Welcome to the St. Louis Senior Dog Project Blog. Visit our website , check out our adoptable dogs, and donate if you can. I’m concentrating this week’s good thoughts on Shorty, a 9-year-old beagle mix who was abandoned at the St. Louis City Pound. He’s not little and fluffy or even large and awesomely handsome. He’s a plain brown dog who is housebroken and easy to have around the house. Surely some senior citizen will appreciate his charms.
I love good news. I love all the nice emails I receive from people who’ve adopted our dogs. But today I’m happiest about the news I received from Operation SPOT, an amazing St. Louis area spay/neuter organization.
Operation SPOT (Stop Pet Overpopulation Today) organized in l995 when the annual euthanasia total for St. Louis and surrounding areas was over 60,000 dogs and cats. Within 10 years that number was cut in half. That’s pretty amazing, and it shows that the spay/neuter initiatives, increased rescue efforts and mandatory spay/neuter of pets from shelters have made a difference.
It’s working. Every year brings a decrease in the number of animals who must die because homes are not available for them.
The St. Louis Senior Dog Project has been part of all this for 5 years now. We spay/neuter all our pets prior to adoption and we rescue and find new homes for dogs (and a few cats) that might otherwise be put to sleep. We’ve successfully placed many older dogs that conventional wisdom said had no chance at all of finding a new home.
And we’ve rescued other dogs that should have had people lined up begging for them. I’d put Merle, the blue merle Australian Shepherd, in that category. He was sitting unnoticed in a rural shelter until I brought him home with me. Merle is only about two years old and incredibly handsome. With the help of Aussie rescue groups and Merle’s good nature and great looks, we’ll place him easily.
Slim, the senior Whippet I wrote about last week, will take a little longer. But he’s a lucky guy because he’s heading to a special Whippet rescue known as Wild About Whippets. While there he'll regain his health, receive loving care and enjoy the company of other Whippets while waiting for the right retirement home. He’ll leave us wearing a new coat designed and stitched by volunteer Katie.
As to the three scared schnauzers from two weeks ago, two are now ready for sympathetic new homes (Henrietta and Heidi).They’re still unsure of themselves, but they’re more and more comfortable with their human companions and more than happy to accept doggy snacks from them. Hilda isn’t doing as well. She still bolts in the opposite direction. But we're not giving upon her.
Yesterday I ran into Odie, a 9-year-old terrier/border collie mix who was depressed and not eating when I first saw him in a cage at the City Pound. His future then was not very bright. Now he’s moving with his new owner to a beach home in California. Lucky Odie will be able to run through the surf almost daily. Not bad, Odie. Not bad at all.
Remember Gum Drop, the Border Collie mix? Her foster dad decided to adopt her. “She’s made it such a home,” he said. One of the risks of fostering is that you might decide to keep your foster.
Chico, the chihuahua mix who couldn’t keep his tongue from hanging out of one side of his nearly toothless mouth, is now happy in his new home. Chico was 12 years old when his former owners moved into a nursing home and left him at the humane society. Chico now has a home with a lady who had adopted a shy puppymill dog from us several months ago. She decided Andy might be happier with a companion, and here was Chico, with plenty of experience being a pet. Andy immediately started following Chico around the house and learning from him how to relax and just enjoy the good life. Just one example is how Andy now behaves in the car.
Their owner relates: “In the car, Andy would go ballistic and hop over seats to get to the hatchback and want to get out. Not so now. When Chico curls up in the seat, Andy is right beside him. She adds, “I am most happy with my boys.”
We now have 5 heartworm positive dogs in foster care (3 poodles, a sheltie mix and a rottweiller), so once again we have some high expenses. If anyone can help, go to our website for instructions on how to donate.
But we keep plugging along because we know that we’re making a difference. The numbers tell us so.
And so do the pictures, the face licks, the tail wags, the emails and, in the case of Aussies like Merle, the wiggling behinds.