Adopting Senior Dogs!
"Old Dogs and Childrenand Watermelon Wine"

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ViewOur Adoptable Bichons!
All dogs over 9 years old may be adopted for a$75.00 adoption fee!
Read how these senior dogs have enriched the lives oftheir adoptive families!

I adopted Maxx when he was 16 years old. When I hadread about his story, I felt an instant bond and love for him. I had to havehim. He was taken to a kill shelter because at the age of 16 he had developed abad habit. His bad habit….."getting too old". When I first got Maxx he was alittle untrusting because he had been through so much in his life. Day by day Icould see changes in him and then the day finally came when he started wagginghis tail!!!! I knew then that he trusted me and loved me as much I loved him. Hewouldn't let me hold him for very long periods, but that eventually changedalso. He had the deepest sexiest bark I have ever heard in dog. He would throwhis head back so far while barking, he would fall over backwards. When he slept,he looked so peaceful and contented. I could watch him sleep for hours. I alsoloved the way he trotted like a horse with his head bobbing up and down. I lovedwhen he got so excited to see me he would spin in circles to the right, stop,and then spin in circles to the left. We called that his "happy dance" and welaughed every time he did it. I loved looking in his sweet eyes to see themsmiling back at me even though he couldn't see me. I loved the way he would moanas I gave him a massage and rubbed his ears even though he couldn't hear me. Hewas such a Southern Gentleman.

I only had Maxx a short 2 ½ years, but I loved himas if I had raised him from a puppy. When he died at the age of 19, he had theheart and soul of a puppy. He had the true spirit of a Bichon's love andforgiveness.

The first 16 years of his life is uncertain, but I canassure you that his last 2 ½ years were the best he could possibly have. Nevergive up on the Sr. dogs. They still have so much love to share. And maybe, ifyou're as lucky as I am, they may teach you a new kind of love. Would I do itagain…..absolutely!!!

We miss you so much my sweet SOB……Special OldBichon.

Vicki, Jim
Lexi and Bella

Written by Diana McNally

A little over a year ago, in Juneof 2001, my sister brought me a beautiful gift.

She had sprung a stray fromthe Shelton, WA shelter at my request and brought her to me. We`ll never knowhow old Maggie was or exactly what her lineage. She was small and white butthat`s where her resemblance to a Bichon ended. She was already quite elderly,with a heart murmur and arthritis as well as cataracts - and the shelter saidshe was quite deaf but we found out she could hear when she wanted to. While shestill had a spring in her step and a wag in her tail, she was rather frail andslow moving. The vet gave me medications for her heart and arthritis and sheimproved, having moments of actual glee in being alive. Sometimes she`d pacecircles around the center core of my house, and I`d call her "my little mallwalker".

There was never any question of placing her for adoption inher condition so I became her permanent foster Mom. To save wear and tear onSmallpaws budget, and to keep a spot open for another elderly rescue, I assumedfinancial responsibility for Maggie. She was groomed at home because I neverreally trusted anybody else to be patient and gentle enough with her. Being wetmade her cold so I`d wrap her in a succession of warm bath towels and snuggleher while she snored in my arms. Those were the sweetest moments, because shewasn`t all that keen on being held any other time. Sometimes we`d both snooze.

The night she had a huge seizure nearly did me in. If it hadn`t beenfor the wonderful moral support I got from the BF-L list, I would have gonecrazy with worry. The vet put her on Phenobarbital and there were no moreseizures.

She went camping at our favorite lake and surprised me ather ability to hop down off the camper step on her own. She explored thecampgrounds and hopped over small logs with the best of them. She loved to go inthe car, and I used to feel sad about that, thinking she might believe she wasgoing "home", whereever that was. Was somebody looking for her? We took her outof the shelter at the last minute, so maybe not. How did she get to be a stray?We`ll never know.

She was guaranteed to break my heart because ofher advanced age, but I couldn`t help falling in love with her. She taught me alot about patience and gentleness, and by example, I believe all mygrandchildren learned as well. She gave us so much, even as I picked off buttnuggets, gave her butt and foot baths after an accident in her crate, preparedspecial food to tempt her appetite, and did endless rounds with the carpetshampooer because she preferred the dining room carpet above all other spots ifI wasn`t quick enough to take her outside.

I knew this day wascoming. The bounce in her step was gone, the wag in her tail too, and she washaving other problems. Prolonging things would have been for my sake, not hers.She was ready. So I did the last thing in my power to do for Maggie. I set herspirit free. She had a bath and long snuggle the day before, and then we wentfor one last trip to town. The vet gave her a tranquilizer first, so he couldfind a vein without struggling and hurting her, and she went to sleep in my armswhile we waited for it to take effect. She never felt the final shot.

I`ve buried her in my secret garden and will put a suitable markerfor her grave. Yes, I`m grieving, but for me, not for her. I think she`senjoying the Rinbow bridge, and who knows, maybe there was somebody waitingthere for her. If she doesn`t have anybody else, maybe she`ll wait for me.

Would I take in another senior dog? In a heartbeat! Do I recommendit? Yes! It's really not for everybody - I won't promise it's easy, but thereare rewards. So many senior dogs find themselves homeless through no fault oftheir own, and need just that little bit of extra care to see them through.Maggie could have died a year ago in a shelter, and would have - but she had ayear of love and care and finally went to sleep in loving arms with my tears onher head. She gave me more than I gave her.

Rest in peace, littleMaggs


After Maggs went to the bridge I had a vacancy in my"senior hotel" so Robin sent Sable to me. She had had the same family for 14years, had slept in their bed, had the same vet for 14 years and the samegroomer for ten.
Because of a bout with vestibular disease, her familythought she had reached the beginning of the end, and rather than watch herdecline and die, they planned to help her to the bridge. Her groomer talked theminto giving Sable to her, but due to resident alpha dogs, Sable was miserable.She was given into rescue where her first placement failed due to resident cats.(Sable made THEM miserable). :-) So Robin sent her to me.
She was flown allthe way across country and arrived in wonderful shape. I expected a weak, sickgirl but got a strong, spunky, bossy, happy fluff who no way acts her age. Wehave weaned her off the allergy meds and our vet sees no reason for her to be onEnacard so we've weaned her off that too. Her heart is fine, she can still jumpup onto the couch all by herself, and can move fast enough that it's hard for meto keep up with her if she chooses to play.
Sable is fifteen now, plays withtoys, torments the cat who torments her right back, lets me know when she wantssomething.


She and Gigi and the kitten play together and I haveevery reason to expect she'll be here for a good long time. These golden yearsare such a precious time and I wish more people knew the joy of caring for anelderly fluff, and that I had room and ability to have more than one at a time.
Thank you for doing this page for SPR, Anything that inspires people to takethese old souls into their lives.
Diana in the Pacific




I am a foster mom and a recent failure offostering 101. I was fostering
two Seniors males, Bogie age 12 and Beau age13.

Beau came into rescue after his sole/soul mistress passed away andhe was a
little lost lamb. At first he did not want to be held nor did hewant to
participate in the games that I would play with my own 10.5 yr. oldBichon
Buster or Bogie.

Due to his mistress' financial situation Beauhad not seen a Vet since 1998,
so he was in need of shot updates as well asmajor dental work. He ended up
having 14 teeth removed and was in greatdiscomfort. So it took until about
3 weeks after coming into my home beforehe felt up to snuff. His mouth is
still a little sore and he whimpers onoccasion, but he is really a very
happy guy.

It started one Fridaywhen I came home and got my usual greeting from Buster
and Bogie. They wouldrun to the door and give me kisses. Beau-Beau ran up
too and was all set togive me a kiss. When he realized what he was about
to do, he ran and hid.However, on Saturday night, while we slept. (yes
they are on the bed snoringaway) Beau-Beau woke up and was checking on me
to make sure I was okay. WhenI smiled and spoke to him he wagged his tail
and curled up next to me. Thatwas all it took. On Monday I informed Robin
that I wanted to adoptBeau-Beau.

He must have known something was in the air, because onTuesday when
everything was finalized, Beau-Beau joined the kissing brigade.(He licked
my hand for the first time.) Now it is like he has been a memberof the
house forever. He goes into the toy bin and pulls out his favorite. Heis
right in line for his cookies. I am giving him baby cookies, untilhis
mouth is totally healed, which he loves.) and he runs to be the firstinto
bed for night-night. Beau-Beau has mastered the doggie door and loves togo
in and out and in and out and in and out. He just stands there looking ame
as if to say I have total freedom of choice...and I choose in and out andin
and out!!!!!

I had him groomed yesterday, in a puppy cut since hehas allergies and we
had to have some spots shaved, so he looks totallyprecious. My groomer
could not believe that Beau-Beau was 13 yearsold.

I wanted to get a second dog, because my little guy was diagnosed ayear ago
with Cushings Disease, and I wanted Buster to have company at hometo
distract him as the disease progresses. Also, I believe Buster isa
wonderful role model, since he has no food aggressions, nor toyaggressions,
nor sharing mom aggressions. The only requirement Buster has isthat he
gets his one on one time with me. Which he now uses at night to groomme. (
I am probably the biggest Bichon he will ever see!!!) Having moved intoa
new house, I wanted an older dog, who was already use to routine andwould
adjust quickly. Boy was I lucky!!!.

I really love being a fostermom to Bogie and I hope he is adopted by
someone who can truly appreciateSenior Dogs, like Beau-Beau and Buster. I
would do anything to keep my dogshappy, with the best quality of life that
I can give them. They have givenmore to me than I could ever give in
return. Jill E. Donoghue

Hi there. I am a volunteer with SPR but my story isn'tabout one of our rescues. My sister had a Great Dane for several years and whenhe started to get older he developed arthritis. Her toddler loved to launchherself at him and it hurt him a lot. After an accident we decided that it wouldbe safer for both of them if Ben "retired" to my home. I only had him for a yearand a half before I had to put him down, but it was very rewarding for me. Hevisibly relaxed since he already knew me, and he knew he didn't have to be onduty any longer, nor on his guard. He's been gone 4 years now and I still misshim and I would do it over again in a heartbeat.

