A Tribute to Our 2018 Senior Calendar Dogs
Kennedy is our 2018 calendar cover dog and he's shown basking on a beach in Southern California. Ahh, the life. But his real story is typical of many older Pyrs. Ken had been living a life of neglect in a mud pit at the house of a hoarder in Fresno, California. He then spent eight months in rescue waiting for someone to show an interest in adopting him. Finally someone did and his life was transformed. He went everywhere with his friend and adopter, Apple, and like most dogs thrived with all the attention and care he received. Apple only had Ken for a few months; he passed in June of this year. Apple has gone on to adopt other seniors and fundraises and promotes neglected Pyrs in shelters.
We are seeing more and more senior dogs come into rescue. There were 69 senior dogs age seven or over in this year's calendar contest, representing 30% of the dogs entered in the contest. These dogs are the lucky ones. We know there are hundreds of "Kens" out there. Older dogs who lived tough lives on farms until they were no longer useful. Dogs who were tied in someone’s backyard until their owner died and the family sold the house. Dogs belonging to people who are sick or who are relocating to assisted living facilities that do not allow large dogs. There was a time when shelters routinely euthanized older dogs but not anymore. We currently have ten seniors in foster care; more are coming in all the time. Some are on medical hold but others are available and listed on our adoptable dogs page, where you can sort dogs by "general age" by clicking on the column header. The Great Pyrenees Rescue Society has Bruno (right), a 13-year old senior Pyr/GSD looking for a home in Texas, the West Coast or anywhere in between. Read more about Bruno here.
Senior dogs are generally easier than their younger counterparts to foster or adopt.They are mellower and don’t eat as much; they are less destructive in the home and fit into routines quickly. Care of senior dogs is not much different from that of younger dogs. Make sure they get regular exercise with short regularly scheduled walks. Feed them a good, high-quality food formulated for seniors and keep them on the lean side. Extra pounds mean more stress on their bodies, including joints and internal organs. Get them to the vet for regular checkups. Older Pyrs can be prone to thyroid or adrenal diseases which can be regulated with proper medication. And don’t underestimate the importance of proper dental care, which can prevent the buildup of tartar on teeth, which can lead to serious bacterial infections.
We're happy to say that NGPR has adoped out 15 senior dogs, seven and older, in 2017. Some dogs are kept by their fosters and others move out to caring adopters. Millie (right) was the fourth runner up in our 2018 calendar contest. She was a neediest case who came into rescue in May from Kentucky, had an ear canal removed in June to eliminate a cancerous tumor and was adopted by an NGPR volunteer in Tennessee in August.
We're all getting older and as we age we too are looking for the same things our senior dogs need–good food, a warm place to sleep and someone who loves us. Please consider taking a senior Pyr or Pyr mix into your life. If you can't, please donate to save a senior dog or click below to order a 2018 Calendar to support rescue.