BY MELANIE ULLE
Everyone has that “one” dog in their lives. You know the dog. The one who knows the whole story? The one who saw you through some break-ups, some unemployment, some bad falls. If you’re a dog-owner, you totally get it. My “one” dog was Ella-Bobella, Pretty Princess, Piece of Pie. Don’t judge me.
I didn’t see her through her elder years. She died at nine. I wish I could have watched her grow really old and get some tumors and pee all over my house. I really do. I wish I could have repaid her for all the love she gave me in her very short life. I was like that shitty dude in The Giving Tree who takes and takes and never gives back. I’m trying to make up for it with my current pups. Probably overdoing it a bit, but fixing karma takes work.
There is a new way for us to pay it back! Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary (PSDS), provides senior dogs with a compassionate, forever home, at a veterinarian-supervised sanctuary. PSDS cares for dogs for all the days of their lives, including hospice needs. It’s the premier “dog retirement community” for canines who most need support. While you won’t find bingo or synchronized swimming at this sanctuary, their seniors have other amenities and supports that make PSDS a well-deserved luxury retreat for senior dogs. Dogs who become part of the Pepper’s family win the retirement lottery.
Right now, PSDS is hard at work constructing a state-of-the-art facility for these aging pups. In 2022, this organization will be a full-scale sanctuary. They are actively seeking and raising funds to complete a $5 million capital campaign. Imagine living your final years on a massive property with mountain views (totally lost on these dogs, I’m sure), spaces to play, and cozy indoor corners to snooze.
PSDS only adopts dogs from area shelters and rescues, helping to ease the burden of overcrowding at shelters. The ASPCA estimates that approximately 670,000 dogs who enter U.S. shelters each year are euthanized. Sadly, many of these dogs who are considered seniors and special needs dogs are prematurely or unnecessarily euthanized due to age, special medical needs, testing heartworm positive, or having a disability. At PSDS, age and appearances don’t matter – they’re specially equipped to care for elderly and special needs dogs for their entire journey.
Having met many of these dogs, it’s so inspiring to see how much spirit they still have in their later years. One, in particular, is referred to commonly as “F%^&ing Mabel.” Because, well, Mabel is a f$%^ing pain in the ass. I’m so glad there is a place that embraces Mabel with all her aging needs and complaints. I hope someone cares for me with all my idiosyncrasies in my elder years like the team at PSDS cares for Mabel.
If you, like me, feel compelled to give back to our amazing friends, consider supporting Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary. You can help give an aging pup a beautiful late life in a loving home through this link.Melanie Ulle is the CEO of Philanthropy Expert, LLC. Learn more at philanthropyexpert.org.