Success stories

Connie (In Memoriam)

Connie (In Memoriam)

I remember when I first started fostering senior dogs with Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, I was told about their Hospice Program. Muttville covers palliative costs for dogs that arrive at their shelter with untreatable terminal illnesses. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I could never adopt a hospice dog!” Even after fostering a hospice dog, I remember being in such awe that there were people out there who could find it in their hearts to adopt a dying dog.

When I met Connie, it was love at first sight. My husband and I started fostering her in December 2019. She was our 15th foster dog and we had never “foster failed” before. We had been fostering her for about a month and a half when I received an email from the Muttville Vet Team – Connie was now a part of their Hospice Program. She was diagnosed with advanced heart disease and had fluid around her heart. They estimated she had about 6 months left to live. We knew there was no way we could give her up, and that she deserved to spend whatever time she had left continuing to experience the love and safety she had found with us so far. Although Connie is 13 years old, hard of hearing, and nearly blind, she has so much energy and has the biggest personality! She is a true testament to how much love senior dogs have left to give!

If anyone is considering adopting a senior dog, they should meet Connie! Connie reminds us every single day to find the joy in the little things and to cherish each day. Tomorrow is never promised. Despite her difficult past and her terminal diagnosis, Connie is the happiest, most joyful dog I have ever met. We spend every day giving her all the love and affection and spoiling her as much as possible. We take her on weekend trips to do “bucket list” things so she can experience as many new things as she can. We don’t know how much time Connie has left with us, so we truly appreciate each day that we get with her, and it turn that has reminded us to truly appreciate each day that we ourselves have on this earth, especially with the current pandemic. Connie has brought so much joy to our lives and the lives of everyone she has met. I will be forever grateful to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue for bringing this sweet senior lady into my life. She has also inspired me to continue fostering with Muttville and to get even more involved with this amazing organization. In addition to fostering, I also volunteer as a foster mentor. I will continue to do all I can to help this amazing organization.

Lisa

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Sugar (aka Marigold)

Sugar (aka Marigold)

We applied to foster at Muttville in Sept, 2020, and were notified that we could foster Marigold. The next morning at 8:00am we decided to adopt! We fell in love immediately.

We renamed her Sugar because she is such a sweet soul and has been a joy and a miracle in our lives in every way. She lives to love and be loved. The most amazing and miraculous thing is that my partner (a cat person) had never owned – or wanted to own – a dog, and we definitely were not considering adoption, only fostering. After Sugar had been here less than 24 hrs., Mary Lu brought up adoption. I would NEVER have believed, 7 months ago, that we would own a dog. One of the most wonderful things about the whole process is that she and Mary Lu are inseparable. Sugar loves me, but she WORSHIPS Mary Lu and vice versa!

Sugar doesn’t bark, doesn’t beg, doesn’t destroy. She loves all people and has become socialized with dogs during our neighborhood walks. While she was found as a stray, we believe that she had been owned and loved because she was never fearful or shy with humans. She learned everything quickly, regarding daily routines. She LOVES dogs on TV – especially Asta, in The Thin Man series, and tries to find a spot on the TV where she can get to them. She spends much of her day patrolling the backyard for squirrels or watching out the window for neighborhood cats.

Her digestion was great from the very beginning and, since she had a hysterectomy (her uterus was in very bad shape!!) and her bad teeth removed, she has changed into a lively, active, very energetic dog. She is perfect, and we are crazy about her, and about having her in our lives. Here are some recent photos from our vacation and at home.

I am a great fan of Dobermans – have had 2 in past years. Sugar is hardly the short-haired, long-legged dog I thought I preferred. But it is obvious that the universe knew how to choose for us!

Nancy and Mary Lu

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Cinnamon

Cinnamon

This is Cinnamon and we adopted her in January 2020 from Muttville. She has been the light of my life this year – wants to walk anytime. anywhere! She gets along with her older sister, a stubborn Spaniel mix.

And she is obedient and a great off leash walker. We are grateful that Cinnamon joined us in 2020.

Kerry

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Lulu (In Memoriam)

Lulu (In Memoriam)

We said goodbye to Lulu (formerly Za Za) on December 8th, 5 years and one month after we adopted her from Muttville. It wasn’t nearly enough time with her, but we are grateful to have had her in our lives for as long as we did.

