Switching beats to cover dog adoption and senior dog care.
His hair was once a rich black; time speckled it white. He once stood tall and confident, but he hunches over now. He used to run effortlessly, but the arthritis causes him to shake. He can’t see as well or hear as well as he used to.
He was found emaciated, dirty, and wandering the streets when animal control picked him up almost a year prior. They were going to euthanize him. There was no room at the local shelter and he had overstayed his time, until one day a spot opened up at another shelter, a shelter where I volunteered.
Jasper looks out from behind a chain link gate at the pairs of feet walking quickly by him. Some stop to look at him occasionally, but most do not.
A little girl runs over to him squealing and squeezes her chubby little hand through the gate. “Mommy look! Let’s get this one!” Jasper gently gets up and lowers his head to sniff her fingers, covered in Cheetos powder. His stub of a tail briefly twitches excitedly.
A woman in stilettos and overbearing perfume glances up from her iPhone. She scrunches her nose in disgust. “Oh no! That’s an old pitbull. Don’t you want to get a cute little puppy?” She shuffles her daughter onwards to the next kennel, where a crowd gushes over a puppy sitting in its own urine, gnawing at its tail.
Jasper lays down and places his head on his paws. If you listen closely, you can hear a soft sigh.
Most people have reservations about adopting a senior dog, especially a senior pitbull. Pitbulls have received a reputation of being aggressive. Senior dogs are underestimated.
After months of being transferred between shelters and foster homes, Jasper finds a home with an elderly couple who meet him and fall in love. Though not far, he runs, and though not as easily, he listens. Jasper plays excitedly, snuggles lovingly, and enjoys walks loyally. Jasper is the senior dog no one wanted.