Senior Sunday – The Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network

Recently, I read a few posts on Twitter by several rescue groups that were labeled Senior Sunday. It was after reading these Tweets that I decided to publish Senior Sunday posts myself. These posts, like the ones I read on Twitter, will highlight senior dogs that are available for adoption from various rescues.

My Senior Sunday posts will hopefully help find furever homes for these wonderful seniors from rescues around the U.S. and possibly other countries. I envision publishing Senior Sunday posts on one or more weekends each month.

To start the series, this post will focus on the Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network from whom I adopted Divinity in May, 2009. Col. Potter rescued my little lady in November, 2008. I was told that three people had submitted paperwork to adopt her, however, all three changed their minds due to Divinity’s age.

Seniors have a lot to offer, we just need to be willing to watch, listen, and learn…

Here are some, but not all of the senior dogs currently available for adoption from the Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network.

Sam Malone

Sam Malone

Sam Malone is 11 years-young, and weighs 17 lbs. Sam is being fostered in Portland, Connecticut.

To learn more about Sam Malone, click the link to his Col. Potter web page – Sam Malone




Mcgraw is 8.5 years-young, and weighs 19 lbs. Mcgraw is being fostered in Essex, Vermont .

To learn more about Mcgraw, click the link to his Col. Potter web page – Mcgraw




Nolan is 12 years-young, and weighs 9.4 lbs. Nolan is being fostered in Auburndale, Florida.

To learn more about Nolan, click the link to his Col. Potter web page – Nolan




Neilan is 12 years-young, and weighs 15 lbs. Neilan is being fostered in Cleveland, Ohio.

To learn more about Neilan, click the link to his Col. Potter web page – Neilan


Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network contact links

To learn about all the dogs, both seniors & youngsters that Col. Potter has available for adoption, click the following links:

* Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network – Website

* Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network – Facebook

* Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network – Twitter


Interactive Map of Senior Dog Rescues, Sanctuaries and Special Programs

Note: This map is presented with kind permission from Senior Pups

Click the “Brackets” on the right-side in the Map Header below to view the full-size map

More people are adopting old dogs — really old dogs

When a German Shepherd rescue organization posted Elmo’s photo online last fall, it made no effort to mask the dog’s problems. He wore a cone around his neck to prevent him from licking the large open sore on his hip. His fungus-ridden feet were swollen. His graying, 11-year-old face held a pathetic, ears-to-the-ground gaze.

Steve Frost, a retired fire captain in Northern California, said he saw the photo and thought Elmo “looked like hell.” He immediately decided he wanted the dog.

Frost, 59, met Elmo through the Thulani Program, one of a growing number of animal organizations focusing on adopting out older dogs, or “senior dogs” that are typically 7 years or older. Their age makes them some of the hardest-to-place animals in a society that still adores romping puppies, although that is changing as books on elderly dogs and social media campaigns convince pet-seekers that the mature pooches often come with benefits, such as being house-trained, more sedate and less demanding of people with busy lifestyles.

Elmo while in the shelter

Elmo while in the shelter


Four months later, Frost sits by his fireplace every morning and evening and gives Elmo four pills for his various ailments, “like an old man.” On Wednesday morning, he took Elmo in for prostate surgery. Frost, who had not owned a dog in several years, is now ushering one through its final years of life, which he says he figures will be “a lot better than living in a kennel.”

Frost knows little about Elmo’s past, other than that he was turned over to an animal shelter in Los Angeles and had clearly been neglected. His ears had mites, his innards had worms, his prostate had a tumor and he was puppy-like in one key way: At age 11, he wasn’t house-trained. Now Elmo has two beds in Frost’s home and a permanent place in the back seat of his four-door Ford F-150, and the two take what Frost called “a man shower” together every few days.

“This guy has just burrowed his way into my heart,” Frost said.

Elmo is recovering from his prostate surgery, which added hundreds of dollars to the $1,000 or more Frost has paid — with Thulani funds — to get the dog in shape. Soon, Frost said, he’ll take Elmo for a ride in an airplane.

“The best you can do is make him have a great life, because his life up until this point has been hell,” Frost said. As for the end? Frost said he doesn’t focus on that. “If it didn’t hurt, you’ve got to question the love that’s involved.”


Elmo as he is today in his new home

Elmo as he is today in his new home



David Writz, 34, said he’s hoping his newly adopted 10-year-old black Lab mix, Dante — who is not a hospice case — will stick around for five years or so. Like Frost, Writz found his dog online after deciding he didn’t have time for a puppy. When the two met in person at Bob’s House for Dogs in Eleva, Wis., Writz was smitten, despite the fact that Dante was about 20 pounds overweight. Then the shelter called and told Writz that the dog would be having emergency surgery to remove an eye with glaucoma. Did Writz still want him?

