3 Dog Stories to Warm Your Heart

SusieI am a sucker for dogs, all animals really, but put a canine in front of me–pictures, video, Facebook, or nose-to-nose–and I melt.

Since my childhood was dog-less, I’m making up for lost time.

Two weeks ago, on World News with Diane Sawyer 3/4/14, there was a story about Susie, a rescued senior dog (The link shows an adorable video!) that became wildly popular after a blog video of her went viral.  Her adopted parents even started a Facebook page–Susie’s Senior Dogs–that creates families from senior dogs in shelters and people from all over the country.

Dogs are considered seniors when they are eight to 10, depending on their size, genetics and care they’ve received.  Susie is 13.  Since most adopting families go for puppies or young dogs, choosing a senior dog takes, well, a special breed of person.

The senior dog adopters have to be willing to be mindful of their sweet baby’s needs–lots of love, affection and attention.  Yes, you’ll be setting yourself up for heartbreak sooner rather than later, but think of how you’ll create a gentle haven for a dog’s final years.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/susiesseniordogs

Canine Companions for Independence

A dear friend of mine volunteers for the Kansas City chapter of CCI, so I’m forever “liking” her Facebook posts.  These dogs, as the CCI tagline reads, are “exceptional dogs for exceptional people,” and after thorough training, are paired with children, adults and veterans with disabilities who need assistance.  CCI’s site explains there are teams:

  • Service Teams – assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks.
  • Hearing Teams – alert the deaf and hard of hearing to important sounds.
  • Skilled Companion Teams – enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities.
  • Facility Teams – work with a professional in a visitation, education or healthcare setting

There are CCI chapters all over the country and many ways to volunteer.  The Facebook page has fabulous pictures: https://www.facebook.com/caninecompanions.

Best Friends Animal Society

Tucked away in Angel Canyon in Kanab, Utah, is the Best Friends Sanctuary, home to some 1,700 dogs, cats, bunnies, horses and birds in various stages of rehab and care.  Best Friends owns about 3,700 acres, leases another 17,000 acres of state and federal land and relies on the help of some 30,000 volunteers who visit the sanctuary annually.

Best Friends is the largest no-kill facility for companion pets in the country.  It’s motto is Save Them All.

My sweetie and I are going there someday to volunteer.  We can rent a cabin right in the canyon and even have a sleepover with one of the adoptable dogs.

Beyond the sanctuary, a legion of staff and volunteers advocate tirelessly on behalf of the animals, whether it be puppy mill initiatives, pit bull initiatives or one of several other programs.  Click here for more information.

Loving a dog–whether for a few days or throughout her or his lifetime–is a spiritual and mindful quest.  I believe that loving is what we’re here to do and loving a dog is guaranteed extra points when our scorecard is tallied at the end.  After all, what happens when you spell D-O-G backward?

Photo courtesy of Susie’s Senior Dogs Facebook page (Susie herself!).  For information about how you can adopt a senior dog in your area, email susie.doggie@gmail.com.  And you have to love this from the page:  “Age is a privilege.”

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