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Peanuts 6728
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String Bean 6768
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Scrunchie 7567
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Connie 7547
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Margaret 7563
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Margaret 7563
Flashdance 7568
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Jazzercise 7562
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Sriracha 7548
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Success stories

Coco

Coco

Not only was Coco special to her family, she also holds a special place in the history of Muttville. Read in the words of her dad Dale how Coco came to be a part of our founder Sherri’s destiny. Thank you Dale for sharing her story.

Coco came to us via a neighbor, Sherri Franklin, on Potrero Hill who volunteered extensively at the SPCA. They have an agreement with SF Animal Care and Control to take adoptable dogs into their no-kill system, provided they judge them to be adoptable. Dogs that they do not accept are returned to ACC for euthanasia. She was about 10 months at the time and had been loose on the streets of SF for as much as 3 months by the time she was picked up and had an extreme aversion to people and could not be shown. In addition she had radiological evidence of dysplasia. Sherri believed that after some time at her house with other dogs she might calm down enough to tolerate being shown. It was at that time that she approached us to accept her on a foster program largely on the strength of the physical resemblance between Coco and our older lab-shepard mix, Ryker.

The two dogs got on quite well right from the start. However she could not tolerate any human attention, so much so that even leashing her for a walk was traumatic enough to cause her to fire her stink glands. But thankfully that only lasted a week or so and she began to settle into a routine with us, always keeping her distance with Ryker between us and her.

After a few weeks, she suddenly became playful with Ryker and would regularly engage her in puppy play, much to our surprise and Ryker’s puzzlement. But they worked it out and became good littermates. She also was eventually wooed by the treats and learned to at least accept being handled if not actually enjoy it.

She was quite the streetwise dog. On a few occasions while up at the Rec Center on the hill, she decided to go home without us. The first couple times she went to Sharri’s but finally accepted that our house was her new home. It scared us to death each time it happened but eventually she trusted us enough to obey us, at least most of the time.

Ryker and Coco had a regular dog walker in SF since we both worked. The first one took summers off to develop a spay-neuter program in Indonesia and arranged a substitute. Our regular walker only brought them up the hill to our local park but on the eve of starting her substitute walking she announced that she would take them to another park on Bernal Hill. She lost control of her and she bolted and wouldn’t return. We searched for hours, with Sherri’s help, but could not find her. Miraculously she found her way from Bernal Heights to our doorstep by 5 am the next morning, nails ground down to the quick, filthy dirty, but happy to be back.

Our second walker, Joe, had a similar experience when he took her to Fort Funston. It was a few days before July 4 and during the walk she heard a bunch of firecrackers go off, something that she has always been deathly afraid of. She bolted and would not come out for him. He tried valiantly to find her but no luck. We were certain it was the end of her since there was no way she could navigate from Fort Funston to Potrero Hill on the opposite side of town. But like some Phoenix, when Joe did his morning round in the park she came out of hiding and gladly rejoined his pack. So this dog was well on her way to having as many lives as a cat.

Coco had a very distinct personality. Perhaps it was the chow or perhaps there was some other breed in there but she could be very intimidating when she wanted to. Twice I had friends over and had to leave the room and asked them to just wait for me on the couch. Coco, for whatever reason, decided that they were expected to just sit there and would watch them. If they tried to get up from the couch, she would utter a deep guttural growl and not move a muscle. It was enough to keep them seated until I returned. The first time I was certain it was exaggeration but the second account was identical and neither person was inclined to exaggerate. She was never aggressive but she seemed to take a great delight in intimidating people.

Ryker passed, we moved from SF to Sacramento and Coco seemed happy as the sole dog in the house. But Steve felt that she needed company so we got a pure lab (American) that was named Nugget. Despite being a rambunctious 6 month old male, she immediately told him who was boss in the house and proved she meant business. He has been her adoring brother since 2006 and only stopped trying to play with her a couple months ago.

Despite the radiological evidence of dysplasia, Coco never had mobility trouble until her 13th winter. Then it became clear that the cold, damp mornings caused her stiffness. But she always rallied for the afternoon walk and as soon as the worst of the winter was past, he was back to her old perky self.

This past year she was finally diagnosed with kidney failure and she began to lose weight. But is hardly dampened her spirits. For a time we were giving her pills for her arthritis but we found that they upset her stomach and caused her to stop eating. It was either some joint pain or a fast death so we stopped the pills and she rallied again. Then the symptoms of Cushing’s disease started to appear.