Last September, I received an urgent email from Small Paws that theyreceived from another rescue group, that there was, what they thought to be, a10 year old bichon mix at the Denver Municipal shelter scheduled to be put tosleep the next morning at 10am. The shelter had deemed him "un-adoptable" due tohis age, condition of his teeth, the fact he was not neutered, a heart murmurthat was adding to his severe upper respiratory infection and severe bruisingaround his neck where he had been tied up.
After 4 hours of negotiation withthe shelter, they allowed SPR to adopt him- within an hour of his scheduled timeto be put to sleep. Joy Flora, fellow small pawser and absolute ANGEL in Denver,helped me through the process of adopting him and taking him into foster care.What I received was a 6 pound mix senior dog who probably is not a bichon, maybe part pomeranian, may be part peek a poo or terrier and is at least 99%gremlin!! He is the cutest, most unique dog I have ever seen and I haveappropriately named him "Gizmo". I immediately took him to my vet, got hisdental done, neutered, fixed up his infection, potty trained him, and got hisheart murmur under control.
Anyways, I have never fostered a dog before andofficially have failed since I am making my home Gizmo's forever home. He is ajoy to have around- I love him so much and even though he is 10 years old andhas a heart murmur, wrestles with his new brothers, tackles his favorite stuffedbunny and chases around his rubber ball. He is on twice daily oral medicationand has no outward signs of health problems- he even made it through theneutering surgery at 10 years old with flying colors!
I love my lil' gizmoand thank god every day that he was brought into my life!
Here is a pictureof him so you can see my little gremlin fluff! I also included the christmaspictures all three of my dogs (my bichon,Kansas, and my boyfriends germanshepard mix from a local rescue) I also have a recent addition of a 9 month oldbichon foster pup!
<<Gizmo Halloween.bmp>><<DSC00018.jpg>>
Take care!
Tami Miller
(and Kansas,Kabo, Gizmo and Diego) In Colorado!

Hi,here is my story...I adopted a senior dog, when she was13yrs.old...unfortunately she is no longer with us, however, I want everyone toknow that she lived to be 18yrs. old.....and brought so much joy into ourlives.......she taught us so much about unconditional love, and that dogs, arepeople too......she would pout if we were not paying attention to her.......oneday my Husband and I were doing some decorating, in his den...time got on and Ihad not fed Patch, at her usual time, she came a couple of times, and I told herthat I was busy, not realizing what time it was.......finally she came back forone last try....when I told her to go and lie down, she plunked herself down,with her back to us, right smack in the middle of the entrance to theroom......she did it in such a way, that it caused me to stop and check was after 6:00p.m. and I usually fed her around 5:00p.m.and then walked her, immediately after.......she got her messageacross..........she was a darling girl, and I miss her still........Senior dogs,can bring so much love into your home and lives......I would adopt anotherSenior dog, in a heartbeat........
Teresa (Terri) Romain.

I am proud to say we failed fostering 101. Nikki and Spike, afemale bichon and her male Maltese lifelong companion, were owner turnins. Theywere 11 years old. They had been lifelong companions and it was requested theynot be separated. They hid under the stairs for the first week coming out onlyto eat and go for walks. We already had two older bichons. After they werevetted and groomed, they were ready to be adopted. It seemed as if they mighthave been abused at one time but to lose your home after 11 years was traumaticfor them. It was decided unanimously that they didn't need to be uprooted againand they were home. We have come to love them dearly in the year since we havehad them. They seem to knowo that they were rescued and want to please. The fourdogs get along extremely well. Tell people to not hesitate to adopt an olderdog. They give a very special kind of love back. Nancy and Glenn Whittum alongwith Misha, Tori, Nikki and Spike.

On June 23, 2002 I adopted two olderdogs from Small Paws. These two had been together for ten years, and it wasrequested that they be kept together. I drove from Florida to New Jersey torendezvous with the foster Mom. After a couple of days of staying with a friendin Maryland, we started the trip home. Little did they know they were going tohave a group of ten dogs eagerly awaiting their arrival!
Charlie Dirtypawsand Peggy Sue (as I named them) fit into the group and household very easily.They were immediately seen by our vet who could not get over their goodcondition. Well, Peggy Sue was nicknamed Piggy Sue by the staff as she was alittle robust! She is a Chichuahua / Pomeranian mix. Charlie Dirtypaws had anancestor that was kissed by a Bichon (!) , and I am convinced there is someDandie Dinmont in his background. Both continue to be in very good health andare now fourteen and eleven.
Peggy Sue, in particular, loves people and mostespecially, children. Though I love her dearly, I refused to get her her ownkid!!!!! Instead she and I enrolled in a therapy dog class. May I say that shewas the star of the class? She truly was. During the course of the class wevisited the Ronald McDonald House and a local nursing home. We graduated fromthe class on March 3rd. Our graduation was held at the nursing home, and I thinkit is fair to say that she received the most applause when we stepped up toreceive her diploma.
Immediately Peggy Sue informed me that she wanted topursue a "graduate degree." We are still visiting the nursing home every otherweek, and in May we will be evaluated three times by a representative of TherapyDogs Incorporated. If we are successful, Peggy Sue will be a registered therapydog with TDI and will receive her "uniform" - the TDI's bandana. I think she isgoing to do it.
The residents cannot believe her age. So as a senior citizenherself, Peggy Sue is pursuing a new career, and is bringing pleasure to othersenior citizens.
I hope this will be of use to you.

Meet Bo! He is our senior bichon and here is his story:

When my elderly parents could no longer care for me, I became an SPRfoster child. My new parents didn't know it then, but seeing SPR featured onAnimal Planet's A Pet Story would change all or our lives forever. Boy am I gladthey watch Animal Planet!
I was 10 years old when they adopted me two yearsago, but even with only three legs, I act like a much younger bichon. I love toplay, blitz, and run around the yard with my brother and sisters.
When Icame home, I had a little sister and we became best friends immediately! I blitzwith her and try to beat her to the toys when we play fetch. Now that I haveeven more adopted SPR babies in my family and foster children who come and go, Ithink I am still the boss because I am the oldest. I have taught them to leaveme alone when I am asleep, and I bark to keep them in line when they are gettingtoo rowdy. I am the gentleman of the family!
My Mom and Dad love the way Icuddle on the couch and keep Mom's feet warm in bed. I may be old, but I amhealthy, I am a lover, and I hope to spend many more years as a special part ofmy new family!

Since we adopted Bo, we have added Sir Bentley who was8 or 9 and blind when we fostered then adopted him almost 2 years ago, Tiffany -our first foster who adopted my husband, Ken (and boy did she have to work hardto become a permanent part of our family!), and Cheddar to our family. Bo reallydoes have his hands full keeping all of them in line.
Bichon Waves andCheddar Kisses,

AKA TheContinuing Story of Carla, Abby & Buddy,

Now about my bichonbabies--tell everyone out there not to let other people talk them out ofadopting older dogs. Abby's now 15 and has spent the last four years of her lifewith me. She now has kidney disease (and at most, two years of life left) butdon't tell her that! She's just has vocally demanding as ever and I wouldn'thave it any other way. I think she's a part-Southern girl, too! My Mom died inJune 2000 at age 88 after 15 years of various illnesses and I would've nevermade it through that loss without my "dear old puppy". I'm so glad I disagreedwith all my friends who had said a year before "Don't adopt an 11-year-old dog!She'll just get sick and die on you soon and with your Mom already being sickyou don't need anymore trouble!" Now I'm a very stubborn little person who hadmade up her mind to take in a dog who needed companionship so I retorted, "Well,whatever time she's has left, we'll have it together!" I've never been married,don't expect to ever have any children (except the furry kind) and I needcompanionship, too, so I feel that Abby saved me as much as I saved her. Istayed with Mom through her sickness and plan to see Abby through whatever liesahead for her before she's ready for the Rainbow Bridge.
Funny thing is,people started saying to me "You know, maybe you should get another, younger dogbecause Abby is now getting so old that she can't live much longer." I didn'tplan to do that but last Thanksgiving someone contacted me about a little3-year-old male who had a terrible cold, lots of fleas, and was about to becomehomeless. Turns out the "cold" was actually pneumonia. Some of my friendsspeculate that Buddy would've been dead by now if he hadn't come to live with meand Abby. She didn't want a "little brother" but now that he's well and puttingon weight, he doesn't let Miss Alpha Dog boss him around quite so much. His truecolors have been coming out along with that good health--he can be a growly-buttbichon at times. I can move Abby even when she's sleeping without a peep but hegets real grumpy when he's sleepy. The only remedy I've found for that so far isto sing to him first so he'll wake up, wag his tail, and then we can get startedwith the day. He and I are taking obedience classes together to try to turn himinto the good dog I know is lurking below that super-thick coat (and head?) ofhis somewhere. It's gonna take some time, I know, but I don't give up easily.I've learned that dogs pick up behavior from watching one another, so I keephoping he'll notice how Ab turns to mush when I sing the Supremes' "Baby Love"to her. And maybe we can put his youthful exuberance to work as my new dancingpartner now that her arthritis usually keeps her all fours on the floor at once.
I plan to have central air installed soon and hopefully the unit outsidewill quell another bad behavior of his--racing along the fence to chase everycar that goes past. Is there any other way to "curb" that habit?
I'll besending more money later to help you help others to enjoy this wonderful breedand to save the little flufferbutts from a lifetime of baby-making. I'm sorry ifI've blabbed on too long. I just love dogs, period, and get especially excitedwhen it comes to bichons. I've had other breeds as pets when I was growing up,but I feel bichons are the sweetest and most gentle breed on the planet.Everyone should have at least one for a friend! Mine certainly bring a smile tomy face.
Thank you so much for staying on your mission. God is blessing youcontinually--even when the financial trials may seem to be too much. With loveand admiration from Chillicothe, Ohio we are
Carla, Abby and Buddy McGarvey(



I am writing this to encourage other people toadopt senior dogs as they have alot of love to give also ! I adopted Marley andDudley from Small Paws at 11 and 12 yrs of age. I totally fell in love withMarley and I didn't care how old he was. He knows when I need extra care ashe'll come over to me and put his head on my shoulder and endlessly lick myface. He has changed my life cause he healed my heart as I lost my bichon JoJo ayear ago who was my soul dog. I was wondering how it would work out with my JJ 11/2 yrs old. Marley will play with my JJ and bark like crazy. Dudley sometimeschimes in too. I think it actually has made them younger for it. So please giveolder dogs a chance, they too can love and play like the rest !

