The Dumb Friends League is a Socially Conscious Shelter creating the best outcomes for all animals. We open our doors to all animals in need—whether they’re old, ill, injured, unwanted or lost. For every animal, we strive to relieve suffering, always keeping in mind the needs of the animals first. In some cases, this may lead to euthanasia. However, the League does not euthanize healthy animals even if an owner requests that service.
When an owner comes to the League with a euthanasia request, as part of the intake process our team determines whether the pet is suffering, and if the animal is not, they are empowered to accept the pet as a relinquishment and not move forward with the euthanasia.
Tess’s owner brought her to the League with a euthanasia request. The patron explained that Tess, a 13-year-old Labrador retriever, had a fluid-filled cyst on her neck, and while it was removed before, it came back. Tess’s veterinarian wanted to treat the cyst again, but her owner did not feel it was the best decision given the pup’s age. Despite her age and cyst, Tess’s owner said she was friendly with people, kids of all ages, dogs and cats. Tess spent her days playing with the family’s other dog, going on walks, and she was smart with several known commands in her repertoire.
During the intake meeting, one of our pet admission associates explained that we might not euthanize Tess depending on a medical evaluation and elect to treat her and then place her up for adoption. The patron understood the possibilities and signed both the euthanasia and relinquishment paperwork.
Tess was very responsive and active during the intake process and in her home, and while there was no denying she was considered a senior dog, and one with a mass that needed addressing, the sweet pup captured hearts throughout the shelter.
During her evaluation, Tess was diagnosed with moderate dental disease, suspected mild arthritis, being overweight and having elevated liver enzymes—all of which could be improved with diet, medication and exercise. A League veterinarian removed the mass on Tess’s neck, and it was determined to be benign. Tess’s prognosis was good, and the well-behaved pup was ready to find a new home.
Aubrey and Garret were familiar with the Dumb Friends League, and they were impressed with the number of services offered. “Just looking at the website, we knew it would be a great place to find a new furry friend,” said Aubrey.
A few months ago, the couple lost their dog to old age, and their last few years with her were the best years they all could have wanted. “Of course, we loved her for her whole life, but we especially cherished our time with her as her fur got whiter and whiter,” said Aubrey. “It was such a treat to let her live out her last few years spoiled as ever, and she gave us so much love right back. When we lost her, we knew we wanted to give another senior dog the same loving home to live out their days. It’s always hard losing them but so worth the love and life they give.”
With a hope to adopt a senior dog, the couple came to the Leslie A. Malone Center and came across the lovely Tess. “When we saw Tess, she seemed calm and was still very obviously a happy girl with a lot of life left to live and love left to give,” said Aubrey. “It was obvious in her eyes, and when we met her, we knew she was the sweetest girl even though she was anxious. We wanted to give her a life where she could relax and live out her days with lots of love and treats!”
It didn’t take Tess long to adjust to her new family and routine. Tess shares her home with Olive, a 15-pound dachshund mix. Despite the obvious size differential between the pups, they like each other, and Olive enjoys having a friend to hang out with around the house. Olive has learned to stay out of Tess’s way, especially when they are going out to the backyard and Tess gets so excited to zoom outside!
“It’s fun watching Tess get excited about walks, mealtime, or when we come home after being gone,” said Aubrey. “She jumps around like a young pup and makes the cutest noises! Every day, we laugh about her love of pets. She constantly wants pets and paws at us while we pet her as if to say ‘more’! Don’t worry; we oblige her!”
Senior dogs, typically those who are 8 years or older, need of homes just as much as younger ones, and thanks to adopters like Aubrey and Garret, who see beyond age, pets like Tess are spending their golden years in loving homes.
“Tess is a super sweet girl, and we feel so lucky she was there when we were ready to bring a new family member home,” said Aubrey. “We love her so much already, and we think she loves us, too!”
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