Spot invited (through Facebook) pet-loving friends and pet parents to share photos and tidbits about the beloved seniors in their lives.
As the stories and pictures came in, the Spot team paused many times to feel the power, share the tears, and appreciate the phenomenal love that radiated from every single one.
Thanks to everyone who participated for sharing their beloveds with all of us!
COVER MODEL 411
AGE/BREED: Tri-color Australian Shepherd.
PACK: Shasta travels and lives with me in the van as we explore America. She is looking forward to being out of the van and spending the holidays in a real house with real people. We'll be in Texas with family for December.
LOVES: Shasta loves me and her big Kong squeaky tennis-type balls. I probably come in second to the ball. Shasta was out playing ball the day I picked her up at OHS and my hope is that her last day will include ball time.
DOESN’T LOVE: FIREWORKS AND THUNDER
SPECIAL NOTES ABOUT KATIE: In the last year and a half Shasta has travelled over 30,000 miles in the western half of the US. She has seen mighty rivers, herds of buffalo and listened with me as the coyotes howl around us at night.
— Marty Davis, Shasta’s mom
Neptune was dumped in an anonymous overnight drop box in at LA animal control. He was skinny, fearful, matted hair, and (worst of all for adoption) old — 12-13 was the guess. His two remaining teeth had to be removed. Years of neglect had taken its toll. The shelter's groomer estimated he had not been trimmed in years — a Maltese, possibly purebred, his hair grows all the time —he actually lost a pound or two after being shaved. He wasn't cute or young, and he would have been euthanized if My Way Home Dog Rescue in Sandy, OR hadn’t agreed to take him into foster care.
Seeing him, you’d never know all that. He's perky and playful and pounces into laps for cuddle time. He loves to scamper with his adoptive brothers. Like many seniors in rescue, Neptune likely had people at one time, as he adapted quickly to home life. Unlike many younger dogs, he was housetrained and just needed to learn the new home rules and routine. As a senior, he's restful — he loves cuddling for naps and dozing outside in the sunshine, and he’s thankful for a little peace. While we know we won't have him as long as we'd like, we are blessed to be able to give him a safe and secure time in his golden years. He is a joy — reminding us to appreciate the important things in life — a warm lap, a sunny day, and (of course!) treats.
— Lisa and Rachel Turley-Bertoni
You may recognize Bo (short for Bocanacht, or Bocan) — he was Spot’s 2010 winning Cover Model! He stills loves walks, chasing the ball, and the beach. He is now 12 years old.
Bo and I became a registered animal therapy team 2012. Oh my, the fun opportunities to meet new friends, especially at college stress relief visits! In 2014 we started volunteering with Signature Hospice. Once a week Bo and I visit a local facility. The staff greet him by name, and enjoy his visits as much as the patients.
Bo's appeal has no generational boundaries. Headed out from a recent patient visit, we stopped at a nurses’ station. Two VERY young-looking aides loved his attention, petting and hugging him, while he made his trademark squeaky joyful noises. One declared that he's way cuter than a baby. The other, "He's adorbs!”
— Ann Martin, Portland, O
Hi Spot Magazine staff,
I'd like to introduce my best friend and constant companion, Finn — aka Mr. Finn or Finnster. I found Finn, a found stray, in 2013 at Multnomah County Animal Shelter. He was covered in fleas, had a terrible skin infection and severe hair loss from fleas and skin disease. I am a surgery tech at Cascade Veterinary Referral Center, and saw a post about Finn on CVRC's FB page. I kept checking the shelter's website to see if he was still there — something about his sweet senior face drew me. I couldn't imagine a 12-year-old dog being stuck at the shelter and knew he was not likely to be adopted over the younger dogs. I visited him and it was all over. I was not leaving without him. I had no idea of his condition as the posts just showed a head shot. When I saw him the first time, I was shocked. He was underweight and his skin was terrible and malodorous. I feel so lucky I found him. His skin was treated, and he began to gain weight.
We have been through a lot in a short few years, good and bad. We've taken many trips to the beach where Finn's grandpa lives. Also a road trip to visit family in California, hiking, geocaching, window shopping. Finn loves restaurants where he can join mom outdoors. He goes to work with me every day, and my life is planned so he can accompany me wherever I go.
I've never had a dog so many people were drawn to — he’s been called magical. He’s a happy boy who loves everyone.
Finn has been through a lot this past year, dealing with tumors and even a mini stroke. He's got a lot of spirit though, and continues to go on daily walks and weekly physical therapy to maintain his mobility and strength.
I cherish every day I have with this boy. Of course, I am a proud dog mom Here are some of my favorite pictures, which I hope show that even though a dog is senior, they can still enjoy a lot of activities. We're so excited you're doing a frosted face edition because seniors are simply the best! I couldn't imagine him living out his final years in a shelter. We have shared so many great times and adventures.
— Angie Dutcher, Finn’s mom
This my 11 year old Boxer, Jake. We adopted him at age 5. He is full of love and cuddles. He enjoys drinking from the hose, sitting in front of the fire, and going to grandma and grandpa's farm. This photo was taken on his 11th birthday, right before he got his big special birthday treat!
— Elizabeth OeDell
14-year-old HANK, aka”The English Cream Doxie” (because his Grandma always wanted one), lives with 5 Doxies, Grandma Virginia, and Cousin Travis on their Cedar Flats AIR BNB spread, along with 24 chickens, 3 ducks, and neighbor horses, goats and rabbits. He looks forward to seeing his mom soon, who is coming to visit him from Lebanon (Middle East) this month.