“I was like, ’Obviously,’ ” said Writz, who works in a payroll office. “I figured at the very least I’d just get him an eye patch.”


Dante in the snow

Dante in the snow


Knowing that Dante won’t be around for long “is the depressing aspect of it,” said Writz, who regularly takes Dante to a local brewery, where the dog happily begs for pretzels. “But I figure he’ll be happy the rest of his remaining years.


Russell Ulrey, a Muttville volunteer who helped start the shelter’s hospice program, said he was initially worried that he wouldn’t find takers. He was wrong. Last year, Muttville adopted out 85 hospice dogs, and Ulrey said demand is higher than supply.

Caring for a terminally ill dog is “a life-changing experience,” said Ulrey, 41, but one he tells potential adopters to approach with flexibility. Ulrey, who has adopted several hospice dogs, said one lived 14 months until, one day, he charged up a hill to a favorite park and collapsed. A veterinarian euthanized him there. An Airedale mix named Ralph, in contrast, had multiple organ failure, rotten teeth and survived just a week.

“A dog like Ralph, we didn’t take him out to the park. He didn’t want to go,” he said. “We made him cozy and made him feel really loved, maybe for the first time in his life.”

These days, Ulrey and his partner, Marie Macaspac, are the parents of Chachito, a 20-pound mutt who qualified as a hospice dog because he is 16 years old, blind and deaf — exactly the kind of pet few adopters would be willing to take on. Chachito’s regime involves homemade meals of brown rice pasta and chicken, supplements for his joints, arthritis medication and lots of hanging out at the couple’s Fairfax, Calif., home.

“He has his route,” Ulrey said. “He bonks into one wall and then knows he’s going to turn right.”




Note: This has been a partial repost of an article published by the Washington Post. To read the entire article, click the following link:

More people are adopting old dogs — really old dogs



Old Dogs deserve a Good Life!

This wonderful video was posted on Facebook by House with a Heart and I wanted to share it with readers of Divinity’s blog.

House with a Heart has previously been featured on Divinity’s blog with the following posts:

An amusing hazard of working with geriatric dogs

Senior sanctuary dog finds a girlfriend

A Retirement Home For Unwanted Senior Pets

House with a Heart – contact links
  • House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary – Website
  • House With A Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary – Facebook
  • House With A Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary – Twitter


Microchipping your Pet

If your pet’s collar breaks or its collar tag falls off or becomes hard to read, a microchip permanently identifies your pet to help your pet get back to you if it’s lost or stolen.

What is a microchip? How does it work?

A microchip is a computer chip enclosed in a small glass cylinder (about the size of a grain of rice. The chip is injected under your pet’s skin and serves as a permanent form of identification. Once the microchip has been placed, you register your contact information — and the pet’s description — with the database specific to that brand of microchip. (Some veterinary practices will do this for you.) Veterinarians and animal shelter workers who recover lost pets routinely check for these microchips through the use of scanners that read and display the pet’s microchip number.

Note: If your contact information on file is up to date, you can be quickly notified and reunited with your pet

A vet holds a micro-chip identity tag which can be inserted under the skin of a dog or cat's neck.

A vet holds a micro-chip identity tag which can be inserted under the skin of a dog or cat’s neck.


How is the microchip implanted? Will it hurt my pet?

Implanting a microchip is quick, easy, and painless. Your veterinarian will inject the microchip under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The injection is performed with a hypodermic needle that is slightly larger than those used for vaccinations. No anesthesia is required, though animals that are already anesthetized for procedures such as a neuter or spay might be microchipped at the same time.

How much of my information is accessible via microchip? Do I need to be concerned about my privacy?

The only information that will be accessible from your pet’s microchip is the contact information you provide to the manufacturer’s microchip registry. This information will be used to contact you in the event that your pet is found and his microchip is scanned. Any other personal information, including your pet’s health record or other medical information, will not be included.

My pet wears a collar with ID tags. Do I really need to microchip? Does my pet’s microchip replace his tags?

Collars and current tags are still the quickest and easiest way to identify a pet’s owner. Additionally, most cities also require pets to have both rabies tags and a city license—information that is not provided by a microchip.

However, collars and tags can become lost or damaged, making it difficult for animal control or shelter personnel to identify a pet’s owner. Using tags and a microchip together—and ensuring both are regularly updated—is the best way to ensure your pet’s safe return.


Note: Here is a link to an in-depth article on the Microchipping of Animals  written by the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Watch a Dog get Microchipped