Boundless love from a senior dog

By | July 26, 2018 7:20 am

Introduction by Sharon Langford, Friends of White County Animals president

When Shirley told me about Ms. Templeton adopting the senior dog, both Shirley and I agreed that this story of compassion and generosity should be shared. I only adopt very senior dogs and people often ask how I can stand to lose them so soon. My response is always that the joy of helping them have a good end of life is the priority. There is no correlation between the length of time we have with a dog and how much we love them and there is such a blessing in giving these seniors a home. We hope that sharing this love story will inspire other people to adopt senior pets.

Story by Vickie Smith Templeton

The first of March I received a message on Facebook from Shirley Smith about a Great Pyrenees called Baby that needed to be re-homed ASAP or she would be going to the shelter. Her owner was in his 80s as was his wife. He had passed away and his wife was unable to care for her. Shirley asked if I would be interested in checking in with the family and meeting this beautiful animal. I said I would go meet her and take my other dog, Buddy with me. I am partial to GP’s as most know.

Buddy and I went to meet Baby on Tuesday, March 6. I heard her barking when I pulled in the drive. I met a family member, Donna, outside. Together we walked up to where Baby was. Donna said Baby had wrapped her paws around her ankles earlier that day. She said she knew she was lonely and confused. On the drive down there, I thought to myself “I don’t need another dog right now”. However, as I neared the destination I could feel my excitement growing. I scratched her head and her entire body wiggled. I reached down and hugged her and gave her a good belly scratch. I went back to the car and brought Buddy up to meet her. At first meeting they were OK, sniffing and a few low growls, but no aggression. I had no intentions of bringing her home with me at first visit, none. The next thing I knew we were trying to figure out how to get her off the chain or where to unhook the chain and just take it with us. As we walked to the car Donna said “she has never been in a car before and I don’t know how this will work”. I opened the car door, and Buddy hopped in and Baby followed and got right up on the seat. We could say this was love at first sight for me.

Donna was not able to answer any questions about Baby. Donna lived in Ohio and was in for her father’s funeral and helping her mother get things in order. One of those things was finding a home for Baby. Donna was crying when we pulled out. When we got home I walked Buddy and Baby to the pen. There was a chain wrapped around Baby’s neck twice for a collar. It took a bit to get that removed. After making sure she was OK in the pen I came inside. I called and spoke with the “other mother”. I asked her how old Baby was. She said she had been retired for more than 10 years and that they had Baby a year or two before she retired. She went on to say that Baby had been hit by a car and had been badly injured when she was young. Her husband found her laying in the road here in White County on Hwy 70. He took her home with him determined to take care of her injuries and nurse her back to health. She appeared to be grown or almost grown at the time this happened, so her age is approximate. The man who found her tried to find out who she belonged to but was not able to locate anyone. She has never been to a vet as far and her “other mom” knows. They never took her to once. By all appearances Baby appears to be in good health, but we will wait for the vet to let us know how all of that is going. She has arthritis in her hips and her front teeth top and bottom are worn. Other than the fact that she wants to bounce around like a senior pup (spring chicken to us).

All of my dogs have unintended names. They are either brother, bubba, sister, baby, or love. Not that Baby has a new name, we just call her Sister now. She is so very smart and is now a homie staying inside with me and Buddy. She decided her place is with me. Whether I am working on the computer, in the kitchen, or watching TV she is beside me. She started out sleeping at the foot of my bed but after a night or two she moved to the side of my bed. It would be fine with me if she crawled up in bed with me but so far, she has not done that. She and Buddy have had to set their own boundaries with each other. She is claiming me as her own and went after Buddy. I think we have that settled now. She has attempted to eat the cat food and I have only had to intervene twice, each time standing between her and the food. Since then all I have to do is say, “Sister, no!” As well behaved as she is, her “other father” spent much time with her and loved her. Other than being on that chain and outside all of the time, there is no indication she was ever mistreated. She is too well adjusted.

I had a dog that was half Pyrenees’s named Bear. I lost Bear the end of May 2017. He was my boy. We shared the same birthday. He would have been 6 this week. I couldn’t get another dog to just replace him as we cannot replace those we love with another. As I sit here and write this though, I am thinking about Sister and Bear. She lays under my desk where he would lay while I work, no prompting, that’s just where she settles or behind/beside my office chair and there she stays until I get up. Do you believe in God things? I do.

Closing by Shirley Smith, Friends of White County Animals Board member

This is such a sweet story about how Vickie opened up her heart and home to a senior dog that was about to be homeless. She has been such a blessing to Baby/Sister but in turn, Vickie is the one being blessed. Taking on a new dog was a challenge for Vickie but it has really filled an empty spot in her heart that she has had ever since she lost Bear.

It is so heartwarming to hear about how rescuing an animal can change a person’s life. There are so many cats and dogs in this area that are desperately needing a human to love and so many humans that could benefit from their love. Please consider rescuing a homeless animal. They can change your life.

If you would like to become a member (non-paying) of the Friends of White County Animals or help with donations, or by volunteering, email us at: . You can also visit us at: or follow us on Facebook.     your part to control White County’s animal population. Have your pets spayed or neutered. If you wish to have your pet(s) spayed or neutered and cannot afford the cost, the White County Humane Society can provide financial assistance. Call the Spay/Neuter Coordinator at (931) 935-8377.

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