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For the Love of Senior Dogs

By Maureen Kelly of Grey Muzzle, guest blogger

The many years that Julie Nowicki spent as a volunteer at Old Dog Haven, the Washington state based senior dog rescue, was well worth her time. She learned a lot and was able to launch Grey Muzzle, a non-profit that would succeed in aiding senior dog rescues on a national scale.

Julie Nowicki of Grey Muzzle with a senior dog named Maxie.

Grey Muzzle is not a shelter; it supports programs across the country in such arenas as hospice care, senior dog adoption, medical screening, and more. Distributed through grants, all funds are provided through fundraising efforts and the generosity of public donations. Just this past June, the end of their second fiscal year of operation, they reached the amazing milestone of $100,000 donated to assist in this noble cause. Many hard-working volunteers are part of this effort and the organization continues to expand.

Jane is an older dog who was helped by Grey Muzzle.

While we as dog lovers find it inconceivable that a member of the family would be abandoned, especially later in life, this unfortunately accounts for a large number of the canines helped through the various rescue groups supported by Grey Muzzle. The goal is to enable these organizations to have ample funding to provide loving, comfortable homes for the aged dogs who have been rendered homeless for any number of reasons.

Heartbreaking and Uplifting
Take the tale of Molly. Molly a senior Golden Retriever was found homeless, wandering the streets of Pennsylvania. She was taken to SPARRO (Southwest Pennsylvania Retriever Rescue) suffering from arthritis as well as a full body yeast infection. Due to the grant money received from Grey Muzzle, a long arduous road was traveled in bringing Molly back to health. She was adopted by a couple who graciously took her into their home, changed her name to Honey, and introduced her to their cat Archie, with whom she has become best friends. Recently diagnosed with geriatric vestibular disease, her new family vows to stay the course and offer Honey the love and care she so deserves.

Another very special group of dog lovers helped out by Grey Muzzle can be found in San Francisco. With the amazing Sherri Franklin at the helm, countless older dogs have been placed in loving homes all over the Bay Area. A truly touching part of their program includes their Seniors-for-Seniors adoption program, pairing older folks with older dogs.

The number of lives that have been touched–both two and four-legged–are too many too mention. As Deborah Workman, Executive Director with the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs in Cleveland so beautifully states, “There’s nothing like an old dog. Nothing like the love of an old dog. You see gratitude in their eyes.”

For more information on Grey Muzzle Organization, the rescue groups to whom they provide funding, and how you can become involved, visit their website.

4 comments to For the Love of Senior Dogs

  • Thanks so much for introducing us to Maureen. Buster is the first dog that we’ve adopted and he was about 1 year old when we found him. The next time we adopt, I can see us looking for a dog with a little gray in his/her muzzle. We’re having a great time with Buster, but training a puppy is a lot of work! Starting out with a more mellow dog the next time might be pleasant.

  • Debi Bel

    I can attest to the valuable lessons and love that we get from “old dogs”. Within the past 9 days I said good bye to two of my beloved senior dogs-age 15 years and 11 years. There is no love like that of a dog adopted from a shelter-from the street as a stray-from a place in life where there was not enough food, warmth, love…And there is nothing to fill the place in our hearts when we have to say goodbye to these loving, loyal friends. When I have mended my heart from the loss of Jack and Little Girl, I will search to find those that need me the most and I will adopt again. For as long as I expect to live life to its fullest, I must include dogs.

  • Mary Helen

    I adopted Lena, a 9 year old border collie mix girl, 2 years ago. After raising another border collie for 15 years I was prepared for a slightly mellowed-out version of a border collie. I continue to be surprised by her bountiful energy and tireless loyalty. I forsee many more good years.

  • I love love love senior dogs. One of the groups I am associated with is Oldies but Goodies Cocker Spaniel rescue. It is so sad what people do when the dogs start to age, as we all will, and they decide “no more, not for me” and these angels come in to foster and rescue, give them new homes.

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