Monday, July 23, 2012

Old Dog Haven - Walk for Old Dogs

Sunday was Old Dog Haven's "Walk for Old Dogs" charity event. I am hoping it was successful for them and they do it annually.

Fun video on King5. My favorite part was "can you teach old dogs new tricks?" I loved that the representative said that most start out with potty training - and I agree, given the history on many of the dogs in rescue, potty training may be the most important trick of all.

(Quick edit - in communication with a co-founder it sounds like most of their rescues are coming in potty-trained. Some will have UTI/bladder issues but those usually can be treated. So this is good news for rescue homes!)

Rusty had probably never lived in house before me and we spent many weeks in the belly band.

The walk was held at Bellevue Park. The park is surrounded by residential and shops. The 1/2 mile loop goes around a man-made water system.

There were several signs hung along the posts with photos and bios of the dogs in their care.

We each got a bookmark in our bag. They had a photo and the dog's bio.

I wasn't at all prepared for was how emotional this event would be for me. After I registered I quickly headed out to start a lap and recollect.

This has been a "Rusty" weekend already because Saturday I was around a lot of doberman rescue people and then to come to this event and see all those old bodies and gray muzzles kind of knocked me back. It is hard to explain how you can miss the slower and methodical way of a senior dog but I really do. 

After I sort of got myself collected, Nim and I went back in and started observing the senior antics. And lets face it, senior dogs can be pretty funny.

Many of the dogs had something to say to Nim just on principle. I couldn't have been the only non-senior dog there...but we didn't see any other young ones.

I think they were telling Nim to enjoy his youth. (Or to hold still)

Lots of strollers and harnesses. The little guy in the above photo popped up out of his stroller just briefly and then was immediately back snuggled down. I think they said he was 17?!

Lots of people and small bird watching.

There was a small pug contingent (as well as basset hounds and daschunds). It could have been these were small teams. But those are all breeds that tend towards some expensive health problems and maybe they are surrendered more.

I couldn't get enough of this guy:

So this one was actually watching a group of kids play:

This one reminded me a lot of Rusty. The focus to stand and observe pretty much takes up all the mental real estate:

I could hear the basset hounds as I was walking down the street to the park:

There was a small catastrophe when a card table got knocked down during some presentation of awards. I don't think it phased any seniors at all and in fact many rushed in to see if anything worthwhile came down with the table.

I am not positive but the daschunds might have been the culprit group. :)

Now at the fun match on Saturday there was a tiny baby pomeranian that threw its self down melodramatically in that puppy way and refused to go any further.

You get a similar thing with seniors and when they decide to stop or change direction they REALLY dig in.

I did laugh at the amount of people I could hear trying to get their seniors to come with them in a given direction or even just get up off the ground.

Boy have I been there. Rusty had a preference for digging in or laying down on driveways into gas stations or the grocery store as well as crosswalks. I had to carry him across the QFC parking lot once and people were very concerned that he was injured. Trust me, he was just as happy to be carried and observe from another level.

It was a LONG weekend for us. I am super grateful right now to be down to one healthy dog right now (despite many thoughts of reconsidering this weekend), but I know more seniors are in my future.


  1. What a great event and charity! I love the way you describe the older dogs telling Nim how to behave ;-)

    Also read your rally post and it sounds like all in all it was a successful day. Glad you were able to make adjustments and improve both your and Nim's performances in the second and third rounds.

    Love the exhausted Nim picture.


    1. Thanks! I really was a great event and they are an amazing organization. It was a full but good weekend for us. Right now it seems like I need to keep us busy. :)

  2. not sure if that's an akita but how fluffy!!!
    I can only imagine how fun that event must have been

    1. You know. That is a good point, it might have akita in it. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Sort of malamute like too.

      It was a lot of fun. Old dogs have some sass in them!

  3. is something about old dogs. I love seeing them with their humans because it makes me think about what their bond must be, even if the dog wasn't a puppy when he or she joined the family. They just seem so sweet.

    1. In my experience so far it is definitely different bringing in a puppy versus a senior. And I am finding that the deaths can even feel different depending on what that time was like. But I totally agree with you, the bond I saw was really neat stuff and it was funny to me how many of the senior dogs were doing their thing regardless of human wishes...mostly because I have totally been there.