JJ is our first SPR adoptee. I kept hounding Carol if she hadfound an older dog that needed a new home. The one that brought me to Small Pawsneeded to be an only child, so we didnt get him, but with perserverence andbugging the crap out of Carol, she told me of Jacques. They found Jacquesabandoned at a vet's office in Ok City. He was old, has severe cataracts and wasestimated to be about 12 years old. He was severely matted and when we got him,he was in his glorious nekkedness. This was the latter part of July of 2001.Momma and I spent 2 days in Ok City so he would adjust to us, get used to usbefore our long journey home. He is such a happy little camper. Always has asmile on his face, almost blind and lost a lot of his hearing because he had asevere yeast infection in his ears. Hes a great little watch dog. For such alittle dog, he has one of the loudest barks that we have heard. Our firstexperience of it was when we were still in Ok City. We had gone out to getsomething to eat and came back to the motel room. Our key card wouldnt open thedoor so we had to get another key card. He was up on the bed looking out thewindow barking his fool head off. The guy who was staying next to us asked whatkind of a dog we had and when he saw JJ he couldnt believe that bark came out ofthat body. He prances and when he lays down, he lies like the Sphinx. Very, Veryregal. There is not enuf tea in china to take him away. I know he has only a fewyears left, but I know that our lives would be extremely empty without havingknown him.

Our second adoptee from SPR was Elyse (aka Rosie). JJ wassupposed to have been mine but.... momma has a way about her. I really think itsthe older codgers having to stick together. I called Carol because I rememberRobin writing in one of her newsletters about her arkansas trip (definitehillbilly land) but because the arkansas rescue there was a 10-year-old who wasin a kill shelter in Kansas or Missouri. Horrible rescue pic lol and there wasno picture on Petfinders when Carol told me about her but i knew that she wasmine. Our vet estimates her to be about 12 now. We will have had her for 2 yearsin late August. Rosie definitely does not act her age. Rules the roost, slightlyalpha in a sweet way, bounces around the house like she owns it (believe methese dogs do own it, they are giving us the privilege of renting it from them -Rent fee - treats, nibbles and dinner nightly, think we got a good deal dontyou). Gets very excited when we come home, etc.

Pooh Bear is our firstfoster 101 flunkee. Pooh was a little over 10 when we got him to foster,horrible teeth, not neutered and found out that he has cancer. It has been alittle over a year since we had it removed and he still is going strong. He hashis good days and his bad days. You want to strangle him from yipping soo muchbut when he turned up missing, i was heart broken and when he was found, i wasballing my eyes out.

These are our older Bichons. Even though I know wewont have them as long as some people would have their younger dogs, but theygive you just as much love, if not more.

Now my wannabes: There isBooBoo. She was 11 this April. She is a black and gray Lhaso-Poo. Miss QueenBee. She knows that she is top banana. She was my father's dog. My fathercollected stuffed animals and he had a favorite "Ollie" which is a grayelephant. The week that he died, Boo searched and searched the house for him(Daddy). One of the neighbors had put up Ollie in the laundry hamper. Out ofnowhere, Boo came prancing down the hallway with Ollie in her mouth. She laiddown with him and wouldnt let anybody take him away from her. After she foundOllie, she was a lot more content and happy (it was because it still had Daddy'sscent). Ollie gets put up now and then to fix the stuffing and when she seeshim, she just starts dancing and is so happy. But dont let any of the othershere take him. Thats one stuffie she doesnt share.

Bonkers is my littleShih Tzu that I rescued from a back yard breeder when she was 6 weeks old. Shewill be 11 in September. Bonkers does everything with me, rides in the car,dances and sings. She has a bad habit, if i dont tell her good-bye, she startshowling. Definite Separation Anxiety. she follows me everywhere, sleeps underthe chair when Rosie and Snoopy are on the chair with me. Will sit up on herhind legs for ever it seems like wanting treats lol.

Showy was mymother's collie. She was 14 years old which is rather old for a large dog. Showywas the last of our bloodline. She crossed over the Rainbow Bridge the first ofthe year. I know that daddy was waiting for her.

I know that a lot ofpeople are sooo very afraid of adopting an older dog or a senior dog. They areprobably afraid because they wouldnt want to see him suffer as he got old,wouldnt want to realize that they only had a few years with them, thinking theycant do the things with them that they can do with a younger dog. Im telling youfrom experience, I have 5 dogs that are classified as "geriatrics" They sleep alittle bit more, cant hear or see as well as the others but still have theplayfulness of any puppy. If anybody is leary of an older dog, ask them to talkto me. I wouldnt have any other kind of a dog, these senior citizens need ourlove too and they give it back 10-fold.


My husband and I adopted a bichon from SPR who was over 11years old in July 2001. His name was Dimitri and
one of the SPR volunteersMelissa Reiker flew with him on her lap all the way from Florida to us inAlbuquerque, NM. This
beautiful, sweet and wonderful bichon was also blindand had some ailments due to his age. His liver enzymes were very
high, hehad a slight heart murmur, and other ailments, but he was beautiful, sweet anddelicious. We took him to an eye
specialist and he tried surgery, but it didnot work, he got medications for the Cushings Desease, he also hadInsulinoma,
something wrong with the pancreas, but we decided for him to havea happy family life for whatever time God would let
him live. He kept me busy24 hours a day and I loved it, just to look at his eyes looking at me, melted myheart, he let me
hug him tight and I sang songs to him and talked to him andhe listened. He had uncontrollable glucose problem, very
low and no matterwhat the vet did, it would not budge, he would go into a semi-coma due to thelow glucose, I neglected
all my personal needs to make sure Dimitri was takencare of and to keep him happy and for him to know that we loved
him verymuch. In December 2002, right after Christmas, he went to sleep fine, but got upthe next morning throwing up
and would not eat. I took him to the emergencyhospital, Dimitri was being treated for the cushings and insulinoma by
one ofthe vets there who was very specialized in this field, he was put on intravenousand I had to leave him there. The
doctor found out he had a vestibularattack, an inner ear problem where they loose balance, it does not have anytreatment,
it usually reverses itself, but in our Dimitri's case, it did notwant to reverse, and after 8 days, he started having seizures, one
afteranother, and he ran a fever of 105, he went into a seizure-coma and nothingcould be done. After crying my heart out
for over an hour, I had no choicebut have him put to sleep, He went to be with God with my voice in his ears, Ipromised him
I'll see him someday and hug and sing songs to him again. I havea beautiful memorial in his memory at BEST FRIENDS
ANIMAL SANCTUARY website,under ANGELS REST MEMORIALS, under the month of January 2003, under the nameof
Dimitri (the names are listed alphabetically)-.Try to see it so you cansee how beautiful he was.
Well, I have to go now, I wish you the best withyour other doggies.
Love, Rose Sehr, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Little Joey

When we got this little boy and his papers,I couldn't believe what I
read. He had been to Europe with his owner twiceyet was surrendered to
a shelter because "we can't afford to take care ofhim". P-L-E-A-S-E!
Another staggering point was his age noted as 19 yearsold, making
him now old enough to drink and vote at the age of 21. Thoughthis
information seems a bit far fetched, it's all we have to goon,
concerning Joey. One thing is for sure, he's very old. I'mdesignating
November 13th as his birthday, the same as, Jay, my son whoshould be home from Iraq in September.
What a great little gentleman Joey isand a grumpy old man too. Every
part of him must ache so he seems to getlittle or no pleasure from
being held. He does love to be petted if he's notbeing held.
He loves his warm bath and the warm water running all over himfor
several minutes. Glucosamine and a senior multi-vitamin has helpedhim
regain some of his stamina, enabling him to trot outside to explorethe
yard and 'defend' whatever he thinks is his and he thinks everythingis
his. At lunch he is separated from the other dogs to have his mealand
then his quite nap alone for two or three hours. He can still hearme
when I call to him loudly and despite his aggressive cataracts, canstill
see a little. He's my kind of dog....the little old ones thathave
been dumped after years of devotion. (How do these people sleepat
night?) They always respond to kind and gentle love and affectionand
seem to realize that they will remain with us for the rest oftheir
lives. We have five other dogs with similar old age afflictions.We've
already lost our tiny little Pom girl, Sophie, but she was happy tothe
end and all was her 'normal' here until I found her the morningof
August 16th, 2002. Our Toy Poodle, dumped at the shelter by her owner.Little Paul-Paul...strange name for a tiny strange dog. What a love who wentblind almost overnight and really had trouble handeling it, as we all would. Hemanaged to make some adjustments. After taking him to an opthamologist oneFriday in February, he died in my arms on the way to the vet the followingTuesday. We've lost our tiny Yorkie in May. Graham Cracker, a puppy mill studfor seven years, only knowing a 2' X 2' cage for the first seven year of hislife. This made him older than his years and he was only with us for 2 1/2years. Slowly his health faded until we talked early one morning about how hewas going to have the sweetest, most wonderful "nap" and we would see each otheragain soon. I gave him a tranquilizer and within 15 seconds, he was "asleep",his little body was failing so fast. To this little boy, Mommy was his l-i-f-e.He had to know where Mommy was at all times and would loudly protest is hedidn't know. He would tolerate Daddy, only until Mommy returned. I miss all mylittle Shadows.
Maybe most will understand how I can do this...some won't. IfI have my way, sometimes I don't, no life will pass from this Earth alone. Iwant to be the last thing I see as they leave. I want them to KNOW that they areloved as they come to know Sweet Peace from their tired bodies.
We dorealize this could all snowball and we could lose several any day now, but theseniors offer us such a special kind of love. I think it's because each had beendeserted by the one they love but they're trusting enough to let us love them aswell, knowing they will never be left behind again.


I adopted Franklin over a year agofrom SPR at the age of 9 - 10 years….

He is blind - for the most partdeaf - apparently never learned to play - he has NEVER once given me a kiss -and would prefer that I never hold or kiss on him (at least that is what hewants me to think…ha ha).


I amfor sure going to put together something - a tribute to FRANKIE and send out toyou guys ! I preach daily on the JOY of adopting senior dogs !


Cory onleft. Alex on right.

I rescued Alex and Cory at 12 and 10 years old. Corywas very sick and died after 9 mo, but Alex is still going stong at 13.5.Somewhat like your situation, Alex and Cory were given up to a pound because thefamily "didn't have time" for them. I would still like to smack their faces!!!!And they were from a very wealthy community.
Alex was pretty depressed whenhis baby Cory died but then I took in some fosters and he seemed to perk up so Ikept the last one a 13 mo old boy named Spanky. Spanky is now 20 months and Alexdefinitely has a new baby to groom, and Spanky has a daddy to chew on and playwith.
Anyways, give me some idea of what you are looking for and I'll try toput something together.
Patty Harrington

We're not sure if Zeke (Ezekiel) was a senior when we adoptedhim in November of 2000. At the time we adopted him through Small Paws, we - andthey - believed him to be four years old. When my husband was in a terrible autoaccident in August 2001, the friend who kept the dogs for us for 5 weeksdiscovered that Zeke was deaf. Zeke became ill in Demember of 2001, and, at thattime, the vet estimated that he was at least 8-9 years old. He also hascataracts, and in June of 2002 was diagnosed with diabetes. So, we don't knowhow old our dear Zeke is - nor do we especially care. He is so lovable, both tous and to his "brother", Obie. Obie will be 4 next month and is a non-stopbundle of energy. It is nice when he initiates play with Zeke, but it is evenmore special when Zeke is the one to initiate the play!!! Zeke is very dependentupon Obie to be his eyes and ears. He has been very attached to me ever since weadopted him - he even cried the first morning I left to go to work. Recently hehas become very attached to my husband, although Obie still thinks he shouldhave Daddy's undivided attention. This is much too long and rambling, but itcomes to say that, if Zeke is a senior, or even if he is not, we have no regretsabout adopting an older dog with special needs. His loving, gentle, andaffectionate ways make him a very special boy!


