Who is behind the Senior Dogs Project?
Teri Goodman founded the Senior Dogs Project in 1997, when she became aware of the plight of senior dogs in shelters -- they rarely made it out alive, no matter how loving or sweet they may have been. She has a B.A. in Psychology, specializing in human and animal learning, and has written for Dog Fancy magazine on the topic of senior dogs.
In founding The Senior Dogs Project and maintaining the srdogs.com website, Teri's goal has been to inspire and facilitate the adoption of senior dogs and to provide useful, up-to-date information on how to keep senior dogs healthy and happy.
Just before launching the Senior Dogs Project, Teri had been running a gourmet dog biscuit business called "Dandy Doggie." (Dandy Doggie delighted dogs and people alike by selling biscuits named "Forchewin' Cookies," "Bowownies," "Cheddar Chompers," and "Bowser Brittle.") She was well known among local pet supply store owners and people in the neighborhood as a dog lover. As a result, she was often called upon to dogsit, which, in turn led to her adoption of a ten-year-old Golden Retriever named "Misty."
Ten-year-old Misty gave Teri insight into the joys and responsibilities of having a senior dog and a passion for sharing with others all she learned about caring for a senior.
Throughout the two-plus decades since the founding of the Senior Dogs Project, Teri has received the unwavering support of her husband, Andy Goodman, along with numerous senior-dog-loving friends and others in the dog rescue world. Special thanks to Cory Piña for his consistent patience and support during the design and construction of this website.
Needless to say, the many dogs who have come Teri's way during this time (among them the wonderful Gentleman "Tux") have continued to inspire her love for senior dogs and her commitment to the cause of keeping senior dogs healthy and happy by educating the people responsible for their care.
INSPIRE & FACILITATE ADOPTION
We inspire and facilitate adoption through real-life stories by and about people who have adopted a senior dog, citing the many benefits and joys of doing so. Our listings of senior dog rescue groups and shelters, organized geographically and by breed, along with links to their websites, help prospective adopters to find a senior dog in their area. We also cite apps and other resources that aid in the search.
For healthcare information, we cite the most up-to-date and best practices. We recommend being in a partnership with a skilled, caring, competent veterinarian for twice-a-year wellness visits, noting the fact that the earlier a condition or ailment is detected and treated, the better the outcome.
Guardians of senior dogs are consumers -- of veterinary services, food, medication, equipment, toys, etc. We provide information that enables a consumer to be proactive in evaluating a veterinarian, for example, or investigating the side effects of drugs, or deciding on a nutrition program for a senior dog.
Our focus on raising consumer awareness led us to help a consumer group to initiate the "B.A.R.K.S." (Be Aware of Rimadyl's Known Side Effects) campaign to inform consumers about Rimadyl's adverse effects. The campaign also alerted the government's FDA/CVM (Food and Drug Administration/Center for Veterinary Medicine) to the increasing evidence of the drug's adverse effects. Ultimately, the FDA/CVM issued a recommendation for the inclusion of a “Client Information Sheet” whenever a veterinarian prescribes a drug. The Client Information Sheet lists the drug's potential side-effects and advises the consumer about steps to take should the side effects appear.
In case you're wondering......
Does the Senior Dogs Project have a facility that provides housing and care for senior dogs? The Senior Dogs Project provides a home for the individual senior dogs we have adopted over the past two-and-a-half decades. However, we do not act as a rescue organization. Instead, we bring attention to rescue groups and shelters by listing them on the srdogs.com site and by citing their amazing efforts to save senior dogs.
Do we adopt out dogs? Our website lists the growing number of organizations that successfully adopt out senior dogs. We do not personally arrange or supervise the adoption of any of the dogs.
Do we accept donations? Our listings provide information about and links to rescue organizations that accept donations, although we do not accept them ourselves.
Do we accept advertising? We like maintaining a "clean" site, without pop-ups that advertise products or services, and so, we do not currently offer the opportunity to advertise on the srdogs.com site; however, we may, in the future, be recommending products that we've observed to be particularly useful for senior dogs.
How can the healthcare information on the site be helpful to people responsible for the care of a senior dog? We stay updated on nutrition and healthcare information and provide it on the srdogs.com site to equip guardians of senior dogs to maintain their dogs' health and to be alert to various health issues and their management. When we have relevant information based on our own experience with the healthcare of our own dogs, we offer it.
Please keep in mind that the information on the srdogs.com site is not meant to equip a guardian to diagnose or treat a dog’s health issues. We advise anyone responsible for the health of a senior dog to see a veterinarian twice a year for a wellness check-up and immediately when the dog’s symptoms are of concern.
Here’s the story of how all of this began--
Misty, the Senior Dog Who Inspired the Senior Dogs Project
The Senior Dogs Project was launched in May 1997, shortly after our family adopted a ten-year-old senior -- Golden Retriever "Misty" (in the photo at the left). We fell totally, helplessly in love with her gentle nature and calm demeanor and felt very lucky to be sharing our life with her.
A Neighbor Asks for Help "Getting Rid of" Her 14-year-old Golden
While we were happily walking Misty on our street in San Francisco one day, a neighbor who knew that we had just adopted her, approached us to ask if we would help a friend of hers who wanted to "get rid of" her 14-year-old Golden Retriever. We couldn't take her ourselves, we said, but we knew a number of people in the dog-loving world and would try to find her a home.
No New Home, Only Euthanasia
Despite our best efforts, however -- asking among friends, contacting the local animal shelter and then the local SPCA and even Golden Retriever rescue -- we failed. We were stunned when every one of those organizations told us that they would most likely have to "put her down"; there was no "market" for senior dogs because just about everyone looking for a dog to adopt wanted a puppy or young dog. These organizations could not afford to house old dogs that no one was going to adopt.
Changes in Attitude
Fast-forward to the present, and much has changed. There are now an ever-increasing number of dog rescue groups dedicated specifically to finding new homes for senior dogs (see rescue groups) and most shelters will now give a chance at adoption to seniors. And, if a shelter is unable to adopt out a senior, they will do their best to find a rescue group that will help find a new home for the dog. We've worked hard for these changes -- through this website and through our support of agencies and shelters that advocate for senior dogs. Misty taught us that senior dogs deserve to be celebrated and valued, to be protected from discrimination because of their age, and to be given the best health care available. It has been our mission to disseminate that message.