Deeanne Matz, our guest blogger this week, is the webmaster of the Old Dog Haven website and she is also a member of the Board. She and her husband Francesco are dedicated Old Dog Haven Final Refuge parents. Pictured right with Dee and Francesco are their current dogs (L-R) Emma Pearl, Penelope, and Benny.
For my husband Francesco and I, providing a ‘forever’ home for ODH Final Refuge dogs is an ever-present joy in our lives. Often I share our passion for living with old dogs with friends and colleagues – I really enjoy talking about ODH and our pups (currently three) and will do so ‘at the drop of a hat’!
When I do talk of our dogs, one of the most frequent questions I hear is “how do you stand it [when they die]?” Folks say they would love to care for old dogs, but couldn’t handle the grief and the knowledge that they would not have the dog for very long. Certainly sometimes we don’t have long with our lovelies, but they can really fool you – our Benny has been with us for over three years and is still going strong!
I tell those who ask the “how can you stand it?” question that I’m willing to go through the leaving to have the time I am given with these amazing and loving creatures. There is something truly precious about watching a dog who comes to you weak and sick, with horrible skin, shaking with fear and withdrawn become a loving companion with a shiny fluffy coat who trots after us and basks in every sunbeam!
And there’s another answer to “how do you stand it?” that simply asks another question …“How do you stand watching a sunrise or a spectacular sunset?” They will both go away too, after you have cherished their beauty.
We know with certainty every time we pick up an old, tired, scared pup that we may not have much time with them. We also know that we will love them completely and take comfort in watching them relax into their new home and have their own happy ending.
Our deepest thanks to all at Old Dog Haven, especially Judith and Lee Piper, for blessing us with these precious old souls and allowing us to bring them into our home and heart. Below are three dear ones that have passed away.
Bernice, a truly lovely and very old poodle who came to us with neurological issues was only with us for 4 1/2 months. They were a joyous and playful 4 1/2 months that we will always treasure. Her best ‘move’ was leaping into the air at meal times and crossing her two front legs like a ballerina.
Midge was an ODH alum that we adopted in 2010. She was a true terrier, at times a terror (rather bossy), and a real character who stayed for five years until we had to say good-bye. Midge loved picnics and the ODH Walk where she could pose for the camera and get lots of treats. One of her very favorite things (as you can see in the picture) was to find the very best sunbeam for a nap.
Little Holly only weighed 4 pounds and the volunteer at the shelter didn’t think she would live long enough to get into our home. She had many ailments because she was bred to be so small. It took her awhile to recover but she was finally able to truly relax and she certainly settled into our hearts. Holly began to fail after a year and it was time to let her go. She was a tiny little thing that we will always remember.