It's been exactly one month that my Miss Akoya Pearl passedaway. I had her for
two wonderful years.

She was a matted urinesoaked dehydrated soul that I knew had NO chance of being
adopted. After afew months with me, she developed into a beautiful black and white
shih tzu.About six month later I wanted a sister for her and became involved with
theSanctuary for Senior Dogs in Cleveland. That was the best decision I haveever

These poor neglected and abandoned little ones have noidea what they did wrong and
are left to be PTS just for being a senior. Ihave opened my house to the savvy seniors
and special needs and some arepermeant residents. They will know only love and
devotion for the rest oftheir lives. We have to remember it's the quality of love and
not thequantity.

There was an owner turn-in at the WI humane society. This poorguy was left d/t
chronic eye and ear infections. SHAME< SHAME. I can'tunderstand what people
think!!!! Having a loyal companion for 14 yrs, just togive him up. Forever Shih tzu
contacted me and we are going to give him aforever home just like he deserves.

I want to thank you personally foropening your heart and home to our seniors,
they will only repay you withsuch devotion and unconditional love.

My girls-Lola-the lusciousLhasa, Lulu a 14yr Pom, Arwin a 14yr old Shih Tzu girl,
Katie, a 11yr old toypoodle mix(being adopted this week) and Brie a 12yr poodle_lahsa
mix(alsobeing adopted this week)

I, myself, rescued a Lhasa from Small Paws 2 years ago.While Danny was thought to be only 6, the rewards of rescuing him are countless.He is one of my 5 loves (yes I have 5 furkids) but he will always hold a veryspecial place in my heart.
This past Christmas, I received an email from alocal rescue organization, letting me know that there was a "older" bassett/Labmix at a local county shelter who was in need of a foster home. She wasbasically on death row.
Knowing that I had a house full, I work full time,have 2 children-12 and 9 , and the 4 furkids, something told me to rescue thissweet girl. Just by reading about her, I fell in love with her.
The Saturdaybefore Christmas, I met up with the owner of the Rescue Org. who had justrescued "Roezee" from the shelter.
I walked up to "Wende's"car and what did Isee..... I saw this very precious black lab face, with a basset hound body. Poorthing was so overweight she could barely even move. Her left paw was deformed,so walking was a chore.
I put her in my car, nestled between the 2 kids.
When we got home, I could tell that this poor girl was deeply depressed. Shedidn't wag her tail, had no facial expression, just stared into space andslept.
I sat with her the rest of the day, just talking to her and lettingher know that she was safe and I would do anything and every thing I could tomake her a happy dog. We named her Roezee.
After 2 days, Roezee and I hadthis special bond and I knew at that point I had failed Fostering 101. She wasmine to keep. There was no way I could give her up to a forever home. Herforever home was with me.
As the days, weeks, and months have gone by, Mysweet Roezee, is a senior dog bubbling with happiness. She has shed about 6 lbs,she can move like a grey hound when she wants, and she is the Queen of thishouse.
She sleeps on the sofa during the day, with the TV on, ( Her favoriteis Jenny Jones)
Out of the 5 furkids that I have, down deep in my heart,there is a special bond with Roezee and Danny. Just knowing that they bring suchhappiness to me.
While puppies are so much fun and work, if ever given theopportunity to adopt a senior, you bet I will.
Cost of purchasing a puppy$300.00
Cost of new unchewed furniture $1000.00
Cost of obedience training$150.00
Cost of rescuing a SeniorFurkid..............................PRICELESS
Danna Henri DannyRoezee
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by themoments that take our breath away

We adopted a 7 year old Bichon, Cody, from Small Paws, 18month's ago. He was in a puppy mill all his life, so had the typical withdrawnbehavior. However, he is learning to be a dog and has been a joy to us! He nowsmiles and blitz's and cuddles. He loves my husband and daughter and me, too. Heis our first dog, ever, and such a blessing. To us, he is like a puppy(sometimes we call him "the puppy"), because he daily learns new things andtricks. He now sleeps on our bed at night and snuggles at our feet. We arereally glad we adopted an older dog, and feel he has a special life withus.

Francine Linde

Iadopted a 15 year old Yorkshire Terrier from the pound here in Arizona in March2003. I named her Jordan, after Michael Jordan because her tongue stuck out dueto lost teeth. She did not have a toofer in her mouth, but that did not stopthis baby! She ate kibble and chewed on bones! She had such a heart of gold anda bark that would make anyone melt. I do not know how she ended up at the pound.But, I pulled her right out of there. I only had the chance to love her for 7short weeks. She was my absolute baby. I miss her everyday.

It was heradoption and unfortunate death that led me to meet a lady named Suzanne, wholives a few miles from me in AZ. She had recently adopted an old lady Bichon,name Pearl. We met just after Jordan passed away, actually 3 days later. We metup at the local shelter to adopt out a 10 year old Yorkie mix. Now, she hasstarted a senior dog rescue in this area which I am helping her with to a smalldegree. It is called Red Mountain Senior Dog Rescue. We are working to giveolder doggies the opportunity to make it after being placed on the "e" list atthe shelters here in AZ.

Thanks for your time, I am attaching a photo ofmy girl, Jordan. I miss her everyday.

Sincerely, Jenefer MillerArizona


Alex was not destined to spend a great amount of time withus. However, he came to us for a specific purpose. Once that purpose wasfulfilled, he decided that it was time to go to the Rainbow Bridge. The finalphase of his purpose with us was in dying.

I discovered rescue five orsix years ago. In one of my many internet searches, I found Small Paws Rescue. Icannot say enough good things about the people who make this wonderfulorganization such a success. I was drawn to this group. The more I learned aboutSPR, the more I was drawn back. I learned that Robin does this work for God. Howbetter to serve Him than to save one of his most precious creations, one whomany people believe insignificant.

Dogs have always been a passion in mylife, from my earliest memories. While researching different rescue groups andlooking at the thousands of pictures of dogs in need of homes, I could neverunderstand how people can simply leave them behind. Their reasons just didn'tmake sense to me, i.e., "We moved and couldn't take them," "I bought newcarpeting," "He's too old." I just don't get it. You would take your children,why not the dog? My dogs are just as much a part of my family as the humanmembers. I decided that if I, with cognitive reasoning abilities, couldn'tunderstand, how could the dogs understand, especially the seniors who had giventheir entire lives to a family they thought loved them.

I started payingspecial attention to the seniors in need of homes. Since we have a 4 year oldgrandson, I concentrated on the ones good with small children. One day, I sawAlex's picture on the PetFinders web page. Although the picture wasn't the best,his sweet little eyes seemed to reach into my soul and say, "Love me." And Idid.

I talked to Pat about adopting Alex. I told him everything I knewabout him, that he was 15 years young, that he had been with the same family hisentire life, that he had been loved, that they moved to another country andreleased him to Small Paws. I understood that the laws governing animalsentering other countries can be extremely difficult on the animals. They caneven be quarantined for up to a year in some countries. In retrospect, I have tothank them for allowing Alex to spend his last days with us instead of dying inquarantine in a place he didn't know.

We decided that Alex would comehome with us. Thus began our journey with Alex. I completed the onlineapplication. From there, the process went very quickly. Small Paws spoke withour vet. I spoke on the phone with Robin, Donna and Heather who had fosteredAlex, and Lynda, the transportation coordinator. Before we knew it, we had beenapproved to adopt Alex and plans were completed to have him flown tous.

Alex came home on Sunday 19 October 2003. We drove to the St. Louisairport, about 2 hours northwest of our home in southern Illinois. As weapproached the airport, a plane was coming in for a landing. Pat said, "That'sAlex, it's a Delta." And so it was. We found the Delta cargo bay. We watched asthey removed Alex from the transport. He barked at the workers. (smile) We wereonly there 20-30 minutes. We got Alex, completed the paperwork, and were on ourway home. Once we were safely in our van, I had to get him out of his crate. Wecouldn't get the door open, so we removed the top. He was so beautiful andsweet. Pat drove and I sat in the back with Alex. The trip home was uneventful.He lay contentedly in his crate most of the way. Occasionally, he would stand upbehind Pat to feel the wind in his face. He loved the wind in his face. Westopped half way home to let Alex potty. He didn't make a sound on the wayhome.

Even though Alex loved both of us, it was Pat that he attachedhimself to from day one. He followed Pat through the house, even to the basementwhere the laundry is located. I thought this was rather humorous since most dogsprefer me to Pat. Alex knew what he was doing.

Of course, there was aperiod of adjustment. This period didn't last very long. Our two girls (Sydneyan Australian Cattle Dog and Cheyenne a Yorkie mix) adjusted quickly to havingAlex here. And Alex adjusted to them as well as to our schedule of workingduring the day. Soon we became a cohesive family. Alex, along with the girls,would greet us at the door when we returned from work. He was always delightedto see us. What a feeling of satisfaction that brought.

Alex had a senseof humor. He used to tease me. He would wait for me to go to the bathroom, takemy pants down and sit on the toilet. Then he would come to the bathroom door, dothe play bow….and take off. He knew I couldn't chase him.

Alex loved hispillows. We left one on the couch for him to use during the day. And when wereceived his SPR blanket from the blanketeers, we put it over his couch pillow.He also loved laying on Pat's pillows on our bed. He made himself right at homethere the very first day.

We found a local pet store and bought allnatural dog food. But what Alex "really" wanted to eat was people food. I hadbeen forewarned that he liked to eat from your plate. I didn't really see thatas a problem, because I frequently feed my furkids from my plate. Well, thatwarning was an understatement. When it came to my plate, he was an "in your facekinda' guy." Never to be outdone by the girls, he always made certain he got"his" share. And he would talk to me while starring into my face with those bigblack eyes. I miss those eyes.

