Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon
100% volunteer    100% foster homes    100% donor funded


Julie's Story about Dottie and Betty

Dottie Not long after my dog passed away, I saw a poster from Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon (SDRO) looking for a home for a dog named Dixie. Dixie’s owner had died and Dixie was very anxious and frightened being in a new place. When I called SDRO to inquire about Dixie, they told me that she was currently being fostered in a home with a couple of other dogs, but she was fearful of both people and the other dogs in the home. Because of her anxiety, Dixie needed a quiet place to await her forever family. Unfortunately, all of SDRO’s foster homes were full. Since I was between dogs, I asked if I could help foster. I had a quiet place to offer Dixie, with just a senior cat and a wonderful husband who loves dogs.

We were just about to put the plan in motion when SDRO received a call from a family in Portland who wanted to meet Dixie. As it turned out, they were the perfect family! Dixie immediately connected with the boy and was so happy. Later I found out that Dixie’s previous owner was on the autism spectrum, and so was the little boy who became Dixie’s brother. It was magical and brought tears to my eyes.

Dottie As for me, I was missing a canine friend and still wanted to open my home to foster a dog. Senior Dog Rescue doesn’t have a shelter; all the dogs are fostered by volunteers in their homes. I realized they needed more foster homes.

A few months later I received a call from SDRO. Their foster homes were full once again and they needed help. The adoption coordinator sent me pictures of a 13-year-old border collie mix named Dottie—I could see she was a very sad soul. The woman giving her up said she would euthanize her if we didn’t take her. Of course, I said "YES!" So off we went to meet the woman in a parking lot at 7am to pick up Dottie. She was skinny and had a severe case of fleas, a skin infection, matted fur, and infections in both ears. She was a sad dog.

We took Dottie straight to the vet. SDRO paid for all the tests, blood work and medications. After the appointment I took her home and bathed her. She didn't seem too scared and she loved her bath. I gave her a good portion of healthy food and then a tour of the house. We walked each day to build her strength. After a couple months she was running like the wind, fetching balls, and swimming. Dottie is the kindest dog. She loves other dogs, kids, and everyone she meets.

Four months after I got Dottie, I heard her bark for the first time. I knew then that she was saying, “This is my home!” And I knew what this meant. I was a failed foster mom—I couldn’t ever give her up. That was almost four years ago. I have since adopted another dog, a 17 year old adorable fox terrier named Betty. Dottie and Betty are my best friends. These two girls are everything to me and they love each other.

Dottie People often ask me, "Why adopt a senior dog?" My answer is simple - "Why not?" These wonderful dogs have given their lives to make people happy and now their people (for whatever reason) can’t be there for them any longer. The dogs are in their golden years. I consider dogs to be a gift to us. They don't worry about how much time they have left. All that matters is the moment. "Right here, right now" is what matters. Making the best of each and every moment. It's the simple things that make them happy. A kiss, a hug, a treat, a day at the park, sunshine, good smells, or just snuggling. They want time with their people. They are soulful, easy going, loyal and affectionate. We can learn a lot from them and I think they deserve a second chance.

I often wonder what would happen to my dogs if I were to fall ill. It comforts me to know that Senior Dog Rescue would step in and care for them until they found the right home. The dogs at SDRO are all fostered and the foster parents know the personality of each dog. The dogs aren’t stressed at a shelter. We are so fortunate to have such an organization.

Please help Senior Dog Rescue give senior dogs like Dottie a second chance. Make your donation today.

This quote says it all: “Some people don't understand why my dog means so much to me. That's ok. My dog does.”

In gratitude,
Julie Van de Wetering (And Dottie and Betty!)