Tag Archives: Rescue

Never Too Old for Dogs, Part II

My first post about never getting too old for dogs generated enough feedback and comments that it got me thinking and I have more thoughts to share on the matter. They will come later in the post.

I was using old profile pictures in my posts that I have taken over the past few years because it was easier. I didn’t want to mislead though, so this one is of me at 60 years old, as is the one in the last post. (Never Too Old for Dogs) If you’re wondering how I got my hair so much less poufy in this one, here is my trick. I put my hair in a ponytail when it is still wet and leave it that way until it dries. I have thick hair, so that is sometimes the next day. Once my hair is down, it does get “bigger” as time passes. Especially, if it is rainy or humid out.

I got to watch my nieces over the weekend. I was so excited to see them! It was supposed to happen last week but didn’t work out. I had a flat tire on one car and transmission trouble in the other car. Both discovered in the same afternoon! It was not my day and let me tell you, I was none too happy that something came between me and seeing my girls. Both vehicles are repaired and roadworthy again. While watching the girls, I got more of those flexibility experiences that I was talking about last time to help keep me young. We again played hide and seek. The game is a favorite of theirs’. I took Zekie with me this time. He seems to understand the concept of Hide and Go Seek. Or he at least sits with me and quietly waits until we are found. This does not work with Shelby. She stands in front of where I hide and stares a hole into the spot, so that I am found almost immediately. All the girls have to do is look for Shelby. When I hid under the computer desk, Zekie crawled in with me while I crouched in the knee hole waiting to be found. All I had to do was point at the spot beside me and make a down motion and we were hidden. Zekie was the perfect guest on our visit. He really is a good dog if I am with him.

Zekie resting after Hide and Go Seek.

On to why I will never be too old for dogs. The main reason is that I think it would kill me to be without a dog. How could I survive without a constant companion who thinks everything I do is wonderful and is happy to see me at all times? Dogs are mental health aides! So, what are some ways to pull this off for the older individual?

One. Stay healthy and active as much as you can. The better your health and activity level, the longer you will be able to care for a dog. (Or any animal.) The dog comes with built in health benefits. You should exercise and walk your dog. This will help to keep you both moving longer. There are studies that prove that people with pets age better than those without. Not just physically, but mentally as well.

Two. Downsize to a smaller or less active breed or mix of dog. Note that the two things do not go hand in hand. A French Bull Dog and a Jack Russell Terrier are similar in size, but you are not getting the same level of dog. The terrier is highly active, mentally and physically. They are a lot of dog in a small package. Many young people cannot handle this type of dog. Shelters were full of them after the television show starring a well-trained Jack Russell, Wishbone, rose to popularity. The Frenchie on the other hand is a low energy dog that needs only short walks. And then, you have the greyhound (approximately 55-80 lbs.) who is affectionately known as a couch potato. Do your research. There is a dog who is appropriate for nearly everyone.

Three. Who says you have to get a puppy? There are adult dogs who are in need of a home. Many through no fault of their own. Rescues and shelters have staff or volunteers who can help you choose a dog that fits your lifestyle. They know the personalities and habits of the dogs in their care and can guide you in picking a new best friend who is suitable for you. Some rescues even have Seniors for Seniors programs. This is when a senior dog is paired with a senior person. The rescue retains ownership of the dog and covers vet bills. The senior person provides a home for the dog and all daily care including food, walks, general grooming, etc. The person keeps the dog for the lifetime of the dog. Another benefit of this situation is, if something happens to the person, they know the dog will be taken care of. Someone from the rescue will come get the dog in this case and it will be rehomed or remain in foster care. It’s a win-win for all involved. Harder to place senior dogs get loving homes and the older person has a dog for companionship without the worry of expensive vet bills that can plague an older dog. The rescue I am involved with, Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue (NEOSSR), has such a program. Public donations make such programs possible. Here is a link about our rescue, complete with a donation button! https://www.neossr.org/ Our rescue tries to help in whatever way is best for the individual and the dog. Some of our senior families have needed temporary help in caring for their dogs. We have had a team of rotating volunteers show up to walk a dog for someone recovering from surgery until he was back on his feet. Right now, we have a dog in foster care because the owner was hospitalized from a fall and is in a facility for rehab. The foster mom takes the dog the facility to visit its owner occasionally. We hope the owner and dog can both go home again but if not, we will be here to care for the dog. By the way, the foster mom was on her way to pick up this dog from a neighbor within hours of NEOSSR receiving the call for help. Our members are awesome!

