my 'burglar alarm,' my snowflake and raindrop indicator, and, until her arthritis worsened in the last year-and-a-half, she went everywhere with me. We had days in the park, and my friends were her friends. She even had her select 'spot' at a prayer group, under a big coffee table. She gave me the moral support I needed to lug the garbage to the curb and cut the grass. One gentle 'slurp' on my elbow or knee along with a look to say, 'I'm here....I love you,' is one of the things I miss the most. It never occurred to Puppers to want to be anywhere but by my side. I had known for a number of years that her age was catching up with her, and I felt that every day we had together was a blessing. She was about 14 when she died (September 7, 1999). I have her ashes, and one day they will be with mine. We had a lot in common, and her faithfulness and devotion will remain with me until the day I die -- and beyond." Contributed by Barb Cody, north of Chicago, IL. October 1999.