Matt and I fostered a hospice chihuahua for another rescue. We had always had big dogs, but with that experience we discovered that we are also little dog people! After she died, I started casually browsing the Muttville website, admiring all of the lovely senior dogs. When I saw a tiny grey chihuahua with bright eyes and a pink tongue in a permanent Muttville salute, I sent the link to Matt with the message “I think we’re in trouble…”

When we met her and felt her rabbit-soft coat and saw her do handstands while peeing,the decision was clear. We snapped her up and brought her home. It took her a few months to adjust to being a member of our family. We would have big arguments with her about sleeping in her bed in the bedroom and not on the couch(we quickly compromised and she ended up sleeping snuggled up with her dad for years). She would stick close to buildings on walks and was not a fan of crossing the street (too exposed). But with time she relaxed and settled in.

Lulu’s extra soft and uniquely colored fur, funny little mouth, tiny size, and big personality got her compared to countless non-dog animals throughout the five years we had her, most notably when a child at the park declared “I want to pick up the mouse-dog!”(The mouse-dog hated children and did not oblige.) Despite her mouse/rabbit/chinchilla/cat/etc. labels, she was quite a dog and loved running up the hill to the park to then stop and sniff every single thing for what felt like hours at a time. She was the sassy boss of the big dogs and the humans in our house, deciding which bed and lap she would occupy when (frequently the ottoman in front of the space heater)and barking at us for her dinner, which earned her yet another nickname: tiny dictator. She was also the snuggliest little cuddle bug and everything she did was the cutest thing ever. We miss her so much. Thank you, Muttville, for bringing her into our lives.

Johanna and Matt

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Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa

I’ve always loved older dogs. Just like people, they get wiser as they gain more years in the world. I wanted a dog that might not have as good of a chance at getting adopted, and I know a lot of old dogs are overlooked for no fault of their own. So, we adopted Rocky in June! He’s the first dog my husband and I adopted together, and the first either of us has had as adults.

Getting a puppy or a young dog seemed like an irresponsible decision, as it is a much longer commitment. Of course, now that we have Rocky, we want him to live forever. Fortunately, he is quite healthy, and I do believe he will be with us for many years. He’s doing great and he’s such a sweet presence in our lives. His border collie instincts are strong, he herds us around the house and is only truly content when we’re all together. He’ll even realize when one of us wants the other to come to dinner and he’ll go and fetch the other person! He’s so smart!

He’s quite a vocal dog and will sing or grunt to get our attention to tell us he needs something or just to express himself. It all seems quite unselfconscious (we don’t think he quite realizes how adorable he is). He likes to be with us all the time, and if we are doing sit ups, yoga, or any other exercises on the floor, he will plonk himself right on top of us for cuddles. Exercising became a lot more rewarding! Lately Rocky started woofing in his sleep with “phantom” running and snoring now and then, it’s cute to watch.

He seems very happy and we don’t know how we lived without him. In November, Diwali and Kukur Tihar fell on the same day. Kukur Tihar is a holiday in Nepal where dogs are honored, so although neither of us grew up with this holiday, we decided to honor Rocky by giving him a tika – a red mark – on his forehead. We’re not sure how much he appreciated this honoring.

When I learned about Muttville many years ago and saw that Muttville specialized in senior dogs, I thought that was an awesome idea. I also heard from other people what a great organization it was, and we wanted to adopt from a responsible organization.

I’m so so glad we did!

Andrea and Siddharth

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Daisy (aka Darcy)

Daisy (aka Darcy)

Hi Muttville,

It was suggested that I send you a few paragraphs and photos for you success story profiles. Here is ours:

We love our little Daisy (was Darcy). Can’t believe it’s been over 8 months since we adopted her! She has such a fun, mellow, cuddly personality. She loves nothing better to lounge on our laps or keep guard at the window. She has allowed our other rescue, Tavi, to relax more as she she keeps an eye on things. Except of course when she’s sleeping, which is a lot – so we nicknamed her “Lazy Daisy”. We don’t think she got out very much in her previous home, but she seems to enjoy hikes and is a good sport with the longer distances.

It has been fun to discover more about her laid back personality; we love her big, soulful eyes, her prance like walk, and her clumsy ways of jumping. She has been a wonderful addition to our family and we couldn’t be happier.

