November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month and we at GSP Rescue New England are well-known for having a soft spot in our hearts for the seniors.
We try never to turn away any that need us. We have foster homes that relish senior care and specialize in it. They're the first to step up when an elder GSP is brought in. Puppies may be fun, but seniors, in their opinion, are the very best.
This month, we're setting aside special time to promote these wiser, and often calmer dogs, many of whom have traveled long roads without reaching their happy endings yet.
Why consider a senior dog? What can you do to help an older dog? Read below to find out, because when you adopt a senior dog, you really do become his or her champion.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Celeste,Audrey and Michele
Why Adopt An Older Dog?
[Illustrated With Some Of GSP Rescue NE's Favorite Seniors]
1. What You See Is What You Get
Older dogs are open books. From the start, you'll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you're not so into surprises, an older dog is for you!
2. Easy to Train
| Jewels Morris|
Think you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Hogwash! Older dogs are great at focusing on you -- and on the task at hand -- because they're calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you're asking.
3. Seniors are Super-Loving
One of the cool parts of our job at rescue is reading stories from people who have opted to adopt. The emails we get from pet parents with senior dogs seem to all contain beautiful, heartfelt descriptions of the love these dogs give -- and those of you who adopted dogs already in their golden years tell us how devoted and grateful they are. It's an instant bond that cannot be topped!
4. They're Not a 24-7 Job
Grownup dogs don't require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your "me time," this is definitely a bonus.
5. They Settle in Quickly
|Lola (foster dog of the Long family)|
Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They'll be part of the family in no time!
6. Fewer Messes
Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained-and even if they're not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.
7. You Won't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
There are those who yearn for a doggie friend of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so -- a puppy or young dog can be anywhere from an 8- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a dog in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.
8. They Enjoy Easy Livin'
Couch potato, know thyself! Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don't require any exercise -- they do -- but they're not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.
9. Save a Life, Be a Hero
|Bella Sullivan with her foster dad|
At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal's life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you'll feel the rewards every day you spend together.
10. They're CUTE! Need we say more?
The Senior Dog (A Poem)
[Despite his many foibles ;-) we dedicate this poem
to our very favorite senior, Mr. Fonda, who was found as a stray in Maine in late spring of 2011.]
"One by one, they pass by my cage,
Too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can't run and play.
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way.
A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn't belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can't justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.
When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw thru the grey, and the legs bent with age
And felt I still had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.
I may be with you for a week, or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.
And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.
|Foster dad Peter Hallett |
and the inimitable Mr. Fonda.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This poem was originally titled "Tray's Poem," written by Leslie Whalen in honor of her dog, Tray, and all the senior dogs that await a new home and deserve a second chance at happiness.
Update on Stevie (now Tristan), Sassy, and Finney (now Vinny)
Two years ago, three GSPs in Kansas -- Stevie, Sassy and Finney -- were homeless and in high kill shelters. GSP Rescue NE took them under its wings, and the three dogs were transported east to safety.
All three have found wonderful homes, and here's an update:
"Stevie," now "Tristan"
Susan Wagner writes:
"Tomorrow, Nov. 15, it will be two years since we adopted our beloved German Shorthaired Pointer Tristan (see the GSP Rescue New England 2013 calendar pinup boy).
When you watch your dog day to day, you don't really notice the changes. Recently, however, I was looking at the papers we received when we adopted him. He was described as a "vocal barker." It was recommended that we teach him that "barking does not get him the ball or a treat. Reward quiet!!"
Is this the same dog that follows me from room to room, lies at my feet, looks at me adoringly virtually non-stop? And barks only when the UPS guy comes to the door?
Yes. But what a difference stability, love, warmth, and care can make!!
|Intake photo of Tristan, formerly known as "Stevie."|
Tristan was found by a state trooper in Kansas, evidently abandoned. Who knows how long he had been on his own, but when he came to us, this big-boned guy weighed only 58 pounds and his ribs stuck out from his body. Thanks to his daddy's generosity with food, he could now stand to lose a little.
