10 Heartwarming Old Dog Adoption Stories
Finding a “Furever” Home
Adoption is an amazing way to give your love to a dog in need. There is an increasing amount of shelters filled with dogs looking for their forever home, just waiting for someone to come find them. Puppies and young dogs are often the first to be adopted, as people like to have an animal from the start of their life to raise and train. It is understandable, puppies are cute! Unfortunately, this means that many senior dogs get left behind and too many live out their last days in shelters. Because older dogs come with possible health problems and a shorter time to love, old dog adoptions are less common. But in some cases, these senior dogs do find a home with an adoring family to take care of them and love them exponentially. Have the tissues nearby? Here are 10 heartwarming old dog adoption stories of senior dogs finding their “furever” home.
To most, a dog is a lifelong commitment and you strive to make sure that your dog is well cared for all their years. In other instances, families decide to give up their dog when moving away. This was the case for Duchess, a 17-year-old miniature dachshund. The family she grew up with moved away and abandoned her to the local Humane Society. Duchess had some dental problems that were fixed up at the shelter while she waited for another family to come and claim her. The shelter posted, “If you are looking for a sweet, easygoing little dog who needs a retirement home for the remainder of her days, we recommend you meet Duchess.” After seeing the post on Facebook, a woman named Lou Ann Young came to adopt Duchess and take her to enjoy the rest of her life.
In most cases, 5+ is when it becomes harder to adopt out dogs to forever homes. It is a wonderful moment when dogs over 5 are picked up, and even more moving to see senior dogs (10+) find a home. Julep, an 18-year-old dog accustomed to a certain lifestyle, had a difficult time with shelter life. The staff at the shelter were determined to find this senior dog a home. They put up posts about her online, brought visitors to see her, and even listed her as “dog of the week” for quite some time. Eventually someone finally came to see her. A man from the local area, Wayne Lerch, came into the shelter after losing his Pitbull at the age of 11. He needed another canine companion at his side after the loss of his own senior dog; and then he found Julep. Their connection was instant and Wayne knew that this was the dog for him. Julep was taken to her new home where she fell asleep instantly (a common reaction when shelter dogs have found comfort and love), completely at home with her new best friend.
Depending on the circumstances that bring a dog into the shelter, it can be difficult for them to adjust to a new life. Some old dog adoptions are challenging because the dog needs special attention. Bear was an older dog that came from a home of mistreatment, chained in the backyard with no attention given to his arthritis or worms. The previous owners never took him to the vet, and he was kept in the backyard to take care of himself for years. When reported, 15-year-old Bear was surrendered to the Guardians of Rescue organization. Once cared for, the team worked hard to find him a home. Despite his maltreatment, Bear had a very sweet disposition and was calm (only afraid of cats). A woman who had come across the story applied for his adoption. Her application was approved and she was able to meet Bear; the two got along right away. Soon after, his new mom, Kerrie, took Bear to his forever home to be cared for and treasured for the rest of his life – and he was never chained up in a yard again.
When a dog has a job, such as working in the military, it is uncommon for them to get adopted. Prior to the year 2000, military dogs were commonly euthanized after they completed their service, thought to be dangerous and unstable. 4-year-old Layka was a bomb-sniffing dog who worked with her trusted handler, Sgt. Julian McDonald. While on duty and confronting opposition, Layka was shot 4 times and became severely injured. Despite being wounded, Layka was still strong enough to take down the shooter, saving her handler’s life. The injuries that Layka endured took her out of service and resulted in the amputation of her front leg. Julian owed his life to Layka and stuck by her side through her full recovery. McDonald jumped through many obstacles to adopt her, trying to convince the baord that Layka was not dangerous and deserved to be rewarded for her heroics. With the enactment of Robby’s Law, a law allowing service dogs to be adopted instead of euthanized, Julian was finally able to adopt. Layka is now a large part of Julian’s family and despite having only 3 legs, is as sweet and as happy as ever.
At the age of 15, Bailey the golden retriever was continuously being found on the streets. He was considered a “repeat stray” – found on the streets multiple times even though his owners eventually picked him up. It is unknown if Bailey left home or was being neglected, but he ended up getting lost on the streets once more. It was this final time of being a stray that his owners did not return to pick him up. Bailey was taken in to Cayleb’s Kindred Senior Dog Rescue, where this aged beauty was put up for adoption. It was hard for Bailey to be homeless at his age, as he was depressed and confused as to why he was in an unfamiliar place, locked up. Of course, Bailey received lots of love, toys, and comfy beds from the workers, easing the stress of being in an unknown place. The waiting game began for him to find his forever home and over time Bailey received a number of applications. After a careful review process, Bailey was adopted by a woman who worked at another animal shelter, recognizing the kindness and love Bailey had to offer. After spending years unwanted and lost, this old dog’s adoption changed his life, putting him into a secure home. Bailey now greets everyone that comes in to his new owner’s rescue, and stays busy playing with all the other dogs. Bailey has no need to wander, and is content with where he is now.