Our older dog Ryker had died of complications of Cushing’s so we knew the symptoms well; incontinence, constant drinking, aggressive behavior, panting, and weight loss. Since she already had kidney failure, was 14 years old and would not likely tolerate the aggressive treatment for Cushing’s, we opted to just treat the symptoms and make her comfortable. But then about a month ago she started going downhill very rapidly. First she refused walks, then a few days later, had trouble walking. She has gotten to the point that she cannot stand by herself and can barely walk. And she sleeps 20 out of 24 hours in the day.

For a dog that was so close to being put down for behavior, and health problems, she has had a remarkable life with us. She had been sweet and attentive and required no vet visits beyond routine shots till last year. She’s been a companion to Nugget as well. We miss her already.

The most remarkable part of Coco’s story is that she was part of a career change for our neighbor, Sherri. She went on to found Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco.

Thank you for reading Coco’s story and thank you to Sherri for bringing this remarkable dog into our lives.


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

Axel

Axel

This story certainly pulled our heart strings. Thank you to Rhonda for sharing this tender story of healing and happiness that little Axel brought to their family:

February 23, 2013 was a special day. It was the day that Axel (formerly known as Schroeder) joined our family! 2013 started off to be a very difficult year for our family, filled with loss and sadness. One such event was the passing of our beloved Rocky, which not only broke our hearts but took a toll on our little Ricky as well. We were very fortunate to cross paths with Muttville 2 1/2 years ago when we adopted Ricky to be a companion to Rocky after the passing of his best friend, our Golden Retriever, Goldie. Ricky has brought nothing but joy to our family since that first Thanksgiving day when we brought him home. Over the past two years, he provided comfort and companionship to our aging Rocky, who lost both his sight and hearing. After the passing of Rocky, Ricky became despondent and was not the same happy boy he had always been. Once again, we turned to Muttville. This time it was the profile and story of Schroeder that tugged at our heartstrings. Found sick and starving on the streets of Stockton, he was literally saved from the euthanasia table by Muttville. While he was described as a mini schnauzer, it was difficult to see that with his thin, sparse coat and very thin frame…and yet we were told how much better he looked and how much weight he had gained! In spite of all that he had been through, Axel was a sweet, gentle boy who badly needed a family of his own. In the short time he has been with us, he has blossomed into a very handsome and happy boy. He has not only provided companionship to our Ricky, but has brought much needed energy and life in to our home. Who rescued who? Once again, thank you Muttville…we can not imagine life without our boys!

Sincerely,

Rhonda


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

Izzie

Izzie

This lovely senior lady came to Muttville from a shelter that told us she was likely a hospice case who needed a loving place to live out her final days. Nothing could be further from the truth! Izzie (formerly Miss Trudy) is healthy and thriving, thanks to mom Stephanie! Read her story, then sit back and smile!

Our Izzie girl has been with us a year now! Since we met her in the park in Bakersfield (where she was brought by transport volunteer, Whitney) she has been a go-getter who is always ready to try out another adventure. The former Miss Trudy and her younger ‘big brother’ Porter both travel well and most recently enjoyed a camping trip to the Mojave National Preserve. Izzie is on board with hikes of a few miles or less – for longer hikes she stays at home to watch over the cats and rest up for her next adventure.

One of her favorite treats are Ice Pups. The powder to make these freezer tray treats came with the Honest Kitchen care package she arrived with, and they are especially favored by both of the dogs during hot days here in the desert.

Thanks to Muttville for all you do and for bringing Izzie to our desert home.


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

Bailey

Bailey

Thank you to dad Ryan for letting us know how much Bailey is loved!

I fell for Bailey right away after adopting her last November, and it didn’t take long for me to have gotten much more attached to her, much more quickly, than I expected. She is as sweet as can be, and I truly feel like our bond and relationship goes both ways – she is getting the love and care she deserves, and I’ve gotten a great companion who has made me a better person.

Thank you and your organization, including your foster network, for the work that you do to help all of the great senior dogs who are in situations similar to Bailey’s last year. Your work makes a great difference for canines and humans alike!