I'm pretty certain that Alex had somearthritis in his back legs, at least in the left one. When he walked, the legsworked independently, but when he was in a hurry, they worked in tandem. Iwatched him to make certain he wasn't in any pain. He never acted like he was. Inoticed that before he jumped up on the couch or the bed, he would put his frontpaws on the furniture, hesitate, collect himself, and then jump. I decided thatI would assist him onto the furniture. I was even going to ask my dad to makehim a 2 step stair to help him climb up where he could be more comfortable. Hegot accustomed to me helping him very quickly. If I wasn't there immediatelywhen he put his front paws up, he would look over his shoulder at me as if tosay, "Well? Aren't you going to help me?" And of course, I did (while I waschuckling at him). Unfortunately, he didn't give me enough time to get hisstairs made.

Alex didn't give us much warning that he was leaving us. Hewas never sick. Maybe he grieved for the loss of his original family. Maybe hegrieved because we couldn't be with him during the day. Pat believes we failedhim because we had to work. And maybe we did. I don't know. I think Alex triedto die a full week before Christmas. On Thursday, December 18, 2003 when I camehome from work, I couldn't find him. I looked everywhere I could think of. I wasfrantic. He didn't come to me when I called him. Finally I found him. He was inthe very back of his crate. He hadn't used his crate in weeks. I ripped off thetop of the crate and took him in my arms. He was shivering. I put his tee shirton, wrapped him in a blanket and held him close. Soon he stopped shivering, buthe remained lethargic. I must have asked him not to leave us. I was scared thathe would.

For more than a week, he just didn't spring back to his usualself. He remained lethargic, but didn't act ill. We took him with us everywherewe could. I just didn't want to leave him. Deep down, I knew he was dying. I wasafraid to take him to the vet, afraid they would suggest we send him to thebridge. Had he been in pain, I would have. I swore to God that I would not takeaway one breath that God intended for Alex to have. I know that was selfish onmy part. I just wasn't ready for him to leave.

Alex loved us so much, hewaited until Christmas passed to leave. The Sunday after Christmas, December 28,2003 is the day he left us. In the middle of the night between Saturday andSunday, Alex fell off the bed. It was a horrible sound, and I thought he haddied at that moment. But no, he was on his feet. I picked him up and put himback on the bed. Pat and I went to church Sunday morning. I didn't want to leavehim, but I did. Our good friends were having their adopted daughter baptizedthat morning. I felt I had to go. But later that afternoon, I refused to leaveAlex to go to the reception.

I knew he was dying, his breathing wasextremely labored. He was my priority. I would stay with him until the end. Icontinued to try and get him to eat, but he wouldn't. When I tried to give himwater, he wouldn't drink either. I knew it was only a matter of time. I tried tohold him, but he didn't seem to want to be held. So I laid him on the waterbedhe loved so much. As I petted his head, I told him it was okay to go if it wastime. I brought the chair from the computer table into the bedroom to sit nextto Alex. I put on a happy face and started chattering to him. I thought maybethe sound of my voice would be comforting. I turned the television to AnimalPlanet and we watched one of the ASPCA rescue programs. Soon he moved to the endof the bed, nearer the TV. I stayed where I was, but kept talking. I looked upat him and he was on his side with his head hanging off the bed. I went to him.He convulsed and then he was gone. I took him in my arms and held him, sobbing.I didn't put him down for a long time. I couldn't.

Pat came home from thereception and asked if he was ok. I shook my head no and said he was gone. Weboth broke out in sobs. I still couldn't let him go. Pat went to dig a grave.When he came back inside, I asked if he wanted to hold Alex and he did. Then Iheld him awhile longer. We buried him in a cardboard box I had brought from workto wrap a Christmas present. Little did I know when I brought it home it wouldbe a present back to God. I gently laid Alex on the bed. I arranged one of histowels in the bottom of the box, placed him on his side and wrapped him in thetowel. I left his face unwrapped, I couldn't bring myself to cover his face. Hewas buried in his Superdog tee shirt and his collar with both his rabies and hisPampered Pooch tags. In the future if someone else finds him, they will know howmuch he was loved. He is buried in the back yard inside the fence. None of ourprevious pets are buried inside the fence. Pat picked the spot to lay Alex torest.

If you are wondering what Alex's purpose with us was, he came formy husband, Pat. Pat doesn't like cats. And even though I like cats, I have tohave my dogs. Therefore, I wouldn't bring cats home as long as he would let mehave dogs. This was a compromise that worked for both of us. Since the beginningof our time together, I have always had my dogs. Pat tolerated them and was evengood to them, but they were never as important to him as they were to me. Alexchanged that for Pat. This conversation about Alex shortly after we buried himwill explain.

Pat, "Alex was a gift from God."
Me, "I know."
Pat,"He came here for me."
Me, "How so?"
Pat, "He came here to open my heartto how special one little dog can be. You've always
Me, "Then hewas your gift from God."

There are no guarantees in life, not for us norfor our canine companions. The older we are, the less time we have. So it iswith our dogs. The seniors are special. They have given their lives and devotionto their human companions. Sometimes their humans pass on before them. Sometimestheir humans give up on them. For whatever reason the seniors end up in rescue,they deserve the utmost love and respect from those of us lucky enough to becometheir guardians. They give us so much. They look into our souls and know usbetter than we know ourselves. Alex was our first senior adoptee, but he won'tbe the last. There is an urgent need to place the seniors in loving homes. Theygive us so much more than we give them. We had hoped we would have more timewith Alex. We wanted more time with Alex. We needed more time with Alex. What wegot was enough time for Alex to leave an indelible pawprint on our hearts. Wewill always love and miss him. We'll meet you at the Bridge,Alex!

Pat, Ruth, Alex, Sydney and Cheyenne Cook

Subj: Blessed Is He... Our Senior Experience
Date: 2/6/200411:10:16 AM Central Standard Time

Dear Robin,

I was so pleased to read Michelle's note from earlierthis week
encouraging everyone to consider adopting a little "senior." I'dlike
to share our own little senior experience in support of this effort and
am hoping that you'll share it with our group. A little over five years
ago our seven-year-old Schnoodle, Sam, was diagnosed with an advanced
case of hermangiosarcoma and had only weeks to live. Our hearts were
breaking and everything was, more or less, put on hold to be with him;
we certainly had no thoughts of adding another dog to our household.
Then my step-grandfather passed away and we "inherited" his little
16-year-old Chihuahua, Lady, whom he had personally rescued some years
prior when someone had asked him to "just drop her off some place" on
his way home.

I have to be honest that I went into this situationwith preconceived
notions (maybe some of the same ones some of you mayhave)...while we
knew it was the right thing to do, I was almost sure that,at 16, this
old, scared, almost toothless, little soul who'd already had afairly
severe puppy stroke a few years earlier, probably wouldn't live
long...we would just kind of "get along" in the meantime. Lady,
however,apparently didn't know she was old and had much different ideas
about howthings would be. She quickly claimed us as hers and
"blossomed" (my Mom'sterm) into a spunky and very outgoing little soul,
so much so that wenicknamed her Bugsy. She became our little senior
Heart Healer...when ourhearts were breaking for Sam, she was the one
who made us smile and laughwhen nothing else did. I will be eternally
grateful to and for her for that.From there, this dynamic little
spirit never let up and kept us in stitches(her playful "attacks"
initiated by somersaults into our legs legs followedby wild kicking and
play fighting, her cocky little strut, her tiny pawpokes for attention,
her crooked and toothless little grin...I could go onand on.). She
remained in good health for four-and-a-half years, but thenstruggled
periodically with Inflammatory Bowel Disease for the last several
months. Old age finally seemed to catch up with her a couple of weeks
ago, and when she took a decided turn for the worst last week, Jim and I
held and kissed her and told her how much we loved her as she went to
the Bridge.

I found this quote by Sydney Jeanne Seward (from theSenior Dog Project)
that I'd like to share with our group, "Blessed is theperson who has
earned the love of an old dog." Truer words were neverwritten. Bugsy
was a wonderful bonus and blessing in our lives. We love andmiss her
but are grateful for all of the funny, wonderful memories we have.In
her memory and honor, I'd like to join Michelle and encourage other
Small Pawsers to consider adopting an older dog...your lives, too, will
be blessed in ways you won't believe. Thanks for letting me share this.


Subj: Humphrey's Story

Date: 2/9/200410:31:57 AM Central Standard Time

I hope you don'tmind, but I want to add Humphrey's story to the page of
Seniors. Here it is:

Humphrey came to me asan owner surrender in March of 2003. This case was a
little different in that his family was doing what they felt was bestfor
him. He was 10 years old and they were the onlyfamily he had ever known,
but there was a younger dog inthe picture who bullied Humphrey around
making himgrouchier than normal. Since the younger dog wasn't going
anywhere, they decided it would be best for him to find a loving homewhere
he could be the king and live his retirement inpeace. I picked up Humphrey
and promised them I wouldlet them know when he was adopted. I knew we were
in forthe long haul since he was a senior and weighed in at a whopping39

Humphrey was withus three months when I was told somebody wanted to adopt
him. I talked to the perspective parent and knew it would be aperfect
situation for Humphrey. An adult-only home withno kids. He would
definitely be the king! His new motherdrove to Arkansas from Iowa to get
him and wasabsolutely thrilled. I kept in contact with her after he left
just to make sure everything was going o.k. I got an email about sixweeks
later saying she didn't know what she was going todo, but Humphrey was
keeping her from getting any sleepat night. He would just sit by her bed
and cry. I knewwhat she was talking about as I had experienced this also,
but had chalked it up to being in a new place. She finally reluctantlymade
the decision to let Humphrey come back to SmallPaws. I emailed Bonnie and
said I wanted to foster himagain because he knew us and was happy with us.
When hecame back it was as if he had never left! I think I should have
known right then and there that he had found his forever home. I puthis
photo and bio back out on the Petfinders page and itwas there for about a
month when I finally decided I wasfeeding him and grooming him, I might as
well own him!!I was on my way to officially failing fostering 101! I told
Bonnie and Robin I just couldn't bear to send that precious face awayagain
if I wasn't 100% sure it would workout.

I called Humphrey's original family and toldthem Humphrey had once again
been adopted. The motherheld her breath and asked where he was going. I
told herhe was staying with me, and she was so thrilled and said their
prayers had been answered! They were hoping that was what would happen,so
see, God always does have a master plan! Pleaseconsider adopting a senior.
The love they give far andaway makes up for their advanced age. I'm
includingHumphrey and Fozzy's Christmas picture.


