July 2 2015
The Joy of Fostering a Senior Dog
Carol Byers already had two dogs when she decided to foster a third. Byers, an active woman in her early 70s, set her sights on an older pet.
“Like most seniors, I’ve experienced loss and know how important quality of life is,” she says. “To give a senior dog an opportunity to live out life with a loving family, a lap to curl up in, a comfortable bed and tummy rubs, means a lot.” (A senior dog is one in the last 25 percent of his or her life; the average lifespan of most breeds is nine to 15 years.)
At a visit to Muttville, a senior dog rescue in San Francisco, a pug/shih tzu named Peggy caught Byers’ eye. Peggy’s owner had died.
“She was 15 and diagnosed with cancer,” Byers says. The dog’s life expectancy was another four to six months. Byers agreed to care for the little dog to the end, and the two headed home, where Peggy began a new life with a new name, Penny.