Old dogs shouldn’t have to worry about their future, especially when that dog has given seven or eight years of his life to a family. Over the course of time, that dog has adapted the rhythm of his life to that of those he loves.
He knows the familiar voices of his people. He knows the familiar sights and sounds of his neighborhood. He knows the words that mean it’s time for a walk or a car ride. He knows the body language of his people and can tell when they’re happy or sad. He knows the sound of their car as it approaches the driveway. He knows where his bed is and where it’s ok to do his business. He knows the sound of the alarm clock signaling the start of a new day. He knows where his food and water dishes are located. He knows the cooking smells that mean a special treat will be in his future. He knows his name.
He knows all these things, because he is their dog and this is his life.
In return for his home, food, care and protection, this old dog is loyal, respectful, gentle, well-mannered and affectionate.
He is all these things, because he is their dog and it is his duty. He takes comfort in knowing he has done his duty well.
So why did this old boy, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, end up being turned loose to fend for himself until being picked up by Muskegon County Animal Control and brought to Pound Buddies Animal Shelter and Adoption Center?
Why hasn’t anyone come looking for him? Why hasn’t anyone called? Why didn’t one person claim him as their beloved, permanent family member? Apparently, he was let go and forgotten after having given the best years of his life to someone who proved how undeserving they were of this kind, gentle, sweet soul.
Now all those familiar sights, sounds and smells that should be comfort to him, as he continues to age gracefully, are gone. He doesn’t even have his name anymore, having been given the name Walker by the staff at Pound Buddies.
All he has is a small kennel where he sits hour after hour, wondering where his life went and what he did to deserve being abandoned. With nothing better to do than languish in his sorrow, he sings a sad, mournful song of heartbreak.
According to his caretakers at Pound Buddies, “He’s an affectionate, friendly guy, with a gentle personality. He’s well-behaved, clean in his kennel and passed all his temperament tests. He just wants the chance to enjoy life again.”
Walker has lost everything that meant life to him and it is starting to take its toll. He is beginning to act depressed and losing his appetite. Even though at seven years old he is considered a senior, he still has five or six good years left in him. He may be too old for hunting, but he has earned the right to enjoy the comfort of a home and the companionship of someone who cares about the dignity of an old dog.
All it takes is for someone to step up and say, “Yes”; someone to show him that there really are people deserving of his loyalty and affection.
If there is room in your heart, you will find room in your home. Use your network of friends, family, co-workers and others to help find Walker a new home where he can live comfortably until he’s ready to take his place among the stars in the sky.
Author’s note: Sandy and I have taken in three senior dogs over the past year; two that were dumped at shelters and one that was picked up by animal control as a stray. Nothing can compare to the joy of seeing the sparkle of renewed enthusiasm for life return to their eyes. Nothing matches the pleasure of watching them enjoy the simple things like a cozy bed, a gentle hug or a leisurely walk together; those things they may have thought were long gone from their lives. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching their tail wag and their paws prance in anticipation of another day to live, love and be loved.
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