Subj: Senior Dogs Page
Date: 2/12/2004 7:09:33PM Central Standard Time
From: LTC

Hi Robin:
Here isSpooky's story:

In early 2000, we decided that we wanted to add a seconddog to our household.
We wanted another little, white, fluffy dog, but wedidn't want to do anything to encourage puppy mills or indiscriminate breeders.

We also didn't care if our new dog was a puppy or not, and thought wecould do some real good by adopting a homeless pet from a local shelter orrescue group.

We kept checking on the web site. Wefound a senior Bichon named Spooky, who was available for adoption throughAnimal Rescue, Inc., in Maryland Line, Maryland, just north of the Baltimoresuburb where we live. We called and made an appointment to meetSpooky.

They weren't sure of his age, but they thought he was somewherebetween eight and ten years old. The story they told us was that his owner hadbeen an elderly gentleman who had been ill and had hired someone to care forhim. Apparently, this caregiver was unable to handle both the man and the dog,so Spooky was turned in to this no-kill, rescue shelter.

When theybrought Spooky into the room to meet us, he was such a sad sight. He had abeautiful face, but he needed grooming and bathing. His fur was all grown out,and he was so dirty that he was more gray and yellow than white. He had severalreally bad hot spots.

His tail was drooping so badly that it was draggingalong the floor behind him. It was so limp I thought it was broken. He cameright over to me, but he tried to bite me when I went to pet him. He would notlet me touch him, and he really freaked out when my husband tried to pet him. Hewas obviously terrified of men.

They told us that Spooky got along finewith the other animals at the shelter. We had Muffin in the car and they hit itoff right away. Muffin and Spooky have been buddies ever since. They have neverbarked or growled or snapped at one another, and they love each other.

Ifelt so sorry for Spooky but I fell in love with him at first sight, and I justhad a feeling in my heart that he was destined to be mine and that I coulddevelop a rapport and love and trust with him. Spooky had been at the shelterfor months and months and no one had adopted him because of his age and hisbiting. I was so sad that I almost cried when I heard that.

We filled outthe adoption application and put down a deposit to hold Spooky for us.
Wewent back to the shelter to pick up Spooky. They had bathed him for us, so hewas all clean and white when we saw him again. He loved riding in the car, sothat was encouraging.

The first thing we did was take him to our vet fora checkup. He was freaking out in the vet's office. He was completelyout-of-control. He lunged at me and bit me on the hand when I tried to help out.I was not just a nip, but a huge bite that I almost needed to get stitchesfor.

The vet thought I was crazy to adopt Spooky, and he asked me pointblank why I wanted to adopt this dog? I told him I was sure that I could handleSpooky and turn him into a loving pet, and I wanted to give it a try.

Wetook Spooky home and he seemed to calm down a bit when he got there. After a fewhours, he jumped up on the sofa and curled up next to me while we watchedtelevision that evening. When we went to bed, he followed us into the bedroomand he jumped right up onto the bed that first night. He's slept in the bed eversince.

Animal Rescue had also warned us that Spooky was a peanut butterfiend. The staff used to keep Spooky in their office during the day, and theyused to make peanut butter sandwiches for lunch all the time. They startednoticing that if they were eating peanut butter sandwiches, and if they walkedaway from a desk and left a peanut butter sandwich there, it would be gone whenthey returned. They finally figured out that Spooky was stealing their peanutbutter sandwiches and gulping them right down. To this day, Spooky loves hispeanut butter, as well as peanut butter flavored dog treats!

Aside fromnot allowing people to touch him (and we will always have to be very carefulwith him around strangers -- especially children), he also has never beeninterested in playing with toys or chewing on bones or blitzing around like anormal Bichon. We can't help but think that he must have been abused -- probablyby a man, since he is much more afraid of men than women.

I was rightabout myself and Spooky. I did get him to trust me and love me and stop bitingme. He is now a very loved, cherished and spoiled rotten family pet. His tail isup all the time. His tail wasn't broken after all. It was his little heart andspirit that were broken when we first met him. He is no longer scared and nolonger lonely.

He loves to travel, and we've stayed in hotels with himall along the East Coast -- everywhere from Massachusetts to Florida. We put himinto my uncle's swimming pool in Florida last year, and Spooky swam and swam allover the pool and didn't want to get out of the water. He is a really goodswimmer and loves water.

Spooky is one of the lights of my life. He has amommy and daddy that love him unconditionally, as he loves and trusts us now. Heis a very happy and good little boy. He has been such a comfort to me over thepast several years -- especially after the shock of 9-11 and after the loss ofmy mother last year. He is a real mama's boy and he is my little shadow. Hefollows me wherever I go, he sleeps next to me almost every night, and he justwants to be with me all the time. I work mostly from home, and he is usuallycurled up next to me whenever I am working.

Senior dogs, especiallysenior rescues, have so much life left in them and so much love to give andreceive. They need our love even more than younger rescues, because so fewpeople are willing to adopt a senior. They are so appreciative and they canenrich our lives even more than we can enrich theirs. They deserve to spendtheir senior years, and whatever time they may have left on this earth, beingloved and cared for. Think of how you would feel if you were old or sick and youwere abandoned through no reason of your own. Think of how sad and frightened anunloved that you'd feel if you were discarded like that. Then think of a poor,sweet, little dog, that can't verbalize its feelings the way that a human can.Think of the confusion and frustration and worthlessness that they must befeeling. It breaks my heard to even contemplate this. I would have no hesitationwhatsoever in adopting another senior dog in the future.

When my Spookylooks at me with such love and trust in his little eyes, I know he is thankingme for adopting him and giving him such a wonderful home and such a great lifeand for taking such good care of him and loving him so much. There are no wordsthat can describe how I feel about him and how much he has changed and enrichedmy life. I love him so deeply and unconditionally.

It's a tribute toSpooky that I ended up getting involved as a volunteer and donor to Small PawsRescue. I had so many questions about Bichons that I started going on the BichonMessage Board on America Online. That is where I met Robin and the folks fromSmall Paws Rescue. Spooky made me a true believer in rescues, as well as in theBichon breed. Since then, I have rescued three dogs (all were owner turn-ins) onbehalf of Small Paws Rescue. And I have become a regular donor to Small PawsRescue, as well. I give as much as I possibly can, and I often make extracontributions to help out the organization in emergency situations. I willprobably only adopt rescues from now on, I am hooked on Bichons and I would nothesitate to adopt another senior.

Lisa Haber
Small Paws RescueVolunteer
Baltimore, Maryland

Mr.Hobbles~ Before

Mr. Hobbles -After

The beginning of a new life

Asthe So. California team leader I frequently am the one who visits our killshelters here in LA County to check out possible bichon and bichon mixes. WhileI have seen many fluffs in horrible condition, looking like a dirty mop layingin a corner, nothing compared with the shape Mr. Hobbles was in when I saw himthat day in the corner of a dirty cell in a South Central Los Angeles shelter.His card was marked as an owner turn in, meaning someone had dumped him there todie, alone and forgotten. Owner turn-ins are my soft spot and it tears my heartout to see them. This little guy was estimated at 10 years old and he was on hislast day. I asked the worker to see him and when they opened the cage to gethim, he didn't budge. They thought he was dead. They uncerimoneously scooped himup and practically tossed his tiny body at me. As I held him and brushed thematting away from his eyes he slowly opened them and looked at me dazed andconfused. Tears came to my eyes and I told the guy I was taking him. Once I gothim out in the fresh air set him down and he just about collapsed. He was sohunched over it looked like he had a severe case of osteoporosis! He stumbled afew steps as if intoxicated and stopped and looked at me in bewilderment.

After taking him to the vet and getting him some IV fluids to rapidlyrehydrate him and having him checked thoroughly they told me he was severelymalnourished - nothing I didn't already know. I got him professionally groomedand it was obvious he felt like a new man! He looked a million times betteralthough he still was unsteady on his feet and was quite hunched over.

Ibegan a rigorous rehab program of nutritious food and supplements and after acouple of weeks he seemed to start aging in reverse! His personality startedblossoming and he became quite a character, barking his orders for moreattention, food, etc.! I also discovered that his trust and loving nature wereseemingly unaffected by his cruel abandonment.

After several weeks ofspecial care and love, Hobbles was ready to be placed. I was worried about howwe would find a home for this charming older gentleman given his age and thefact he was virtually blind in one eye, yet I knew if someone would just bewilling to give him a chance he would prove what a loving and devoted companionhe would be.

Hobbles Forever Home!

Hobbes has always beenfull of surprises. From the moment we first set eyes on him to this evening as Iwrite his story, he has continually shown us different aspects of hispersonality and character.
In many ways it's hard to imagine that we've onlyhad Hobbes for two years now because it seems like he's been a part of ourfamily forever. At the same time, my first memories of picking him up from hisfoster parents are still so vivid that it almost seems like yesterday.
We hadheard about Hobbes through the Small Paws Rescue group's website at a time whenwe were looking to adopt a second dog to serve as a companion to our hyperactivepuppy, Kobe. At first we were a little wary about adopting an older dog,considering the boundless energy of our puppy, but we were told that Hobbes wasin pretty good shape and actually enjoyed playing with other dogs.
We thoughtwe'd give him a try.
We picked him up in the Bay Area and the first surprisehe gave us was how small and wasted he really was, even after months of love andrehabilitation in his Southern California foster home. We had prepared ourselvesfor an older dog, but seeing Hobbes for the first time, both of us cried for agood portion of the drive home to Truckee, Calif., because of the condition hewas in.
Hobbes had been aptly named Mr. Hobbles by his rescuers, and bringinghim home to our then snow-covered Truckee home, we had our doubts about whetherhe could adapt to the snow and the mountain climate we lived in.
Hobbes'second surprise was how quickly he won us over to his side. When we got him outof the car and into our house we quickly discovered that we had adopted theultimate lap dog. He wanted nothing more than to curl up near one of us andsnooze for as long as we'd let him - something he still does to thisday.
Since that day, Hobbes has blossomed. Through a combination of betternutrition, hygiene and regular grooming, exercise, and a lot of love, Hobbes hasbecome an amazing addition to our household.
We have recently nicknamed him"Sarge" because of his bravado in keeping other dogs in line when they come tovisit our house. Even a 95-pound lab and a 125-pound Malamute were no match forHobbes' conviction that he is really in charge of our house and that he makesthe rules. And though he is in his late teens (in people years), is deaf, blindin one eye, and has arthritis in his rear legs, he makes sure the other dogs paythe proper respect to their elders.
Although he is a little too old and frailto romp with our younger dog, he did surprise us by showing an inclination tonurture others when we brought home a mother cat and her 8 newborn kittens whichwe were fostering for our local Humane Society. At first we wouldn't let Hobbesin the same room with the kittens, but he could smell them through the door andwould whine and whine outside until finally we let him into the room oneday.
What followed was the most remarkable scene with Hobbes walking aroundsniffing, licking, and herding all of the kittens for as long as we would lethim. Even when we finally left and closed the door again, he would stand by thedoor whining until we let him back in with the kittens.
His latest surprisewas in convincing me to allow him to sleep on our bed at night - something I'dvowed never to allow. But what can you do when he looks at you from the floor,his head cocked slightly sideways, and lets out a muffled whine? He now gives avery satisfied grunt when he lies down next to Meg on the comforter each night.And, surprisingly again, we've actually come to enjoy listening to his old-dogsnoring.
Before we adopted Hobbes, I would never have thought that an dog hisage could contribute so much to our already busy lives, but as we've both grownolder together, he's been a continual reminder to appreciate the most importantthings in life: your family, your health, finding a little spare time to stretchout in a sunbeam and take a nap, and of course, the love an old dog cangive.

