No one knows how long the old dog had been surviving on her own in the woods next to a busy road in Long Beach, California. But in October, when the animal rescue group Hope for Paws went to bring her in, it was obvious the dog hadn’t had a positive interaction with humans in quite a while.
Woken from a sound sleep, the black and tan dog’s bewilderment turned to fear as she bit one of the rescuers and tried to flee. As shown in the Hope for Paws video of the interaction, the rescuers let the dog—later named Dorothy—run away until she wore herself out and collapsed.
After trying to reassure Dorothy with petting and soothing words, the organization’s founder, Eldad Hagar, carefully picked her up and brought her to a waiting car. Watch:
Hope for Paws provided the 11-year-old canine with medical care and worked helping the aging dog trust people again. Then the Frosted Faces Foundation stepped in; based in San Diego, Frosted Faces rescues senior dogs abandoned in the shelter system in Southern California. The non-profit foundation places rescued seniors with “forever fosters,” families who agree to care for the dog for the rest of its life. With the help of its veterinary partners, Frosted Faces covers the dog’s medical care and stays in touch with the foster family.
On November 9, Frosted Faces posted a progress report from Dorothy’s new family on its Facebook page that she is adjusting smoothly to her new family and new life. “Things are going well. Dorothy is spending more time off leash and she sticks close to us and if she does wander away she checks in with us after a few minutes. We took a nice long walk last evening and another one this morning. She is very good on the leash.”
Benefits of Age
November was Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month, and while Dorothy’s story had a happy outcome, there are still countless shelters across the country are full of older dogs and cats that go unadopted for a variety of reasons. But here’s why, according to a study from Petfinder, you should consider otherwise.
– Senior pets are generally calmer and require less training, if any. Puppies and kittens may be adorable and entertaining, but their energy can turn destructive if they get bored or aren’t well-trained.
– Mature pets are a good fit for families with children. Senior pets have been around the block and tend to be more patient, low-key and sociable than younger, more excitable, animals.
– Older pets don’t require constant attention. Senior dogs and cats don’t need the supervision and exercise that younger pets need. While older pets make great companions, they simply don’t require as much time and energy.
Senior dogs also seem to understand their good fortune in finding a loving family, notes Hagar of Hope for Paws, which rescues dogs of all ages and works with several rescue groups that specialize in senior pets. Older dogs “are so appreciative of having a nice warm bed, good food, and most importantly—love and touch—something many of these dogs never had,” Hagar tells Pet360.