Best regards,

Ryan


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

Helen

Helen

Our founder and Executive Director, Sherri Franklin, lost her own Muttville sweetheart, Helen, last week. Please join us in our tribute to a very special lady…

“I had to say goodbye to my beautiful big girl, Helen Belly. So so hard, but it was her time and her suffering is over. When I picked her up 3 years ago at Berkeley Animal Services, she had no hair and her skin was oozing. I fell in love and made it my goal to let her know that she was was loved. I remember how she liked to grab the leash and walk me and would jump in anyone’s car, especially if the person was sitting in the driver’s seat. I will miss curling up in her bed at night to read. I miss you, sweet Helen. I hope you are running free without pain and saying hello to some of your brothers and sisters that shared my house. Sail away, angel…"

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'.

Felix

Felix

At Muttville, we are lucky to have several amazing, selfless people we call fospice parents. They offer foster homes to our dogs who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. One such fospice parent is Kay, who wrote this endearing story about her fospice boy named Felix:

After living with many senior dogs, my husband and I decided we would like to become fospice volunteers for Muttville. In most shelters, terminally ill animals are euthanized right away even if there is still some quality of life left for them. Not at Muttville; Sherri and team take these dogs and offer them a loving environment until it’s time for them to say goodbye. Every dog we have received into our home has instantly settled into our routine and has absolutely blossomed. Some have even lived longer than originally thought. Our current success story is Felix, a wonderfully, sweet, gentle and loving little soul. He arrived about one month ago and was a little shy and very skinny. He is already gaining weight, he runs around after our other dogs with his little tail constantly wagging. He stands and whines at the side of the bed until I pick him up and he takes his rightful place, right between Dave and me. He loves the beach and strolls along sniffing at every piece of seaweed he can find. He is a favorite at work and spends time with my coworkers who spoil him with treats all day long. If you think fospice work is not for you, I encourage you to think again. Making sure a dog has the best possible end-of-life care you can possibly provide is the most rewarding thing you can do. It’s life changing.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

Hazel

Hazel

Thanks to Mutt dad and veterinarian Dr. Art Colyer for writing a loving tribute about his Muttville success story Hazel. It was also published in Honest Horses Magazine in September 2012:

I am often amazed at the extent to which some people will go for the benefit of pets and even more amazed when someone’s generosity benefits an animal with which their relationship is only temporary. My wife and I are parents to Hazel, a 12-or-so-year-old Chihuahua mix that was found last year running loose in the Bay Area. Muttville took her in and she was soon placed in a foster home. Unfortunately, over the course of just a few weeks she was diagnosed with severe progressive cataracts in both eyes which quickly rendered her completely blind. The wonderful doctors at Veterinary Vision felt that her eyesight in one eye could be restored surgically with a lens transplant so her foster parents signed her up for the $3500 the surgery and in no time Hazel could see once again.

We heard about and saw a photo of Hazel and decided to make the trip to San Francisco to meet her. She immediately reminded us of our elderly dog, Humphrey, who had recently passed. We were cleared as a suitable long term home for Hazel and we took her home. She is a delight! She has fit into our menagerie without a ruffle, and she has adopted our lifestyle as though she had been with us our whole life. She’ll hike with our pack on occasion as far as five miles, never balking or complaining. Being older, she sleeps a lot making her wonderful to travel with or keep under the desk on her bed at our veterinary clinic.

I often say that one of my favorite things about being a vet, aside from working with animals and the people that care for them all day every day, is seeing the best side of people most of the time – the side of people that is so willing to give with little regard for repayment. Hazel is a great example of this kind of “paying it forward”. Thanks to all the foster parents who give so much to help Muttville dogs find their perfect “forever home”.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

Cubby (a.k.a. Cub 1471)

Cubby (a.k.a. Cub 1471)

Thanks to mom Carole for giving us this happy update on her Muttville boy, Cubby!

Muttville dogs get younger when getting lots of love and TLC. According to Cubby, “I have been drinking as much water as I can tolerate the last month. I am certain that our water taps into the Fountain of Youth. What else could it be?”

Our rescue dog Cubby, from Muttville on 2/4/13 keeps getting healthier and spry.

Our senior boy is off his pain meds (remaining on 1 anti-inflammatory) and he climbs 16 stairs several times a day. He even manages to find a way to maneuver down the stairs. He still ambles along on our walks but we have added distance. I am not certain but I could have sworn I saw him wink at me.

We are blessed.