Four. Consider being a foster parent rather than having your own dog. You get the joy and rewards of having a dog around without the full-scale commitment. This option would also have veterinary care of the dog covered by the shelter or rescue. And though it may be painful when the dog gets adopted, you know that you gave the dog love and a home while he was waiting for his forever home. Most groups do give their foster families first rights to adopt if you happen to fall in love with your pup while you have him. And this happens often enough that there is a term for it. You are a foster failure. I have been a foster failure with several dogs. It is a term of endearment in the rescue world, and I am proud to be a member of this group. In fact, Shelby, Zekie, and Claire are foster failures. It can be a good way to try out a dog to see if he is a fit for your family. Many groups have a foster-to-adopt option. If the dog absolutely is not a fit for your home even on a foster basis, the group will take it back. It is helpful if you can keep the dog until it gets adopted or at least until the group can find another foster home. There are usually those of us crazy enough to foster most any dog. I have had to put up some foster limitations since we’ve had Zekie, and he is so much to handle. I would take them all, but sometimes you have to do what is best for the family and this includes the whole family, canines and felines as well!

Thanks for sticking with me to the end. My route can be rather circuitous as I have lots of random thoughts that get recorded along the way. Sometimes those can be the most valuable, and I hope, enjoyable. My goal was to give you options and lots to think about. May peace, and good health, be with you.

You can sign up to receive an email when I publish a new post if you want to follow along with the blog. There is an option for this on the top right-hand side of my blog page. https://sanctuary-acres.com/

A Home With Friends

My post last week about Maizie generated lots of interest. You can read it here if you missed it. A Heart of Gold

Rest assured Maizie enjoyed her life here. She became a permanent member of our family the day we received her diagnosis of kidney failure and found out her time was limited. She loved going out to the pasture with the other dogs and coming back in to sleep on the dog bed.

As many of our animals do, she seemed to enjoy the Christmas tree. I think it has something to do with the lights. Even with kidney failure and occasional infections, she never messed in the house. She was such a good girl. And she always greeted me with a smile when I opened the door to let her back inside.

Maizie developed a special bond with our cat Lacey. They could often be found sleeping together. Maizie passed before Lacey. When Lacey passed a year or two later, I buried her with Maizie’s ashes in our little pet cemetery. She earned this right as a part of our family and the two friends were together again.

Maizie’s time here was happy. She was only visibly failing for the last few days. The rest of the time she enjoyed doing her goofy gallop around the yard with the other dogs, playing, going on walks, getting lots of petting, and sleeping on a warm bed with her friends. Good dog Maizie, good dog.

A Happy Tale

Think Dog Rescues provide only one service, to re-home a dog and move on to the next? Think again.

Our Rescue adopted this dog out a couple years ago. Her owner contacted us several months back, thinking he would have to turn her back in. The owner was in poor health and scheduled to undergo a major organ transplant. See where this is going yet?

One of our members has been fostering this cutie in her home until the owner is well enough that this dog can return home. Just another instance of why I often say that Dog Rescue is about helping people as well as dogs. Not too mention, Rescue folks are some of the best people I know.

Oh, by the way, this little girl will be returning home within the next few weeks!

The Handsomeness!

This dog came up on my Facebook memories from last year when he was up for adoption. I wonder where this dog is and what he’s doing? I miss him.

Now lest you think that I missed out because of a mad rush of adopters applying, not so. I have never met this dog and never attempted to. He’s just one of the many dogs that shows up every day on my Facebook feed and I fall in love with. Does anyone else do this?

