Thoughts about old dogs, and a few special dog stories from 2019

As 2019 closes, I’d like to share a few dog stories from the doggy loft I visit every week on Rescue Row, in San Francisco. From my earliest years, dogs have been my favorite teachers, and best friends. This year, I’m particularly thankful for the optimistic attitude of dogs, in addition to their ability to be both simultaneously silly and affectionate. If I’m being honest, I’m still recovering from the massive invasion we had during the summer from Boston Terriers. Mostly though, I have finished many a volunteer shift with the oldsters feeling more inspired and calm than when I started. 

Enjoy these dog stories, and at the end, I’ve added a short list of inspired thoughts that came from another year helping in the doggy loft. Please share your own in the comments, and any special dog moments from your year, I’d love to read them - Sharon Castellanos 

Ay Chihuahua! Since I began volunteering in the doggy loft at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue three years ago, I have met more chihuahuas than I can count! They have been funny, scrappy, scared, fluffy, fat, skinny, silly, and shy. Boys and girls have expressed patience, frustration, crankiness and an unstoppable flow of affection. One little lady I met in January this year, Ginger Rogers, grabbed my attention and compassion all at once. She began her time with Muttville wanting attention while being left alone. She’d snap at people and other dogs alike if she felt like it. But she also could make you laugh out loud. I was on hand to help feed her breakfast several times and she would take turns eating, and lifting her tiny lip to snarl at me. When she was done, I would often be offered her butt for a brief soft scratch. This exchange brought me so much joy.

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Seeing her figure out how to be close to me, to show me her version of affection so soon, was heartwarming. Over many months, Ginger slowly blossomed, in her own unique way. I was on the receiving end of several tiny kisses, and a quick snuggle or three, before she fell in love with a member of the Muttville staff and went home. I’m so thankful she found a place like Muttville filled with people who gave her the chance and space to shed her worries and welcome in all the love and care she deserved.

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Fluffy dogs come in all makes and models. Having had the experience of living with, loving and caring for a small dinosaur, also known as a shepherd husky dog, I never really knew what Pomeranians, miniature poodles, papillons or corgis were all about. We get many of these dogs or blended fluffy versions coming through the doggy loft. Who knew fluffy dogs came in so many types and sizes? What has been a gift this year is getting a chance to experience these dogs. You get some really beautiful examples of true sugar faces from the darker fluffs. Also, I can’t tell you some of the funny expressions on these dogs faces just because of a little contrasting hair! If you ever watched Seinfeld, I’m describing some dogs who could give Uncle Leo’s eyebrows a run for their money. My dog had three layers of fur to shed, which gave me a chance to use many different types of grooming tools. I am happy to report that I have been fortunate enough to get a chance to have my share of brushing parties this year after breakfast, with many satisfied customers.

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The blind and wobbly. How endearing is it to have a dog get up and teeter over for some love from a stranger, first thing in the morning? I am astonished every morning I walk into the doggy loft and a blind or vision impaired dog works their way towards the sound of my voice and greetings. I mean sure, the smell of breakfast or the sound of metal food bowl would be one sure way to get any dog’s attention, but a loud lady chirping “good morning” and “how did you sleep” to mostly dogs she has never met, is a crap shoot for getting a blind dog to respond. All year I have been thankful for periodic reminders from these dogs to never give up, to persevere and to keep my sense of humor. They show me how to live each day to the fullest, and taking it slow is not a bad idea or anything to be embarrassed about. I love their joyful expressions, and appreciate their fierce displays of optimism!

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I am reminded this year that dogs are still one of my favorite sources of life lessons! Here are some thoughts and inspiration gained from dog encounters (mostly in the doggy loft) in 2019:

- Dogs are really good at teaching you how to take every ounce of compassion and affection that crosses your path.

- These incredible companions of ours show us what is important, and to move towards your goals one small step at a time.

- No matter how old or impaired you get, never lose your sense of humor!

- Don’t let distractions, like the sounds and smells of other dogs, get in your way. 

- Even if you can’t see exactly where you are going, keeping moving forward.

Oh, also naps are your friend, and learn to delete really old dog photos from your smartphone because no one needs over 15,000 of them at any given time.

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A final inspiring note from 2019: This adorable fluff came into Muttville and immediately showed us all why senior dogs really do rule. If you get a chance, stop by their website, visit them in person, or subscribe to their newsletter. You will read more dog stories and discover more about how to live life to the fullest by these sweet sugar faces and grey muzzles.

 

 

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🌲 SAVED FOR THE HOLIDAYS ADOPT-A-THON DEC. 7 & 8 💖 RESCUE ROW IN SAN FRANCISCO

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is excited to join the San Francisco SPCA in hosting a “Saved for the Holidays” Adopt-a-thon Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8. Muttville will be offering FREE ADOPTIONS to qualified applicants to help these amazing mutts find their forever homes.

Muttville SF

Come on down to meet your new best friend!! They would love new forever families for the holidays.

WHAT: Saved For The Holidays Adopt-a-thon

WHEN: 12pm to 4pm, Saturday, December 7 & Sunday, December 8

WHERE: Rescue Row (a.k.a. Alabama) and 16th Street, San Francisco

WHY: Free adoptions and SENIOR DOGS!!!!

Image from grouchypuppy.com
Connie Loves Belly Rubs!

 

Image from grouchypupp.com
Hail Mary Loves Cuddles!

Come on down to meet your new best friend!! It is going to be an amazing weekend filled with lots of love, sloppy kisses, and amazing connections.

Learn More:

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

San Francisco SPCA

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Why adopt an older dog? Let’s start with these eight reasons...

Have you ever wondered why senior dogs really do rule? Are you curious about what life would be like if you adopted an older dog? Have no fear, we have a list for that!

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Here are some of our favorite reasons why having a senior dog is like fast-forwarding to the best part:

  • You get to write their last chapter
  • No puppy teething!
  • They are more likely to mirror the pace and pattern of your life
  • It can feel like getting a chance to love and live with your grandparents
  • They’re grown! What you see is most likely what you get
  • You have a greater sense at the start what medical and dental care will be
  • Older dogs are more willing and able to pay attention than puppies
  • They communicate directly and without hesitation what they want or need

There so many ways an older dog is perfect for city life or ensconced in the suburbs. With age comes clarity. Older dogs have less desire for the hectic or chaotic which is a wonderful respite these days. 

What makes senior dogs so perfect is how much love they have to give. They have a lifetime of love to offer, and in return you get the chance to remind them what compassion and empathy feels like. 

Please consider adopting a senior dog, and if you can’t, then look into volunteering at your local shelter. Discover what is so special about older dogs, and how time spent with them is just perfect.

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Rediscover the meaning of Thanksgiving with an older dog

It’s Thanksgiving week, a perfect time to share a series of adorable adoptable older dogs from our local San Francisco favorite, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue!

If you’re thinking about adding to your family, these sweet sugar faces are wonderful choices to consider. It is all about making the perfect match and that is something the folks at Muttville have perfected over ten years now.

 

 

Take it from me, after volunteering on a weekly basis with Muttville for about four years, older dogs are perfect companions in a million different ways! Every week there is one or more encounters with a resident of the doggy loft that leaves me encouraged, inspired and always feeling loved.

Visit your local rescue, or come by and visit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and discover why senior dogs really do rule!

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