Letter to the Editor: Give a Senior Dog a Second Chance

Letter to Editor

By Benny, senior spokeshound for The Grey Muzzle Organization

I was adopted three years ago this month. From the moment the officer brought me out and put me in my new mom’s arms, I knew she was the one. It was love at first sniff.

Because I was eight, nobody else wanted me. The day my family rescued me was supposed to be my last, but lucky for me, they saw my photo on an online “Code Red” list, stepped up and saved my life.

You can do the same. Save a life and make your own better by giving an older dog a home.

For the first time in my life, I feel safe. I wake up every morning grateful to be alive and loved and show it by giving my whole heart to my family. I never miss a meal, get all the belly rubs I want, and sleep inside every night. I never dreamed a dog’s life could be so sweet.

Whenever mom and dad come home, it’s like I won the lottery, which I did when they picked me. I could have been put to sleep forever three years ago, like more than 5,000 dogs and cats who die every day in shelters across America. Instead, I’m one of the lucky ones who got the second chance we all deserve.

Thousands of older dogs are waiting in shelters right now, hoping that someone like you will come take them home. You can be a hero by giving one the greatest gift: the chance to love and be loved again.

A survey conducted in 2017 by The Grey Muzzle Organization—a nonprofit which provides grants to help at-risk old dogs at shelters and rescue groups—reported more positive perceptions and increased adoption of senior dogs. “Altruism” was cited as the main reason, along with older dogs usually being more mellow and housetrained.

So, I believe homeless senior dogs have reason to hope. There are kindhearted, compassionate people who are willing to share their lives with old dogs like us. As a shelter worker told Grey Muzzle, “One look and people say, ‘He needs to come home with me and spend his last days on my couch, not in a kennel.’”

Those last days could turn into joyful years. Dogs today are living longer, healthier lives. And your good deed could help you live a longer, healthier life, too. A dog will help you get more exercise, and taking walks together is a great way to meet new friends, maybe even the love of your life. Regardless, with a dog by your side, you’ll have a constant companion.
To find your new best friend, simply search online at sites like petfinder.com or adopt-a-pet.com. Better yet, visit an animal shelter near you.

You can be the one to give a senior dog like me a second chance to be part of a family. The Grey Muzzle Organization envisions a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid. Please help make that dream a reality by opening your heart and home to a deserving senior. In return, you’ll receive the unconditional love and devotion of a very grateful dog.

Benny is the senior spokeshound for The Grey Muzzle Organization. The nonprofit group’s executive director, Lisa Lunghofer, Ph.D., lives in Kentlands.