I know my daughter does. She comes by it honestly. She gets it from her momma. About once every couple of weeks she texts me something along the lines of “I just want all the dogs”. I know how she feels.

So, to the gorgeous guy pictured above, I hope you are happy, healthy, and well-loved.

Kammie Update 

Just wanted to give you an update on our forever foster girl, Kammie. She is doing well! 

She waits for me to give her meds twice each day. She is so polite about it, waiting for me to load the pill shooter. It is usually meal time right afterwards so that helps. 

Kammie continues to enjoy her days. You can read her intake story into Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue in one of the November posts on this blog. She loves to spend time outside with the other dogs. She lines up to go out with all the others and barks her fool head off. It’s a great thing to witness. We are glad that she has the spunk to do it. (Kammie has tumors in her bladder but you would not guess.)

She joins the conga line of beggars in the kitchen when we chop vegetables. All of our dogs, with the exception of Baxter, love vegetables so we must always toss each of them a bite. Kammie is an excellent catcher! She lines up for the evening licking of the ice cream bowls, unless it is chocolate, in which all the dogs want to know why we are so cruel. In short, Kammie is enjoying life and we are enjoying her!

Tales of a Foster Dog

Foster Dog-Kammie

This is our foster dog Kammie. She is 8 years old and has been with us about 4 months now. She came from a large city kennel in our area to our sheltie rescue. Her owner died and she was taken to the kennel. Shelties generally do not kennel well because  most of them are too sensitive. Kammie went to one of the kennel’s foster homes so she could get out of that environment. With the stress of being there she had developed a green nasal discharge that she was being treated for as possible kennel cough. From the report I received, it sounded as if she did well in the foster home. She got along with another dog and a child. She was not eating well but I didn’t consider this to be much of a problem.  The kennel noted her weight upon arrival at 59 lbs. She was down to 53 lbs. when I got her. I estimate her ideal weight should be 35 lbs.

I actually have a potential home in mind for her. Kammie would be perfect for one of our previous adopters that is ready for another dog. She has had a string of annoying small things that keep going wrong with her that have prevented me from calling about her new home.

First she still had green discharge from her nose. I gave antibiotics for that. We are working on getting her thyroid hormone levels under control. They were too low which explains a few things. She gets pills twice a day for that. She has already lost a few more pounds so that is going well. Her blood work also showed problems with her liver. We ran it again a couple weeks later and it was better after her various treatments and time to de-stress.  Her blood work also showed abnormal kidney function. We discovered a urinary infection and got more antibiotics. They didn’t work so we did a culture and got different antibiotics. Thank goodness for my pill shooter gun.Things seem to be improving.

Kammie and Peonies

Soon we will retest the thyroid levels and check for kidney function again. The vet said it is possible that these kidney numbers are just normal for her. Then…if all goes well she can get a dental and have a benign cyst removed. And once she heals up… then she will be ready for her new home.

Luckily, Kammie is an easy dog. She barks a little but aside from that she mostly just lays around. She comes up to us for petting but if we don’t oblige, she just goes and finds a quiet corner. She does like to spend time outside with the other dogs. I am glad to have the pleasure of being a part of her life.

A Sheltie Gathering


We had a Fall Picnic at our house over the weekend  for members of our rescue, Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue, and some of our adopters came too. It was glorious to see so many shelties at our house. Even more than usual!


The thing that truly amazed me was with all those dogs running around, some of whom had never met, we didn’t have one incident. Not one scuffle, not one nip or fight. To tell you the truth, if it was going to happen I expected my dogs to be the culprits. After all, here were these strange dogs showing up on their turf. I guess with the number of foster dogs that come and go, it didn’t faze them.


It was wonderful to meet so many shelties that I had never seen before. Most of them had been through our rescue at one point or another but not all. I enjoyed meeting each and everyone. And to have the chance to see again some of the dogs that we fostered,  it was a rare treat. Blitz came with his new family. He got to go in the pasture and run with his old pack. It was heartening to how much his new family loves him.


