During adopt a senior pet month, it is really important that people understand they trauma older pets suffer in shelter situations and do their part to help if they can. When dogs are in their home, they are comfortable with what is familiar, like voice tones, schedules, people, places they go, routes they walk, where their bed and bowls are. Their desire to please makes them repeat the actions for which they get positive responses and to stop doing things for which they get negative or even less than enthusiastic reactions. By the time they are seniors, they have lived according to this internal code. They don’t eat what they are not supposed to. They don’t go places or jump on things that interest them because they know their people don’t want them to. Most of all, at any cost, they don’t go to the bathroom indoors. They pay such close attention to their people’s every move and intonation so that they can do what is expected of them and elicit a positive response or avoid a negative one. They don’t suddenly have new urges, or different desires besides pleasing their family. They show gratitude for things like being walked and fed their entire lives like it was a gift every single time.
People, however, are not dedicated, loyal or committed to this extent. They get bored, selfish, tired, restless, etc. and want to do or buy something new. So they take this older dog who has tried for his whole life to do his very best to serve and protect them, and they leave them at a terrifying new place ironically called “a shelter.” The dogs don’t know why they are there or what they did wrong. But they still try to be good so they can go home. They stay housebroken in a cage and try not to spill the new food or dirty water in the same space where they are supposed to sleep. Their poor older joints are laying on cold and wet concrete or tile and it hurts to move, but they get up every time someone passes. They try to understand why the place smells of desperation and there are so many other dogs barking, people yelling and cats meowing. They get depressed, lonely and anxious because suddenly, at this time in their life when maybe they can’t see or hear as well as they used to, they can’t figure out what they are supposed to do. So they behave and hope and wait for their people to come back.
Charley is one of these older dogs. The friendly Chow mix spent his first 7 years on a farm in North Carolina where he ran free through the pastures. Until recently, that is, when his family decided they didn’t want a dog anymore and took him to a local high kill shelter. He was in line and high on the list to be put down when an amazing rescue group called the Rescue Express found out about this guy. They are planning on saving him from that death sentence and bringing him to Philadelphia this weekend with some other dogs who are scheduled to die this Friday, November 19. Charley desperately needs a foster home, at least temporarily, to get this stay of execution and get on the road to a new home for the second half of his life. He was terrified of leashes and being tethered, but is now getting used to his harness and just needs a commitment of some kind, foster or adoptive. Poor Charley is a very sweet boy who is confused and terrified but still very loving and affectionate. He has tested heartworm positive, which has moved him up on the list to die soon. This is totally curable with medication and the Rescue Express will provide all heartworm treatment (usually $500-$1000) and vet care at no cost to the foster family. All they have to do is give Charley a place to get healthy and on the way to a great home where his loyalty and love are appreciated. Charley will be fully tested with kids, cats and other dogs for any potential foster or adoptive homes, but no problems are anticipated.
If you or anyone you know can help this older guy, or if you have questions, please contact Christine of the Rescue Express at Christine@pgsonline.net