Would you rather have a few moments or days of over-the-moon, this is amazing or years of just OK? If given the choice, I will always choose the extraordinary over the ordinary. I’m all about quality over quantity (which occasionally gets me in trouble) but also explains my crazy love for adopting senior and hospice dogs and cats.
While sharing a long happy life with an animal is a wonderful thing (the best), providing a few years, months, days or even hours of care to a dog or cat who has never have experienced kindness, gentleness, or even love is just as amazing. Senior pets do not live as long, but they help us live in the moment. They may have health issues and emotional scars (who doesn’t), but they also have much to share about patience, forgiveness, compassion and the beauty of imperfection.
Adopting or fostering a senior shelter pet is a chance to rewrite the story with a happy ending – helping them leave the world knowing they are safe, cherished and finally home. You get back much more than you give and some pretty good karma to boot.
Adopting A Senior Deaf And Blind Dog
Dottie is a once-in-a-lifetime, feel-good, rewrite the story and make the ending happy, kind of dog. A dog who is so special, such a survivor and gentle soul, that she might just change your life.
Dottie was brought to Chicago Animal Care & Control as a stray. She was found on the city’s northwest side emaciated, deaf, and blind. Her nails were long and curled under making it difficult and painful for her to walk. She also had a hole in the roof of her mouth all the way through to her nasal cavity caused by rotting teeth and untreated infection. In spite of everything, Dottie holds no grudge against a world and humans that would abandon her helpless and alone on a busy city street. Dogs naturally and effortlessly forgive and this makes them extraordinary.
Dottie was rescued from animal care and control by MCP Rescue and Outreach and has been living in a foster home since April. She has had a dental and ten teeth pulled. Her heart and lungs are strong, but she definitely has some arthritis, doesn’t move super fast and occasionally walks in half circles.
Dottie is both deaf and blind. She acknowledges clapping, whistling and similar high-pitched sounds, but otherwise can’t hear. Similarly, she occasionally reacts to light and if she is in a dark room when a light goes on, lifts her sweet head. Like many dogs with hearing or sight issues, Dottie’s other senses are heightened. She can be sleeping at one end of her foster apartment, but when the food comes out, she’s up and making her way towards the kitchen. She’s a dachshund after all!
We will probably never know how Dottie ended up wandering the streets or how she even survived. Maybe it doesn’t matter how she survived only that she did survive.
Shelters are filled with senior pets waiting for someone to see beyond their gray whiskers, cloudy eyes, tired limbs, and bruised hearts. Some of these animals have known loving homes but many others have not. They have much to share and when given a second chance, their gratitude and love is immense. To learn more about life with blind and deaf dogs, please check out my post on Vinny, Treasure, and Vegas.
Dottie is part of The Specials, an award-winning blog series focusing on special needs pet adoption. Senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like Pits and black cats. If not for the courage and compassion of their adopters, many of these animals might have been euthanized in shelters or died alone and hungry on the streets. You can read more special needs adoption posts here.