And, even though somewhat laid-back by GSP standards, when I look back, I can see that he was very apprehensive. A very sturdy toy that was given to him shortly after his arrival here, for example, was destroyed within a week. Today, the stuffed teddy bear we gave him during the summer is treated gently and lovingly.
He survived an extended time on his own, a long -- and doubtless confusing and disorienting -- drive from Kansas to Rhode Island, one night in a foster home, two nights here, and two more nights in quarantine, to find his forever home with us.
|Tristan today. :-)|
He is the most cherished thing in our lives.
So, if any of you reading this are on the fence, take our advice. Don't wait. Adopt a dog.
Better yet, adopt a GSP.
Remember, you may not change the world, but you will change the world for the dog you adopt."
Tristan, Bill, and Susan Wagner
Tad Dorry writes:
|Sassy, on intake |
"Two years ago in December, my border collie, Brenna, had just died. Despite it being almost Christmas, it was a terrible time of year.
I saw a picture of Sassy on the GSP Rescue Dogs for Adoption page, and had to know more about her.
|Sassy now, relaxing in "her" chair.|
We traveled to Newport, RI, in a snowstorm to visit with Sassy and her foster mom, Lynn Wieder. I sat on Lynn's sofa and Sassy jumped up on my lap. That was it. She came home with me that afternoon and has been a lapdog ever since.
We live on a farm in Connecticut where she chases rabbits and sleeps in the sun. Her favorite thing to do is ride shotgun with me in the truck.
She's the best and I can't imagine life without her."
"Finney," now "Vinny"
Jill Thompson writes:
|The handsome Mr. Vinny|
"Vinny has been an amazing addition to our life. He is so happy and loving and one of the most gentle creatures we have ever met. Vinny has a huge yard to play in where he chases birds and squirrels, plays soccer, and sun bathes when he can.
He loves to go on long walks and hikes, and afterwards he can be found snuggled up with us on the couch or hogging a good portion of the bed.
Vinny's favorite toys are his kong and his blanket that he's had since he was a foster pup. His best friend is Kanga (a recent GSP rescue) that was adopted by our family members. Kanga lives down the street and the two love to run laps, wrestle, and bark at the UPS man.
When we chose to adopt Vinny our hope was that we would be giving him a better life and a new start. What really happened was that he changed our life and has been one of the best things to ever happen to us."
Help Us Help Them
Look who's been adopted!
More GSPs have found their forever homes!
They are: Ace,Bridgette, Kessie and Tazman
Hooray for the dogs!! Hooray for their new families!! :-)
So far this year 73 dogs have found their way home thanks to GSP Rescue NE as compared to 52 last year at this same time. It wouldn't be possible without YOUR support! Way to go!
Donations have gratefully been accepted this month from:
Judy Bradley, in memory of Titus Nikiforov
Amy Legendziewicz and Patti Paniccia, in memory of Titus Nikiforov
Shari and PJ Owens, in memory of Coco Owens
Agilent Technologies, (employer matching funds --Bob Klepach)
Mike and Patti Doyle
Thank you all for your generosity!
Thank you, donors!
For those who have graciously made donations to GSP Rescue NE and would like a receipt, please contact Celeste.
And, once again, a big THANK YOU to you all. :-)
Calendars and more...oh my!
We still have 2013 calendars featuring our rescue dogs available but they're selling like hotcakes! Go here to order yours before they're gone!
Our Three Scoops of Vanilla Jewelry fundraiser is coming up on Friday Nov 30th.
For one day only any purchase made that day 25% of your purchase will go directly to Rescue! These make great holiday gifts for everyone on your holiday gift list who is a GSP lover.
Shhhhh! don't tell but stay tuned...we have two more suprise fundraisers for December that you'll all love!
Pictures With Santa!
|Santa with Ruby Liebert | Muddy Creek Animal Care Center
, at 993 Haverhill St., Rowley, MA, is having a PICTURES WITH SANTA day on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 11a.m. to 1 p.m.