And Miss Sassy Pants came for the afternoon. It was so good to see her and to have her gaze at me fondly as she used to do. And I, of course, gazed adoringly right back at her. Sassy has been in foster care with friends of mine and has a new prospective family coming to meet her on Tuesday. I hope they are able to appreciate her spunk and character as she deserves.


Sky, previously known as Skylar, was in attendance. Friends of ours adopted Sky so we do get the pleasure of seeing him from time to time. None the less, it was a joy to see him running with our pack again and trying to be first to catch the Frisbee. Our dogs stayed out in the pasture all afternoon because they are used to it, and to leave more room inside for other guests.


After the big shindig was over, we let our dogs into the vacated party area, which was one of our outbuildings, to hang out with us and to see and smell what all the fuss had been about. Above are Baxter, Shelby, and foster girl Sweetie playing with my daughter.


Phoebe attended the after party as an observer. Being a good greyhound she didn’t see any reason to expend excess energy.

A great day all around!

Continue reading A Sheltie Gathering

Gifts of Patience


I seem to find opportunities to build the strength of patience all around me lately. I think this might mean that I am cranky and impatient. Never the less this gives me the chance to work on this virtue.

Our family was very fortunate this year to have the largest crop of cherries that has grown in the almost 12 years that we have lived here. You can see them in the basket. We think that they are Queen Anne cherries or a similar variety. They are heirloom and organic. Not to mention delicious. It took three of us 20-30 minutes to pick this many cherries. Now I must have the patience to seed all of these cherries and make them into a pie. At least this has its own rewards!

Service Berry Pie

It also took a certain amount of patience to pick all the berries for this service berry pie. As I stood in the puddles of rain water from our continual storms as of late, I was swarmed by mosquitos. I knew if I wanted the pie that this was my only chance. The berries are only on the trees for a short time before the birds eat them all. This took patience, and swatting, to finish the job. The prize was worth it. It was the first time we had enough service berries to bake a pie. It tasted like a cross between cherries and plums and another unidentifiable but heavenly flavor.


I had a chance to exhibit patience last evening as well. On a therapy dog visit to the care facility as we sat and conversed with our friends there was one lady who was telling tidbits from her life. She shared with us the fact that she had a dog named Trixie who was like a member of her family. She shared this great revelation with us about 10 times. To be honest it didn’t take much patience for me to listen to her repeat the tale. It made her so happy. And we never ran out of things to talk about or had that awkward silence. She could always tell me about Trixie again. I would want someone to show me the same kindness.

Gracie and Zoey

(Picture of two past foster dogs, Gracie and Selah, now in a loving home.)

And when I got home last evening I called a lady that I was told needed some rescue help with her dogs. It turned out that she did not think she needed help from rescue. She had found help in the form of two young people to assist her with day to day dog care. I pray she is right. But I listened to her tell me about their bloodlines starting 30 years back. And various animals she had rescued over the years. Not to mention information about her fantastic memory and other information about her family. This was all well and good. That lady sounded lonely and was in need of an ear to bend and  to share her troubles. It gave me time to practice my skills of patience. And keep a good rapport and the lines of communication open on the chance that there is ever a day when those dogs do need us.

So the easier times of having patience to do unimportant things like pick fruit to make a pie, are training for things of consequence like improving lives. Lives of dogs and lives of people. Rescue work is multi-faceted.

Apathy Warrior


I decided to title this piece Apathy Warrior but it could just as easily be titled Having a Melt Down. It’s a fine line. I suppose one leads to the other. This is my journey.

Above you see Sassy and me. Sassy, affectionately referred to as Miss Sassy Pants, sometimes as Miss Bossy Pants. I love this little girl. She is filled with spunk and character, the likes of which you won’t often see. She is one of our sheltie rescue dogs that got returned last week. I thought her new home was a great fit. But apparently not good enough. Due to a behavioral incident she was returned. I find it suspicious that her “family” is now going to be doing long term travelling. That is neither here nor there. The policy of our rescue, as is the policy of most rescues, is that no matter the circumstance, we take our dogs back. So back she came.