Bob, Small Paws Volunteer, Sandy Pratt, and10 year old Tommy.

This is Tommy, a 10 year oldbichon/poodle mix senior sweetheart. He was turned in by his original ownersbecause they could not afford him anymore. I doubt he understood that. Anyhow hecame to Albion NY where he stayed with a lovely pastor (Kathy) and her familysince Sept. He then came to Buffalo where a friend and I had the opportunity towatch him for a couple of weeks. This was an excellent move as he then came tothe attention of a great couple who are SPR members and he now has been adoptedand is in his permanent home up north of Syracuse NY. Tommy was really luckythat he got turned into SPR and not some shelter.
Asyou can see the transport was made on a terribly cold saturday - about 10degrees and high winds. We are hoping that more people in this area see this andbecome interested in the SPR program and know that there are a few of us aroundhere.
Incidentally Tommy is living in the lap of luxurynow with his own seamstress and a new sister named Pebbles. He even got to go tothe wedding of Cara Seekings (another SPR member) His new dad's name is Bob andhe just loves him.

Cotton, a Very Special Sr. Bichon

Cotton came to us as afoster dog through another rescue group I was with March of 2002 on our 20thwedding anniversary. Picked up by animal control, his age was estimated ataround 10 years. He was in pretty rough shape and needed to have his hair shavedas he was matted and dirty. Cataracts in both eyes....he was blind in one eyebut could see shadows out of the other; and his hearing was impaired, too.
The first couple of months were difficult -- not onlyfor Cotton but for the whole family -- watching him get lost in corners, runinto walls, stare into space, trot around the dining room table for severalminutes at a time. He'd rarely settle down and would cringe whenever we reachedout to touch him or pick him up. He'd struggle when held. When he went toadoption days, trying to find him a permanent home, he'd always come back. Noone wanted an old, blind, deaf dog. The stress of those adoption days would sethim back, and it was clear that they really were too stressful for him.

When requests for treatment to his eye were ignoredI called a Small Paws volunteer here in MN. Cotton became a Small Paws dog &I became a volunteer! After surgery to fix the ulcer & no more adoption daysfor him to endure, Cotton not only felt better, he became more secure. Wecontinued to foster him and watch his true personality emerge. When outside, hewould race around the yard as best he could, bouncing like a rabbit! In thehouse, he would get between our ankles and grab at our pants legs. He loved tohave his ears rubbed and would roll over on his back to get a belly rub. Wecould pick him up and hold him for short periods of time.

Finally, in July, our period of fostering him ended. He was adopted by awonderful woman who had recently lost her dog to old age. When she came with hergranddaughter to see Cotton, he just laid down nearby and would not interactwith her. Later, in her home, Cotton behaved as he had when he first came intoour home, and it broke her heart. He was stressed, and she couldn't put himthrough that, so he came back to us. When she brought him to me and he realizedI was in front of him, he quickly pushed his head between my ankles, his rearend wiggling with excitement!

With Robins blessinghe became a permanent part of our family. Cotton continued to blossom. He lovedto be held on his back like a baby and would settle down for a nap in therecliner. We called him lovingly, "Mr. Stinkybreath"!

In January of 2003 Cotton had his right eye removed because of aluxating lens, this was the eye he could see shadows out of, unfortunatelyCotton had difficulty dealing with the complete loss of sight, he had CCD{canine cognitive disfunction} and it became increasingly worse, life wasdifficult for him & we couldn't bear to see him deteriorate further.

It's been almost a year since Cotton crossed theRainbow Bridge. Having a dog with disabilities is not always easy; there areadjustments that need to be made. Changes in routine and furniture out of placecan be stressful. I have no regrets bringing Cotton into our home & ourlives. He was our first Bichon and Sr. dog with disabilties, he has not been ourlast!


Subject: For the Small Paws Family
Date: Wed, 3Nov 2004
Dear Small Pawsers!

I wanted to update everyone on our adoption of Bailey2! Tomorrow will bethe 1-week anniversary with the newest member of our family who flew fromPennsylvania to us in Virginia and we couldn't be happier!! I wanted to writeour story for everyone on how we came to adopt Bailey2, at 10 years "young" foreveryone who may be considering adopting an older Bichon but may not be sure.

Having grieved our last Bichon for over 3 years, wemade the decision some time ago that when the time came, our next Bichonadoption would not be from a breeder but through a rescue. How delighted I was afew months ago to discover Small Paws over the internet! After spending timeeach night looking at all the pictures and reading all the stories, we hadnarrowed it down to a few. We filled out the adoption form, listed our interestsand waited. How thrilled we were when within a week we had received a call fromsmall paws to review and finalize our application! Very soon, I was contacted bythe foster "moms" of the little guys we were interested in. After speaking withBeth on the telephone about Bailey and praying for guidance on this veryimportant decision, my husband and I decided that Bailey was meant to be withus! And I must say that he's in better health than dogs I've seen at half hisage! He is full of energy, LOVES his walks and even still chases squirrels uptrees (with me trailing behind!) He has one of the sweetest personalities I'veevery known and is just wonderful with our 5-year old daughter, who loves him todeath! We have several children on our street and he walks to the bus-stop everymorning and every afternoon and lets the kids all take turns walking him! Hedoesn't mind at all them crowding around him to pet him and love on him - hejust eats it up!

I want to make a plee to anyoneand everyone out there who's looking to adopt one of these older beautifulcreatures. Noone truly knows how much time they have on this earth. Sure, youcould say that your risks are lower that you'd have to deal with the inevitablesooner with a younger dog, but thats not always true and who knows what you'd bemissing out on??? We pray that we are blessed with a healthy, happy Bailey foranother 5, 6, 7 years.... but no matter, he has blessed us ALREADY and we'd havenever known how much if we didn't take the chance.

There are other wonderful reasons to adopt an older dog..... They aregenerally always housebroken already and WAY past the destructive, chewing oneverything stage. Their little personalities are already intact and when theymove in it's more like getting to know you instead of having to 'train' you. Imust say, I can't imagine it any other way!

I wantto add that Fred and I were so impressed with Small Paws and the entireorganization! We would definatley refer them to anyone and, when the time comes,would adopt through them again in a heartbeat! Thank you all for everything! Ihave attacted some pictures of Bailey with us this firstweek....enjoy!!!

Kim Cifelli

Simba, 10 yrs old.

Dear Vicki,

Adopting a senior dog was one of thebest decisions we have made! My husband and I began our search for a companionfor our 3 year old Bichon (Tommy) and found so many great dogs out there withdifferent stories. As I explored what characteristics would fit best in ourhouse, a senior dog kept coming to the top of the list, and Simba, our 10 yearold came into our life. We were looking for a dog that had settled into a calmerphase of life to compliment our young one. Simba brought calmness to our housethat I never even imagined. The entire house, including our 3 year old was muchcalmer and our evenings settled down nicely, whereas before, Tommy would paceand look to us for constant entertaining.

I had heard one of thebenefits of getting a senior dog, is that they merge into a new family easily,and the transition of bringing Simba in was unbelievable smooth. We have had himabout 2 and ½ months and from day one, you would have thought we always had him.He learned his place in the "pack" quickly and easily and is just such ajoy.

The very first day we brought Simba home; Tommy met him and gave himhis ball to play with. At the end of the first week, Simba found I had left thepantry open and he found some dog biscuits, he took one out, gave it to Tommy,then went back to get one for himself.

Senior dogs have so manyadvantages, and Simba has proven all of them to be true. He was housebroken,appreciative of a new loving home and returned the love with hugs and adoringlooks into our eyes. Simba instantly caught on to the rules of the house, andknew dog toys from other items quickly. He loves going through the toy-box andselecting a toy. He is just about the happiest little guy I have everseen.

When I selected the age group I wanted to adopt a new dog in, 100%of my friends and family said it was a bad decision. They said he's too old,will cost too much money because he will get sick, and will die soon. Manypeople, who have gone to adopt older dogs, have heard the same thing. Severalpeople just shook their head in disapproval when the heard I had selected Simba,a 10 year old Bichon that I was having flown in. I didn't care, I saw his face,and my heart melted, and I just knew he was the dog for our family. I envisionedhim sitting on the deck watching the other one run, when he got tired of runninghimself, and sure enough, that is just what he does. He runs and plays, thensettles down to enjoy watching his kingdom from the deck. It's the best of bothworlds, some play time and a time for the family to just relax together.

Senior dogs also offer the family a feeling that they are doingsomething good for a dog in his/her retirement years. We are so happy thatSimba's family cared enough to relocate him when they felt he no longer would behappy remaining in their home. We have been blessed with one of the most specialdogs and a warm feeling every time we look at him.
For those consideringadopting a dog, I would recommend considering a senior dog. The downsides arefar less that the upsides. We know that we won't have Simba as long as a youngerdog, but then I just figured, we can adopt 5 senior dogs to one young one and Iwill have the joy of knowing many more dogs in my lifetime! Simba, being older,does need more frequent potty breaks than my younger guy but he is worth it. Hesleeps through the night, but like the older people I know, likes to go to bedat 9 pm and up at 5 am. That is all I can list for Simba, as a downside! I sleepuntil 6, but he gets up at 5, and you know... at 5 when soft kisses cover myface, it is easy to get up. Simba's favorite thing after that is to run alittle, then snuggle in his comforters that are placed just for him on alllevels of the house! It comforts his little bones, and keeps our Texantransplant warm in our Illinois climate! There is nothing more precious than tosee this cute little boy, cuddled in his blanket looking up with loving andadoring eyes!