If you adopted a Muttville dog, we would love to feature you in an upcoming ‘Success Story’. Please contact success_stories@muttville.org with the Subject line ‘Success Story’

You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

Misty

Misty

The Muttville family honors the one and only Misty Kay Mabelline, who left this world on her own terms (that is so Misty!) Although we are saddened by her loss, Joe’s story will make you laugh and cry:

Four years ago this month, Sherri Franklin from Muttville placed a small dog in my hands. Her name was Misty Kay Mabelline and she was our first foster dog. Misty some might say was an odd looking dog; her tongue permanently hung out to one side, she had big, almost bulging eyes and her back legs were longer than her front, giving her an odd little walk, almost like she had high heels on her back legs. But to me she was perfect! It wasn’t long before I decided Misty belonged with us, something Rafael didn’t know for a few weeks, and soon she became a permanent part of the family. Misty wasn’t what you would call an affectionate dog; she preferred attention on her terms, didn’t want to be held or petted and loved to eat – probably the reasons I felt such a bond with her. But Misty literally brought a smile to our faces daily. If it wasn’t her oddly powerful bark that actually caused her front legs to leave the ground, it was her scrappiness with the other dogs. Yes, she was the smallest but no one challenged Misty Kay!

Misty’s health rapidly declined over the last two days and we knew it was time. Knowing she hated the vet’s office more than anything we arranged an “in-home” euthanasia to make her last moments less stressful. The appointment was set at 3:30. We had to do a quick errand at noon and at 1pm our cleaning lady called to say “Misty died”.

We are deeply saddened at losing Misty, but then I think of my scrappy little girl and how appropriate it is that she left this earth on her terms, almost to say “No you are not putting me to sleep at 3:30, I’m going when I want.” And she did.

She will always be in my heart.


If you adopted a Muttville dog, we would love to feature you in an upcoming ‘Success Story’. Please contact success_stories@muttville.org with the Subject line ‘Success Story’

You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

Our Unique Winston

Our Unique Winston

One of our most recognizable senior rescues, Winston! Thank you mom Tricia for sharing his story.

Oh, Winston. You are: hungry, happy, waggy, ridiculous, hungry, sweet, grumpy, hilarious, hungry, adorable, cute, impatient, hungry, endearing, charming, resilient, hungry, spunky, excitable, friendly, hungry and, without a doubt, unique.

When I first saw Winston on Muttville’s website in June of 2011, I was immediately smitten. I had never seen a dog quite like him before. Or since.

I still get a little sad when I think about his kennel card from the shelter he was at before coming to Muttville. STRAY HOLD ONLY – NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ADOPTION. Yeah, he’s old. Yeah, he’s got two teeth. Yeah, he’s got some health issues. Yeah, he seems pretty pathetic at first glance. I’m just so grateful that Muttville saw past all of that. It’s now two years later and he’s more excitable and spunky than either of my other two Chihuahuas, both of whom are considerably younger.

Winston is so unique in both appearance and personality. He’s been compared to a lemur, a sugar glider, a sloth, a badger. He does not, however, resemble an American Water Spaniel, which is what came up in his DNA test. I’m pretty sure Winston would sink like a stone if submerged in water.

I met my boyfriend after Winston entered my life. He has never been a big animal person and definitely not a Chihuahua aficionado. Winston has changed all that. He recently mentioned that he can’t believe that Winston was in foster care for four whole months prior to me adopting him. “I can’t believe that people weren’t lining up to adopt a dog like him.” I can’t believe it either. I was the lucky one.

I know that it is not uncommon for people to be quite incredulous at the idea of adopting a senior dog, especially one like Winston. They are put off at the idea of becoming attached to something that, most likely, won’t be around for a terribly long time. I’m of the opinion that it’s a very selfish way to look at it. Is the prospect of being upset at the passing of a pet more important than giving that pet a good life? Your feelings are more important than saving an animal’s life? Really!? I don’t think so. I’ve been through it before and I know what it’s like. I know that when it’s Winston’s time to go, the pain will be nearly unbearable. But it will be bearable. Just bearable enough to offer a home to another senior dog that got dealt a bad hand in life.

And yes, Winston is always hungry.


If you adopted a Muttville dog, we would love to feature you in an upcoming ‘Success Story’. Please contact success_stories@muttville.org with the Subject line ‘Success Story’

You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

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'.

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