Mila before and after
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. Meet and adopt your new best friend 11 to 3 Saturday, December 31, in the Kirkwood Petco. To see which dogs will be there, go Here.
What kind of year was 2016 for the St. Louis Senior Dog Project? It was a year we placed almost 450 dogs into new homes. It was the year of the Chihuahua, the year of the Labrador retriever, the year of the hairless, the starved, the frightened, the stinky, the hopeful, the joyful, the wild and crazy, the bonded pairs.
Now is the time to remember them all, and also to thank all those that made it possible -- the volunteers, the foster parents, the veterinarians, and, of course, those who donors.
When I asked some of the foster parents to name a favorite foster or two, I received many suggestions. Sweet Mila, above, was one of them. She came to us in terrible shape and is now beautiful and healthy, as you can see from her before and after pictures. We've seen plenty of dog like Mila.
This year we saw an unusual number of dogs that came to us as part of a pair. Tobi and Tia, Tyson and Choe, Delia and Duncan, Maddie and Mya, Kati and Hemingway, Rock and Mick, Statler and Waldorf to name a few. Some found homes together. Others let us know they'd be happier on their own.
Rock and Mick came to us because their owner was dying of cancer. Another rescue group turned them down because they were 6 year old Labrador retrievers who might be too old to place. We didn't have any trouble. We placed them in two weeks and are receiving rave reviews from their new humans.
Rock and Mick
I especially remember Statler and Waldorf, who arrived at my home stinky but happy after leaving a local animal control shelter. They cleaned up nicely, and found a home together.
Statler and Waldorf
Many of our dogs come to us with missing hair due to neglect, poor diet, or flea infestations. In time, the hair grew back. But with little Foxy, the hair loss on her body was permanent. We receive regular pictures from her new humans. In them, Foxy is usually wearing a pretty sweater.
Foxy was one of many small dogs we rescued and placed this year. Some came from owners who couldn't keep them, others from shelters, a few from puppymills. Millie remembers Tabatha best, a dog who'd spent 7 years in a puppymill and required many months of rehabilitation before she could accept humans. Slowly, she got better and found a good home. We have many stories like that.
Joan remembered the dog that surprised her by having puppies in the midst of a kitchen remodeling. That reminded me of the time several years ago when I took a dog out of a shelter without knowing she was pregnant. In fact, she had puppies at my house the day before her scheduled spay surgery. We don't look for pregnant dogs, but sometimes we get them.
Jeanette had an easy answer for her favorite foster of the year: Lincoln, a big, brown hound mix. Lincoln originally came to us from a county shelter. We adopted him out as a puppy. That adopter returned him to us because of personal problems. I worried at first that a plain brown dog, and a big one at that, might be hard to place. I need not have worried. A dog this amazing will always find a good home, and he did. Here's a picture of him with Jeanette.
Sometimes it's hard to say goodby to our foster dogs, some more than others. But we do that all the time. It helps when our adopters keep in touch. We love those pictures of dogs under the Christmas Tree or just having a good time in their new home. I received this picture of Selena, a cocker spaniel we rescued from a local kill shelter. She's in her new home, where she recently went out for a latte. Homeless to latte. Imagine that.
We've had our bad days too. We've had dog fights. We've had torn cushion. We've had slow learners in the housebreaking department. We've had days when things didn't work out. We've had dogs we couldn't save. We've yelled at the hellraisers. We've shed tears. But today we're remembering the good days.
And thanks again to all of you who helped us along the way.
St. Louis Senior Dog Project