Thanks Vicki and to everyone at Small Paws that helped melocate this little guy and bring joy to my household!

-Sarah, Alan,Tommy, and Simba Kanter
Illinois Small PawsHome!
Subj:Senior dogs
Date: 1/12/2006 4:59:05 PM Central Standard Time
To: Pup3

God I am sobbing like a baby after reading thesestories of senior dogs. Especially Alex! As the new Mom of a senior dog, Cocofor only 3 weeks I found a lot in common and also a lot of encouragement. My newgirl Coco is 9 years old and my 3rd. Bichon. After losing my Luther 15, in 2005I felt that by adopting a senior I could give another deserving pup a few goodyears of love and care. When I saw her on your web site I realized I hadexperience with the severe allergies and the blindness and I could handle it! Sowhen she came a week before Christmas in the cold and snow from Texas I felt asthough I had a wonderful present for myself as she is a wonderful fluff. Shearrived with a soft collar on so she wouldn't chew herself pup on the long 2flights.
I feel as though she is my fluff Luther reincarnated, something Inever expected.
I have been struggling with getting her to accept my 9 yearold golden who she growls at constantly and hurts his feelings! Some days arebetter than others but I know we will all make it together. I received so muchencouragement from reading your stories of others who went through the same. Iwould like to share her story and that of my Luther who went to the bridge withyou.
Jean Carlson and Coco


My Luther, a VerySpecial Bichon.

The joy a dog can bring is not understood by all but manyare fortunate enough to know the unconditional love a pet can bring to yourlife.

My Luther left me at age 15, a good long life. I knew the day wouldcome but I wasn’t ready yet. How could I be?

I don’t think a day will goby when I won’t think of my little pal who gave us all so much joy.

Hereally just wanted to be with me and never cared much when Casey my son’s dogcame to live with us.

Or when Moose, my Golden came into our livesseveral years ago. He would get up on the sofa to look him in the eye forleverage and let him know the pecking order in his house! He often stole hisbones and toys and never gave in to him.

They say people start to looklike their pets and with all that fluffy hair my family would say wedid!

For over 10 years he visited the residents of the Wartburg Home.There wasn’t a lap he did not sit on or a person he did not like.

WhenMeadowview opened he went to the reception with me and jumped up on a new sofa.The director almost fainted but one of the residents said, “don’t worry he getsa bath every time he comes here.” He sat up there every time hevisited.

He went to the German Day parade in NYC for several years andmarched down Park Ave. in front of the Wartburg van so proudly and received theattention he so loved.

He died at night on my bed where he has slept forthe past 15 years; I still think I feel him there some nights on that littlehomemade afghan that my son and I wrapped him in at the end.

He left mesuddenly, no trip to the vet, just those big black eyes saying good bye to me onhis terms.

How lucky I was to have shared that little spirit.

Subj: FrankieUpdate for the Newsletter / Adopting an older dog
Date: 1/10/2006 11:57:26AM Central Standard Time

Hi Robin,
Ithought perhaps some of the SPR folks might like to hear about my experiencesadopting an older's been a great experience and one I would highlyrecommend!

I adopted Frankie through SPR Oct. of last year. What awonderful 3 months it has been! Having had three Bichons in the house for years- since they had become a bonded "pack" they stayed with Melinda when weseparated - I felt kind of lost without a fluffer running around the house.Frankie has been the perfect way to fill in that missing bit of Bichoninsanity.
He really has become my best bud. I take him out in the shop withme - despite being partially blind and deaf he manages to steal tools and hidethem in places I've yet to find (just where are my linesman pliers anyway?).Weather permitting we go for 1-2 mile walks at least one morning on the weekend- he LOVES this and wakes me up in anticipation of it. The landlady has a Yorkie(named Bear) - Frankie and Bear are now inseparable. Bear has taught Frankie tobark and use the pet door to go out - Frankie has taught Bear how to climb babygates and wake up the neighborhood howling. He spends his days while I'm at workwith my landladies older Mom - along with Bear - and he just seems to know tobehave when he's with her. She has fallen in love with him as much as Ihave!
Thanks to Julie and her husband for providing him a wonderful fosterhome and his chance to find me! There love and attention has as much made himthe amazing little 20 lbs (OK - not so little) of Bichon fluff as mine.

Adopting an older Bichon...
I was a little concerned at firstabout adopting an older rescue dog - besides the risk of serious medical issuesI was concerned about bonding to a dog that may only have a few years left. WellI can honestly recommend to anyone that an older adoptee is a wonderful choice!They have so much love to give - I think sometimes that Frankie just knows thisis his forever home and he plans to soak up every bit of it he can! An older doggenerally will be a little quieter and less prone to chewing up the furniture.But any habits learned can be hard to change...after dinner Frankie has to cleanhis chin fur on anything he can rub on which drives my landlady nuts...but hislittle quirks have become routine and knowing them I can better understand whensomething is not right with him.

Yes - older dogs will have medicalissues requiring attention. I have a wonderful vet who is more than willing towork with me on treatment options. Mentioning Frankie is a rescue often nets adiscount...but that's not really an issue...he is part of the family and getsequal billing. The issue is more watching Frankie age. Dr. Phil (my vet, not theTV guy) has prescribed some over the counter medications (glucosamine forexample for his arthritis) that help immensely. I put a positive spin on it -watching Frankie cope with age is a wonderful experience that teaches so muchabout life. His "problems" no way inhibit his enjoyment of life to thefullest!

If you're thinking of an older rescue and are concerned aboutthe shortened years together put that aside. Whether it's a year, two years or adozen together each day will be special between you. Bichons in particular seemto remain puppies all of their lives. You'll soon forget your adopted fluff is asenior...every day Frankie amazes me...from Bichon buzzin' to wrestling withBear in the'd never guess his age from his actions. Other than thesleeping all day!

If you adopt an older dog always walk with a leash.With Frankie's hearing being poor he cannot always hear me when I call him. Ifhe got loose and to far away it might be hard to catch him. His arthritisdoesn't slow him down one bit!

Thanks to the Small Paws family for thewonderful work they do. If your thinking of adopting a rescue Bichon don't passover the Seniors! They need forever homes too - and the love they give in returnis every bit as joyous!

Frankie's foreverDad>

This is love.
Tina& Tommy
Today our dog Tommy was not feeling so well. Tina his wife (Theywere "married" at a doggy wedding ceremony at last year's Sequim, Wa. bash) hehas been with all of his life knew this rather then try to lay next to him onthe nice soft bed she took the could hard floor to be near him so she would nothurt him by getting onto their bed. I can't believe these two dogs they reallyare little angels and for 11 years of their lives they were treated like dirtand they are so willing to give and receive love it is amazing to watch these 2fluffs. I was worried about the vet bill that may come when I first thoughtabout the adoption for these 2 foster fluffs but after all the joy and love thethey have brought my I would do what ever it takes to help these guys.
These2 dogs the Smallpaws rescue spent close to 2,000 dollars they are worth morethen that I am so glad they saved them. I can never imagine my life without everhaving them in it.
So now it seems I am stuck on senior dogs I believe theyare the best sure you may have them a shorter time in your life but it is soworth while.
Please think about adopting a senior dog you don't know what youare missing till you do.
Stacie Kimmer
Nick Kimmer
Tina &Tommy
Sent: 2/1/2010 9:29:12 P.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Roxy, a Terrific Senior Bichon!
Hi Vicki,
   I saw your story about Maxx on the Small Paws rescue website, and that you would like testimonials about senior dog adoptions.
   Our story is about Roxy.  I saw Roxy listed in an email from the Broken Arrow, OK shelter, she was about to be euthanized.  They described her as a poodle, a stray found wandering in the 100+ OK heat this past summer.  I went to "save" her, thinking that I would find a home for her.  We already have two ex-puppy mill poodles!  I had made an appointment with my vet to take her immediately for a check up and vaccinations as soon as I left the shelter, and then a grooming appointment.

  When I got to the shelter, the most pathetic, smelly, skinny little dog licked me on my shin.  One rib had been broken and healed incorrectly, so it jutted out on the side.  Because I was nearly late for the 11:00 vet appointment, I just adopted her without even really taking a good look at her...  First words out of my vet (after she got over the smell) were that she was old and had cataracts.  And her teeth were a mess.  I thought to myself, how will I ever find a home for her...
   My groomer told me that she thought she was a Bichon, and certainly not a poodle.  So she groomed her as a Bichon, and, it was hard to believe how much better she looked than she had a few hours earlier in the day.

   Long story short, she is the spunkiest little girl you could ever imagine.  She loves riding in the boat, going for walks, traveling to Florida, laps, food, and bossing the poodles.  She also has early kidney disease.  Fortunately, the symptoms are minimal.  She has put on much needed weight, and gotten some decent muscle tone.  Cataracts and all, I've never had a dog look deeper in my soul than Roxy.  Her big black eyes are enormous, and she reminds me so much of the bear on the Snuggle dryer sheet commercials!
   A DNA test confirmed that she was a Bichon and nothing else.  She may be old, who knows, 10 years or so, but she is a loving -- and beloved member of the family.  We are very, very happy that she is our little girl!!! 
  I've attached a "before" and an "after" picture.
Cindy Quick



"How old do you think Iam?" he said.
I said, well, I didn't know.
He said, "I turned 65 about11 months ago."

I was sittin' in Miami pourin' blended whiskey down
When this old gray Black gentleman was cleanin' up the lounge

Therewasn't anyone around 'cept this old man and me
The guy who ran the bar waswatchin' "Ironsides" on TV
Uninvited, he sat down and opened up his mind
On old dogs and children and watermelon wine

"Ever had a drink ofwatermelon wine?" he asked
He told me all about it, though I didn't answerback
"Ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime,
But old dogs and children and watermelon wine."

He said, "Women thinkabout they-selves, when menfolk ain't around.
And friends are hard to findwhen they discover that you're down."
He said, "I tried it all when I wasyoung and in my natural prime;
Now it's old dogs and children and watermelonwine."

"Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes;
Godbless little children while they're still too young to hate."
When he movedaway I found my pen and copied down that line
'Bout old dogs and childrenand watermelon wine.

I had to catch a plane up to Atlanta that next day
As I left for my room I saw him pickin' up my change
That night Idreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime
Of old dogs and children andwatermelon wine.