17 March 2014
“The older the violin, the sweeter the music.”
— Captain Augustus McCrae
In 2012, the first senior to make himself at home in the Hooker Horde arrived. Sunny was an all black toy poodle with Cushing’s Syndrome. His person was immobile and spent most of her time feeding him treats. Lack of exercise, too much food, and Cushing’s made Sunny a very sick dog. When his person passed away, her family took Sunny to the shelter.
Sunny went from being a companion to a senior and sleeping on the sofa to the cold concrete floor in the shelter. Fortunately, an employee at the Humane Society of Utah knew Sunny wouldn’t last. She called a rescue. The rescue called me.
He was a little dog with a big personality. His name changed to Mr. Sunny Sunny Bun Bun.
For ten months, the Bun rolled in a stroller, slept in my bed, and snacked on sweet potatoes.
When the Bun passed away, I told another rescue “If there’s another senior in trouble, let me know.”
I got the call on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013.
Timmy is a 14-year-old terrier mix without teeth, limited hearing, and a collapsing trachea that lived with a veteran in Salt Lake City.
For most of his life, Timmy helped his veteran. When his hero would go into dark places, Timmy stayed present. Timmy gave his veteran a reason to get up every morning.
In 2013, Timmy’s veteran suffered two dramatic episodes. First, in February, Timmy and his canine brother were left alone in the apartment for ten days. They did not have food or water.
Then, on July 9th, 2013 Timmy was found running around in downtown Salt Lake City on a busy street.
Timmy’s veteran was admitted for long-term care.
While it is a bit like Hooker’s Hospice, I’m reminded of Captain Augustus McCrae in Lonesome Dove. He said, “the older the violin, the sweeter the music.”
It is easy to fall in love with senior dogs. And, while it breaks my heart to say “goodbye,” I am grateful for the sweet music of seniors.