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Julep

Julep

Hello Muttville,

Julep is doing AMAZING!!! Julep has brought such joy in our lives and is the sweetest little girl ever. Julep LOVES to run up & down the hallway with her sisters, especially when it gets close to dinner time & she is all fired up to eat. She loves food and eats like a champion. Julep loves her walks around the neighborhood and trots along with a smile on her face :-) Her newest trick is to climb up the dog steps to snuggle up on the couch. Julep is the best snuggler and has found her special spot in bed :-) She loves to be cuddled and gives so much love back in return. She has a great little personality and she fits right into our family. We can’t imagine our life without her. We just love our beautiful Julep.

Thank You Muttville for being The Best. The work you do is amazing and we are honored to be a part of it.

XOXOX

C.A. & Gayle + Julep, Ariel & Gaylee

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Homer

Homer

Homer is the sweetest dog ever. He loves to nap, to eat, to sniff the floor and everywhere we walk, and to meet other dogs. He can be stubborn: when he finds the scent of another dog in the grass he insists on tracking it no matter what. He loves to be pet gently on the head by anyone. He is deaf…except when I am in the kitchen opening a bag of kibble. Then he winds himself around my ankles like a cat. He never barks, he has some damage to his lower jaw due to previous infection. Recently, however, he has started to speak! He says “Wuff!” when he dreams, when he wants something, and when he has a complaint. Homer came to me already completely housebroken. He was named Homer by Muttville but he wanted to keep it. When I accidentally call him by my kids’ names he ignores me, but he perks up at the sound of his correct name. And it suits him! So Homer it is. Now and forever.

Eternally grateful to Muttville!

Frances Texidor

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Dusti Rose (In Memoriam)

Dusti Rose (In Memoriam)

Dear Muttville,

Our hearts are beyond broken that we are sharing the sad news that our little Muttville alum Dusti Rose (fka Kyla) got her angel wings last week after a quick and unexpected illness. We adopted her from Muttville in March 2015 and she was the love of our lives. She was blind when we adopted her and she went deaf in the last year of her life, but she couldn’t have cared less. She had so many friends and family that loved her dearly. She got to experience so much while we shared her life with her; she was in a tv commercial, she had a professional photo shoot, she was in a magazine and a newspaper, she went on numerous road trips, beach outings, stroller rides, dog festivals, the list could go on and on. She was fearless and full of life right up until the very end. Our lives have been forever changed by our little angel and despite the anguish we are going through, we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Thank you for bringing our little fur baby into our lives.

With much gratitude,

Lisa & Tom aka Dusti’s mommy & daddy

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Essie (aka Essex)

Essie (aka Essex)

Dear Muttville,

It’s been a year and a half since we adopted Essie (fka Essex), and we are treasuring each day we have with her. For the first couple months— while she awaited surgery on a mammary tumor—Essex was our Muttville foster. Although she was rescued with dozens of other Boston Terriers, she was bossing around the other small dogs at Muttville HQ and needed to be kept separate. We figured she’d get along at home with our own easy-going big dogs, but assumed that as “big-dog people,” we wouldn’t be so-called foster failures THIS time.

Well, it turns out that 14 (lbs) is just a number, and Essie (aka “the Bug”) is not the sort of girl to let size define her. She wanted to stay—and through the power of her big eyes and tiny smile, Essie always gets her way. While she’s happy to be a cuddly little lap dog, she also fetches like a retriever, eats like a horse, and snores like a bear. Everything the big dogs do, she wants to do. When our Golden Retriever goes swimming, Essie launches herself into the water after him. Throw a ball and she beats him to it every time. Early on, we learned that Essie is ball-obsessed (soccer balls, tennis balls…wool dryer balls). She chases them, chews them, and sometimes just cuddles with them—all while making happy grunting noises.

Whether we are relaxing at home or out birdwatching, Essie is always a perfect companion. She never seems to tire. Even if we’ve had a full day of hiking, she requests a half-hour of “ball time” before bed. But it is a polite request; in fact, she is the most well-mannered dog I’ve ever had. We haven’t had the opportunity to get her certified as a therapy dog, but when introduced to a friend in hospice, Essie snuggled up right next to her. Essie’s still got personality to spare, but she gets along with everyone, and is now much more relaxed around other small dogs. (She gives any little dog that passes her a hard Paddington Bear stare, though.)

Thanks to Muttville and Mission Pet Hospital, Essie’s mammary tumor is gone and her rotten teeth were extracted (she has only about a dozen or so teeth left). The vet also diagnosed her with a heart condition rare for dogs. This doesn’t seem to affect her energy though, and although it is tempting to coddle her, Essie has made it clear she wants to live her life to the fullest. We feel honored to be the ones to make that possible for her.

Kate

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