The St. Louis Senior Dog Project is a not-for-profit dog rescue organization specializing in older dogs but taking in and finding homes for dogs of all ages...even puppies. We'll have dogs for adoption from 11 to 3 Saturday, July 6, and noon to 3 Sunday, July 7, in the Kirkwood Petco near I-44 and Lindbergh and at Treats Unleashed in Ladue . To see which dogs will be there as well as other adoptable dogs, go Here. And don't forget to attend our second Barkfest/Reunion. See below for more information.
If he could, he'd wag his tail joyfully. But the most Elmer Fudd can manage is a slow, low wave.
Poor Elmer. This sweet boy came to us with three other younger dogs, all turned into a small Illinois shelter by owners who were moving away that day. We agreed to take all four, including Elmer who was described to us as a 10-year-old Shetland Sheepdog mix.
My first reaction to meeting Elmer (the name we gave him) was that he seemed much older than 10 years. He poked along, stiff-legged but determined, eyes always looking forward. Whenever nature called, he began his labored walk to the back door and sometimes made it on time but not always. We learned to help him outside.
The next thing we noticed was that in the morning he slept on even through considerable barking, talking and stomping. To wake him up, I stroked his back and then helped him to his feet. Obvious conclusion: he was deaf as well as movement challenged.
And then, saddest of all, we realized he could not wag his tail. He' could come to me with his sad face, climb into my lap with a little help, and enjoy the contact and the petting. But he lacked all the typical doggy happiness signs -- the wiggling and wagging.
So what's wrong with Elmer? Several things, including a spinal disease or condition that causes some of his problems, including the tail problem. But Elmer's funny way of walking is also because of his back knees, both of which had previous torn ligaments. Because of the bad back knees, Elmer puts most of his weight on his front legs. Specialists looked over all his problems and advised against doing anything other than some physical therapy/exercise to build up his back leg muscles. They don't think he is in pain.
Elmer shows his affection by being as close to me as possible. He can't help the morose expression on his face much of the time. But sometimes..sometimes...a little doggy smile breaks through and sometimes he even manages a kiss.
We love him, but he's probably not adoptable. Not adoptable, that is, unless someone very special comes along. We're hoping someone might offer to take him home as a permanent foster dog.
In other ways, Elmer Fudd is a healthy dog. His heart is sound. His eyes are cloudy but still serve their purpose. His appetite is fine.
But he needs more help than your average old dog.
And he can't wag his tail.
St. Louis Senior Dog Project