In celebration of Adopt a Senior Pet Month and the thankfulness of the season, we asked everyone who adores an older dog (distinguished grey muzzle on full display or not) to help spread the word by sharing #GreyMuzzleGratitude on social media and with us. Is your dog the only one that appreciates your off-key singing in the shower? Does your dog hold the top prize in your household for best power nap buddy? Is your dog known for a particular antic that lifts your spirits every time? Whatever their joy-dispensing tricks or quirky traits, we wanted to know what makes you thankful for your senior dog. The expressions of gratitude came rolling in.
"We're so thankful to everyone who shared their stories of gratitude for their older dogs. Senior dogs have so many gifts to offer," said Lisa Lunghofer, executive director of Grey Muzzle. "We hope by sharing the winning entries, more people are inspired to open their hearts and homes to a senior dog who needs a new start."
Selected from nearly 50 entries, the top ten listed below (in no particular order) share heartfelt stories and photos of their beloved best pals.1. Millie
Millie is an 11-year-old rescue who is NOT afraid to "make her own bed and lie in it." Sassy and full of 'tude and makes no bones about the fact that she feels she doesn't get enough to eat by bringing her empty bowl to where ever her Papa is and dropping it at his feet! She makes us laugh (most of the time), and it fills our hearts to know she is loved, cared for and comfortable, after so many years of going without. We wouldn't change her sassiness for anything!
--Maryanne Lovallo from Georgia2. Mae
My husband and I adopted Mae when she was 8 back in 2018 from a local rescue. She has been the light of our lives with her "woo woos" for car rides and her sweet personality. Mae has made us realize that adopting an older dog means companionship, unconditional love, and pleasant surprises during the years we've had her. She has been a joy for us and we plan to adopt other senior dogs in the future.
--Anita Matejka from Texas3. Cooper
This is Cooper!! My beautiful blind 14 year old dachshund! He lost his sight 6-7 years ago and it's a privilege to take care of him. If I ever get the chance to get another adopted pet, give me the blind or deaf little ones…the perfectly imperfect.
--Sue Malicki from Ohio
Lola is a pretty thing. Her now white eyelashes frame deep dark eyes, almost like they are lined with eyeliner. She stretches out, dreaming quietly, front legs crossed demurely, a twitch now and then as part of a dream. "Are you chasing a squirrel, my sweet?" Yes, I talk to Lola, a lot. Seniors have a sweetness, and she has brought me joy every single day!
--Linda Azab Powell from California
I am so grateful for our dog Blue, who wandered into our lives as a young starving dog and picked us to live with. She has had a very strong will to survive even as a young dog. We have had her 10 1/2 years, and she is probably close to 11 1/2. My favorite part of the day is when I pull in the driveway. She is waiting for me, and barks to tell me I have been gone too long, then greets me with kisses. We treasure every day with Blue.
--Christina Beck from Indiana
We chose Midnight when he was ten years and eleven months old, and he brings so much joy. Adopting an older dog is our first choice as they have so much life and love to give and receive. Midnight walks, hikes and loves treats from his fans in the neighborhood. He cruises around in his basket on the bicycle and is a bit of a celebrity. We are grateful for Midnight and look forward to many more adventures with him.
-- Suzanne Bailey From Maryland
The journey to adopt her took 20 hours of driving in less than two days across 1,300 miles. But now Penelopea, our sweet pea, is home forever. It makes me so happy every single day to see her living beyond the bars of a kennel for the first time in her life. She LOVES being outside in the yard, running through the grass, and napping in the warm sun. All simple pleasures she'd never experienced before. Despite her age of at least ten years now, she never stops dancing through the house and looking up at us with an eager sparkle in her eyes. Senior pets have so much to offer and are so deserving of love in their golden years. Penelopea finds joy in every day, and reminds me to do the same. I'm so grateful I seized the day and embarked on a serendipitous adventure to add Penelopea to our family where she belongs. You're never too old for a second chance!
--Heather O. Hayes from North Carolina
[Watson] is not as fast now, and our walks are shorter - but he is still a bright, loving dog - even more so now than when he was an easily-distractible puppy. (Look! Squirrel!) As Roger Caras said in one of his books, there is a sweetness and dignity in older dogs that only comes with age and wisdom.
I'm thankful Odin still thinks he's a puppy. He knows how to make my heart melt. I fall for it every single time.
--Jennifer Cox from Oregon
When he went in for his neurology exam, the doctor said Luke had close to a 0% chance of ever walking again. And that he was too old — and the damage too dated — for corrective surgery. When we met with his physical therapist, she had a greater vision. From his enthusiasm and tiny reaction to toe tickles, she told me that she wouldn't be surprised if he shocked us all with his will to thrive. He started walking within 8 months of daily physical therapy. As his muscles and courage grew, we noticed a tumor on his hind leg.
He was diagnosed with cancer. Then, he kicked the crap out of that. The tumor removal didn't impede his mobility progress, thankfully. The under dog is always my favorite dog. Luke has clocked in thousands of wheel miles, fostered other handicap dogs, been a photo model, commandeered a forever spot in my bed, and proved that old dogs can have new adventures.
--Tiffany Perkins from Michigan