As it worked out, she needed to go to another home for fostering, rather than ours. In the photo I am waiting to turn Sassy over to her new foster parents. She figured out she was going somewhere else and cried during the drive to the transfer spot. Hence I cried during the drive to the transfer spot. Once I turned the car off to wait for the other person, Sassy became nearly hysterical. She cranked up the crying and bit the seat a couple times to displace her hysteria. I pulled her onto my lap to wait and you can see she is anxiously looking out the car window.  Now be aware that the foster home she is going to is a wonderful place. The couple is loving and two of the finest people I know. I am proud to call them friends. But still. This is one of my babies. Every dog that comes through our rescue is one of my own. I deal with their adoptions by pretending that they are still my dogs and are just going to stay somewhere else. That someone else is just keeping them for me. And that really is the case. You never stop loving them. How fortunate I am to have such a large family!


When it was time to move Sassy to the other car, she shut down. She knew she was getting ditched again. I bent over the seat to say good bye to her and she was non-reactive. She looked straight ahead, wouldn’t make eye contact with me, and didn’t move. This was her way of dealing. So I just left. I thought it was easier  for her in the long run rather than me making a fuss. Thank goodness she was going to stay in loving, caring place. But she is still my little girl.

And as I drove away, that’s when the tears turned into meltdown. How could I live in such a world where there are dogs without homes and people don’t want them? And the ones that come into rescues and shelters are the lucky ones. There are so many more that are nameless and unrecognized and suffering out in the world. I am really not cut out to live in this place my mind said. A world where people kill even each other, that is filled with hate and violence and unrest. We should have compassion for each other and not do each other harm and intentionally cause pain. If we can’t do this for our fellow humans, what chance do God’s poor creatures have? And then I saw the road kill. First, a dead rabbit on the road. A few miles later a dead opossum. I have noticed road kill abounds in the spring when the animals start moving about. No one can have a meltdown like a rescue worker in the throes of emotion. Our very way of life, driving automobiles, causes death I thought.

As I got nearer to home I told myself you really need to get a grip. This is not good. You are not functioning well. You can wallow in this or you can do something about it. So I pondered, what can I do about this situation? How can I make it better? How can I be an instrument of change? Well, I knew that I was making a difference for these dogs. One of Sassy’s new foster parents said that at least she got returned to us and didn’t end up in a shelter out West where we would have had no idea what happened to her. See, I told you these were good folks! I can save the next one, and the next one, and…

By deciding to do something, anything, I became an Apathy Warrior. I will not tolerate the way things are. I will take action to try to make the world a better place. For these dogs, and for those people I encounter as I go on my life’s journey. When my daughter was in high school and working at a fast food drive-thru I told her, you never know if you might change someone’s entire day by smiling at them. A kind word or gesture could change the course of their day. I am fortunate to have a daughter that actually listens to me and repeated that phrase back a few years later. And so I issue this challenge to you. Will you also become an Apathy Warrior? We can have an Apathy Army and we just might change the world.

Sassy in a Sunbeam

The Progress of a Foster Dog



Blitz, the foster sheltie, is becoming a happy dog. Once the foster dogs  are here for a while their true personalities begin to emerge.  At first they’re reserved and lying low to see how things work around here. Then they realize they are safe and this is a fun place to be. That’s when we start seeing the true dog. And it’s often when the trouble begins.

Blitz is generally a good and gentle boy so I don’t forsee too many issues. But there are little things. Like when one of the other dogs walks too close to him and he gives a little growl. Or when you tell him to do something and he ignores you. None of these are very serious as long as he learns this is unacceptable behavior. If a dog gets away with it then he will keep doing it and pushing to see what more he can get away with. They are kind of like children in that regard. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. Since Blitz is a fairly easy dog we just have to tell him no or ask in a stern voice,  what are you doing? Our dogs don’t take Blitz too seriously either. They can tell he is a  marshmallow.


In fact, as you can see, he and Shelby get along just fine. He gets along with everyone else fine too. I think this makes six weeks he has been at our house. He is quite the gentleman and we are enjoying his stay.