Why do older dogs, often the last to be adopted, make big pets?
Alice May, inspired by a 12-year-old golden retriever, Lily, has created a senior dog sanctuary and has launched the Saving Senior Dogs Week, which runs from November 4th to 10th.
Alice May knew only a golden retriever named Lily for about four months, but the time spent together changed their lives – for the dog, the woman, and countless other older dogs.
In 2007, when Lily was 12, she landed at an animal shelter in Sonoma County, California. Many volunteered to take her and feed her for a Golden Retriever rescue organization.
“She got out of the kennel and kissed me,” Mayn, 74
Lily charmed Mayn and everyone who met her. She had the joy of living despite a host of health problems, including a nasal infection, eyelid tumor, seizures, and a blood disorder. She even survived a case of bloating. A photo of Lily rolling on her back sums up the dog’s personality said Mayn.
“It’s the quintessence of what it was: just a constant joy,” she said. “You know, life is beautiful. I may be very sick and very old, but it’s great. I love this.'”
Lily died a sleepless night in her sleep in 2008 with Mayn lying next to her, her hand on the dog’s heart. The next day, at six weeks of retirement, she had the idea of creating a non-profit organization to help save and bring back older dogs like Lily.
The name came immediately: Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary.OPen next Page To See More
It’s a legacy. The non-profit sanctuary spans five acres in Petaluma, California. The barn looks like a living room with sofas, rugs, and tables. Volunteers are on hand 24 hours a day to supervise dogs, most of whom wander freely and dedicated “hugs” spend their time doing just that with the animals.
“We think these dogs should be treated like pets and we get as close to them as possible,” she said. “It’s a happy place.”