My Old Girl Lily
This sweetest face makes me cry every time I look at this picture. It took me years before I could replace it as the background on my phone. Lily was mama’s girl. She was perfect in every way that a dog can be perfect. She grew up with our kids, kept them safe when we weren’t home, cuddled, loved, belonged. We miss her. L
—Ginger Rapport, Beaverton
Chewie is a beautiful Tortie we got 15 years ago from the SW WA Humane when she walked right up to us and begged to go home through the cage bars. She was ours! Later, she returned from her spay with the worst URI ever! I had to nurse her for almost 2 weeks while she recovered. She loves to cuddle in my arms like a baby, the way I had to hold her to force feed her. She lays in my arms and reaches a paw to tap my cheek or wrap around my neck while staring at my face. Her next favorite place is right over my shoulder, and when I worked from home, perched on the back of my chair with her front paws on my shoulder. Even now her favorite place is right next to me, with a paw on my arm or leg. Her favorite position to lie in is with her back leg tucked under her chin or wrapped in her front paws. She has some arthritis now, but that doesn't stop her from assuming odd and awesome sleeping positions!
When she was younger, she let us know she didn't have enough toys by catching garage mice and bringing them in the house to chase. That taught us!!!
Chewie would rather be an only kitty, but that has never been an option. Still, she doesn't take guff from the other 3 cats, and will even smack our German Shepherd around if he’s in her space. She totally has "Tortie 'Tude"! We call her our curmudgeon, but she is so full of love for me. She gazes into my eyes, then ducks her head and butts my face/arm/leg/whatever she can reach. I can't make a move without her.
—Tena Abbey, Vancouver, WA
Riley has been the best dog I’ve ever had. He’s been by my side whenever I needed him. He listens to me, he is my ‘support group' — he has my heart. He is now 11 years and 3 months old and I bless each day he is alive. <3. He is a Beauceron, if anyone was wondering :) I took these pictures at a park to spend time with him. He can't walk very far anymore so to parks and coffee shops we go.
This is my 8-year-old Golden ANNABELLE. She is a sweet loving girl who just loves to be near her mommy (me)! She loves looking out the window watching birds, squirrels, and an occasional cat!
—Mary Lou Robison
We adopted Miss Bea about a year ago. Her previous family gave her up due to her age, which is their loss because she is the absolute best. Even at age 12, she can keep up with her five-year-old sister, romping on the beach or at the dog park. She loves going to doggie daycare and mixing it up with all the other pups. She's also a big fan of sprawling on the couch and watching sports on TV. She says she could do without the cat that tries to sit on her face, but we think she secretly likes it. We are so lucky to have found her, and are hugely thankful to My Way Home Dog Rescue for bringing her up from a California shelter, taking good care of her, and then matching us up. We love her!
—Anna Joyce and Tami Parr
I do intake for My Way Home Dog Rescue and I saw Harold was at San Bernardino Animal control. His body was so small from starvation his head looked huge. My Way Home decided to help him. He came into my foster home, and fit right into our pack. While I loved him (and he came on my Birthday) I found him a home.
It was the home of an auto racer. Come to find out, our Harold got very nervous being alone when they went to work. He spent his time learning how to open the door to the race car room and, well, he marked everywhere.
When he came back I decided he really was meant for me and the rest is history. As with all separation anxiety, he has mellowed. He is a big goofball and loves our life, no matter what twists it takes!
Snickerdoodle, The Love of My Life
Snickerdoodle and I found each other in April of 2008. My 10+ year-old Black Labrador Max had just passed from cancer, and I was in search of my next best friend. When I came across Snickerdoodle at the Oregon Humane Society, he did not even look like a Labrador, he was so withdrawn and sad. He was 3 years old and his family had just surrendered him to OHS. They were moving and could not take him. As soon as he was let out of the cage, he became a happy boy and I knew he needed to come home with me.
Snickerdoodle is starting to slow down a bit, but he is still a happy-go-lucky dog. He still loves to play ball, go to the river and swim, and play with his cousins (my Sister lives next door and has 2 Shepherds). I know my time with this wonderful dog will be up sooner than I would like it to be, but that is just life. My job now is to keep him comfortable, watch over him, and just love him for however long we both have.
KT is a 9-year-old Boxer/Lab mix (Boxador). She’s been grey since age 2, but gets more so as she matures. KT loves to find squirrels (fuzzys). She loves to cuddle and go for hikes on Powell Butte. She loves going on the boat with her friends and run on the beach. She is big momma! We love her so much and can't imagine the day when she isn't here. If she is quiet for a few minutes I start freaking out — Where are you? What are you doing? Love this girl to pieces.
2015. He began life as a show dog and quickly rose thru the show world to Westminster in NYC. Sadly reaching such heights of success would lead him to the depths of hell when he was sold as a stud dog to a lady who turned out to be a hoarder. Max became one of 98 dogs in an 1100 sq ft home where he had to fight for food, fresh air, etc. The officer who rescued him said it was one of the worse hoardingsituations he’d ever seen and looked forward to seeing us each year at Doggie dash as he used Max as an example of a rescue success story. Debarked and down to 15 lbs, Max was nursed him back to health. Still, he had a lost look when he was brought into OHS. I got him a few months after he became healthy, shortly after losing my first Beagle, Sonny. The night I brought Max home he attacked my female Daisycher over food (even though they had met before). I wondered if he had too many issues to keep him, but I’m so glad I did. He earned Pet Partners therapy dog certification so he could come to work with me as a Pediatric Occupational therapist. The kids would "do it for Max" when they wouldn’t for Miss Jayne! He was known as the real-life Snoopy as he was a rare all-white Beagle. He was such a lover and I know he is my guardian angel waiting for me on the bridge.