"We never forget them, they're always with us."
July 27, 2015 4:05 PM   Subscribe

Inside a Dog Retirement Home

Nearly two-dozen dogs are spending their golden years at House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary. Sher Polvinale and a team of volunteers at this Gaithersburg, Maryland, home spare no expense and care for the dogs' every need—from washing and feeding to medications and vet visits.
posted by poffin boffin (27 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
oh god it's five o'clock I really shouldn't be crying at the end of the day like this
posted by koeselitz at 4:07 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

yes this is my design
posted by poffin boffin at 4:08 PM on July 27, 2015 [11 favorites]

eh, it's better than crying at 9am, I guess. let's do this

posted by koeselitz at 4:09 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I don't have the constitution to watch more than snippets of this without going into sadness-rage, but well done to these wonderful people.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:10 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

House With A Heart webpage. I am donating now.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:11 PM on July 27, 2015 [7 favorites]

yeah, that was an unexpected sob right hook on a monday afternoon. well played.

I did love the little dog chariot contraptions tho.
posted by mrdaneri at 4:15 PM on July 27, 2015

Gonna donate now, turbid dahlia. Thanks!
posted by koeselitz at 4:15 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Read some of the residents' stories on the webpage. It gets a bit dusty...
posted by SisterHavana at 4:18 PM on July 27, 2015

Amazing group! I was on reddit last week when this was linked on /r/aww and their amazon wishlist was cleared out a few times over in the space of a couple hours, it was quite the thing to "see".
posted by jamesonandwater at 4:40 PM on July 27, 2015

Here in Kingston, we have Sheba's Haven, which is essentially a few folks who take in dogs for palliative care (it should surprise no one that many dogs are dumped at local SPCAs or abandoned because they are ill). I wish people who do this kind of work all the best in the world and people who dump animals for whatever reason a place in hell.
posted by Kitteh at 4:56 PM on July 27, 2015 [11 favorites]

Catherine at Sheba's is amazing! They take care of a number of my local beagle rescue's older, sicker dogs.
posted by jamesonandwater at 4:59 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's something about old chihuahuas and dachshunds... like the basic ridiculous of their doghood transforms into the most awesome crotchety old dogness and I just want to hug them all.
posted by fatbird at 6:31 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

In a better world, every elderly pet (and of course every elderly human) would have access to a place like this.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:16 PM on July 27, 2015 [7 favorites]

Just when you give up on humans, there are folks like these. Yay House with a Heart! Yay everyone who gives pups and kitties a happy home when they need it most. Sniff.
posted by maxwelton at 7:23 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

I need to go give all of them hugs right now oh geez
posted by phunniemee at 7:32 PM on July 27, 2015

I was crying and hugging my own senior dog as I watched, next thing I knew, I was buying them a gross of baby wipes. Not sure how that happened.
posted by msali at 8:42 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like the dogs I love the dogs
posted by Greg Nog at 8:46 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

We basically run a retirement home for bulldogs. Not on this scale, we typically have three at any given time. We didn't set out to do that but apparently some rescue folks have figured out we're suckers. It's hard to do because you lose them so quickly, especially this breed. But the pooches are just sooo happy to have someone to hang out with and we've always been able to significantly improve their quality of life. We take them everywhere we can, we spoil them, we treat them as the family they are. But they give us so much more than we can ever give them. Sometimes their backgrounds are heartbreaking. Sometimes it was just someone who loved the pooch but wasn't able to take proper care of it (which is sadly common with bulldogs.) One of the current ones is a former puppy mill girl, who is really showing her personality now that she's got a steady home. We had one that bounced to seven homes in two years before she landed with us. They've all got stories and they all deserve a comfy place to crash as long as they need to.

We're currently in line for a healthy younger one of the rescue gets one in (they know we've been ending up with too many urns lately), but until then we've got a lot of happy snoring and sone hilarious hijinks going on with the oldsters when they aren't sleeping. If you have the chance to give a senior dog a home, please consider it. Rescues have a lot of trouble finding homes for the older ones. They're never around long enough, but they're very rewarding. At the very least, support your local rescues, because they never have enough resources.
posted by azpenguin at 8:56 PM on July 27, 2015 [8 favorites]

There is nothing more perfect than a dog. Any time anybody asks me for my opinion of something that I really like, in my mind I say "Well, it's pretty good, but it's not a dog." Dogs should be everywhere all the time. Our streets and buildings should be heaving with happy dogs. You need to pat all the dogs before you are allowed to start work, but the trick is, you can never pat all the dogs, because there is always another dog, and so you never work. Human existence should just be: you're born, you pat about a billion dogs, and then you are dead. Elon Musk may make good batteries but what about the dogs? Even the word: dog. If thinking "dog" doesn't make you smile then you are lost. A dog utopia. An ouroborus of dogs.

posted by turbid dahlia at 9:30 PM on July 27, 2015 [21 favorites]

Cats are okay too but mostly I am all about dogs.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:31 PM on July 27, 2015

Cats are companions. Dogs are buddies.
posted by azpenguin at 9:35 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

cats love us, but they also love themselves very much. dogs seem to have more room in their hearts for us, maybe because they are less aware of how wonderful they are than cats are.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:22 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

i want to fly around the universe with a time bending spaceship and a clipboard and hug each dog individually
posted by poffin boffin at 10:23 PM on July 27, 2015 [12 favorites]

... inside a Dog Retirement Home it's too dark to read
posted by BinaryApe at 11:45 PM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh Lord. I held it together for the nappies and the walking aids but Stairway to Heaven tipped me over the edge. These are Good People.
posted by billiebee at 1:11 AM on July 28, 2015

These women are a marvel. I'm so glad they exist and they take care of these sweet dogs.
posted by MissySedai at 9:34 AM on July 28, 2015

Thank you for posting this.
posted by Sassenach at 10:32 AM on July 28, 2015

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