Although 3-years-old may not seem like an “old dog,” it is still difficult for grown dogs to get adopted – especially when they are deaf. Rosie, a deaf Pitbull, came to a rescue shelter untrained and without an understanding of basic commands. Because she could not hear, she did not understand what was being asked of her when voice commands were given. The workers at the shelter, particularly Tracie Pfeifle, used treats to teach Rosie new commands in sign language. Rosie was hesitant to the training at first, unsure of what was being asked of her. However, when she began to recognize the signals (ex. thumbs up meant “good girl”), she was eager to please, happy to finally understand her handlers. When it was time for sweet and hard-working Rosie to be adopted, she found the perfect owner, Cindy Koch. What made this union so special? Cindy Koch was also deaf. It meant so much to Cindy that both herself and Rosie had something in common – they were able to communicate with one another. Having a deaf owner also meant the world to Rosie. She finally had the chance to bond with someone who knew how to properly communicate with her and had the patience and understanding she needed.
Older dogs come into shelters for a number of reasons, but none so heart-wrenching as Ox’s. Ox lived with his owners for 14 years and was then surrendered. Despite having been with his family for so long, his owner’s new partner was allergic to dogs, forcing Ox out. When Ox first arrived, he appeared seriously depressed – his head hung constantly. With sad droopy eyes, it was clear he was feeling the heavy weight of being abandoned by the person who raised him. The rescue was heartbroken for Ox and worried that someone would not want an older dog who was so emotionally hurt. They planned to do everything in their power to find him a perfect new home, one where he could be happy once more. The shelter shared his story on social media, posting the picture of the dejected dog. Thankfully, it was only a short 2 hours after the story was posted that Ox had someone knocking at his door. A woman named Lee Ann fell in love with him and was happy to take Ox into her family and love him deeply. After Ox went to his new home, he settled in slowly, hesitant at first, eventually bonding with his new family members. He no longer has the fear about being abandoned, he has truly found his “furever” home.
Can you imagine living to be 119? Scruffy is exactly that age in dog years (17 years old in human years) and is one of Britain’s oldest rescue dogs. Residing in the UK, shelter workers were unsure if anyone would adopt Scruffy due to his very old age. He was brought in to the shelter when his owner became sick, and could no longer care for him. Scruffy was put up for adoption in hopes of finding new caregivers, despite the devastation of being separated from his last family. Fortunately for Scruffy, there was a perfect couple out there just waiting to bring him home. Matthew Deery and Sarah Jarvis were on the lookout for a companion for their senior jack russel terrier, Sam. They had recently lost their other dog, a loss that cut deeply into the heart of the couple, but more significantly into Sam. The two were hoping that they could find another dog that was Sam’s speed to heal the loss and keep him company. That’s when they came across Scruffy. Now Scruffy has more than enough love to go around, and a brother by his side. They say that Scruffy is very sweet and is always on the lookout for morning cuddles – happy to be loved by his new family.
It is incomprehensible when dogs are found abused or harmed. For any animal lover, it is hard to see such a loving creature come to such hurt and abuse. Frannie was a 10-year-old dog who was brutally injured; the small mixed poodle was stabbed 19 times all over her body. In this severe act of animal abuse, the police arrested the individual, and the Humane Society of Missouri took action and brought Frannie in to receive immediate treatment. Frannie underwent surgery and treatment to heal her wounds. The road to recovery was long and hard, but Frannie’s strength was impressive. Despite all the harm that she had experienced, Frannie fully recovered. Her adopter was none other than the person who was the first responder to the incident on that horrific day. Now Frannie has found her “furever” home and is completely safe for the years to come with the person who rescued her – twice.
When George was found, he was in extremely frail condition, injured and starved. This sweet dog, found in a Nova Scotia landfill, had been left abandoned with a rope tied around his neck. George was taken immediately to a rescue, where he was rehabilitated and gained back the weight he lost. Now healthy, he went up for adoption. It was not long until Courtney Kennedy and Jamie Juniper came across his photo and sad story. The rescue was determined to thoroughly evaluate all applications, as they wanted to select someone who would love and cherish George. It was important for the rescue to ensure that George went to a home that truly wanted him and was not adopting him simply out of pity. Courtney and Jamie’s application stood out – they had recently lost their cherished dog of 10 years and were looking for a new furry face to add to the family. The moment the three met, they bonded instantly and the rescue knew this was the family for George. George is now taking over all the pillows, cuddling with his new owners, and loving life every chance he gets.