Above is "Santa" (Dr. Blake Liebert
) last year with his adopted shorthair (through GSP Rescue NE of course!) Ruby!
|Dr. Liebert at his "real" job.|
Shhh! Don't tell the dogs he's really Santa!
To make this even more wonderful, Muddy Creek is donating half of all proceeds from pictures with Santa to GSP Rescue NE!
Mark your calendars and if you're going to be in the Rowley area that day have your pet's picture taken with Santa.
Thank you, Muddy Creek!
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
'Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts-but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won't be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.
Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your dogs can enjoy, too.
If you decide to feed your dog a little nibble of turkey, make sure it's boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities.
No Bread Dough
Don't spoil your pet's holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.
Don't Let Them Eat Cake
If you're baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs-they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
Too Much of a Good Thing
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn't pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse-an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it's best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.
A Feast Fit for a Kong
While the humans are chowing down, give your dog its own little feast. Offer him Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff his usual dinner -- perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy-inside a Kong toy. They'll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.
Help Us With
Our Year-Round Fundraisers
We need your help. We have recently partnered with Alphapooch to help us provide more comfortable living for our pet residents through their Buy a Bed Give a Shelter Bed Program. Alphapooch has agreed to donate a shelter bed to us for our foster dogs for every pet bed you purchase from their site: Alphapooch.com/pfgroups.
It's pretty simple. For every item you purchase for your family pets, the pets at our foster homes will get a comfortable bed to rest on! Alphapooch uses a wonderfully soft bedding material called Unreal Lambskin® that both cats and dogs just adore. We love the beds too as they are completely machine washable.
You can find more information on the program as well as their extensive catalogue through the link below (just click HERE to go directly to their website).
Help us make our foster homes a more relaxing place for our dogs while waiting for their forever home and while also treating your own pet to a luxurious new bed!
Thank you for the help!
Book donations needed
GSP Rescue NE is joining with
Got Books? as a new means of fundraising. Got Books? works by placing bins for recycled books in parking lots. If you have a parking lot with one extra space for a bin please contact Celeste.
This is a one year commitment. All you have to do is donate the space and call Got Books? to empty the bins when they're full.
Rescue gets paid per pound of books. Got Books? will work for rescue through active participation by the GSP Rescue organization and the community.
1. Safety - The bin must be placed in a safe location for drivers, pedestrians and participants
2. Location - The Got Books? container should be visible to your members as well as the surrounding community
Successful programs establish a plan for getting books from the community. Posting information in the weekly program and bulletins, posting information on your website, and alerting local paper
about the Got Books? program and what Rescue is raising the money for. Every organization is unique and there is more than one way to accomplish the task of getting the books in to the Got Books? container.
Got Books? is a great way to increase recycling and earn extra money for programs within Rescue.
For more information on Got Books? or if you have room at your business to house a collection bin, contact Celeste
Free first-aid class!
Basic first aid classes for pet owners, with an emphasis on what you should include in your pet's first-aid kit are held on the first Tuesday of each month at Vetcision, 293 Second Ave., Waltham, Mass.
Classes alternate each month between basic first aid classes and other topics.
Please call or email for details and to RSVP.
For more information, go to Vetcision.
Dog door discount!
GSP Rescue New England is listed among rescue groups and shelters that have participated in Hale Pet Door's Rescue Rewards program.
The Rescue Rewards works this way: When customers let Hale know that they adopted a pet (either recently or in the past), they receive a 10 percent discount on the cost of their Hale Pet Door. And then Hale makes a donation for that same 10 percent amount to the organization that the customer tells them about.
In 2010, Hale donated more than $20,000 to rescues and shelters all over the country.
Partners for Pets Program
Bissell's Partners for Pets program supports pet adoption and homeless pets. When you buy selected pet products on bissell.com, you save 10% (with free shipping) and BISSELL will donate 10% of your purchase price to a pet shelter of your choice. For more information, click here.
Use the code ADOPT at the BISSELL checkout to receive the discount.
to view eligible products.