Our senior and sick dogs should not be thrown away into cold life ending shelters. It is up to us to care for our aged with love, warmth, and a place to lay their weary bones. Because they give us their unconditional love and friendship, we have a duty to provide our sick with the compassion and attention they need to live the remainder of their lives with dignity and love. They are not broken because they are old or sick, and when placed into compassionate homes, have many happy days in front of them.
In July 2013, I walked into North Valley shelter in Los Angeles to adopt a dog named Austin for a wonderful woman Gina Mann Landers. Gina had seen his picture in the shelter and wanted to open her home to him. The shelter advised me against adopting him because they thought he was at least 10 years old, and they did not believe he would live much longer. Austin and I walked out of the shelter that day and he never looked back.
After leaving that day with Austin, I could not help but wonder how many other seniors were left behind because someone told adopters they were too old and it was a mistake. That began the journey to start Forever Young. I have learned many things along the way and have been touched and blessed by many experiences. I learned it was not just seniors that were left behind; the sick are treated similarly.
In November of 2013, a sweet boy named Pelo was turned in by his owner because he was sick. He was not given treatment and he spent his time lying in his kennel in pain. Many rescues walked by him and did nothing. For me, it was beyond heartbreaking to see him neglected and suffering. But, there was a small community of individuals who resolved to rescue him. With only 30 minutes to closing, Sandy Naples rushed in and adopted him. With the help of the AC officer, Sandy placed him in her car and met me at our vet. Our vet confirmed he was suffering, and had been for some time. We gave him a comfortable bed, a sponge bath, managed his pain, and gave him the affection he deserved. For the first time in a very long time, he had a restful night's sleep. The next morning, on Thanksgiving Day, we celebrated with the entire staff with a large breakfast consisting of all things that are bad for you. Later that day, surrounded by people and affection, he crossed the rainbow bridge. By giving just a little of our hearts and our time, we were able to provide profound relief to Pelo. Our experience with Pelo stays with us and serves as a strong reminder of our purpose in starting Forever Young.
Whether they are with us for an hour, a day, a week, a year, or a lifetime, they all deserve to cross with love and dignity.