Abandoned elderly terrier mix needs a retirement home (Baltimore MD)
"Elsie" wandered into the yard of a friend of mine back in February... since the friend is afraid of dogs, I offered to come get her and hang onto her while we looked for her owners. Unfortunately, no one was looking for her... in fact, she was found right near a city park, so was most likely abandoned. The only response we got to signs hung around the neighborhood was from someone who had been feeding the dog on her porch for a while back before Christmas... so Miss Elsie was on her own for a while.
I had originally planned to just hold her for a couple of weeks to try to find her owners and then put her down, since it seemed to be the kindest thing. She was very, very confused at first and did not seem very happy. After a week or two, though, she warmed up a bit and actually started wagging her tail, so, of course, I couldn't bring myself to put her to sleep. I already have a dog and cats and live in a tiny rowhouse with slippery hardwood floors and stairs, so my home is not exactly the best place for her. I am hoping there is someone else out there BESIDES me who has a soft spot for animals like this and might be willing to let Elsie live out her days with them.
My vet thinks she is probably around 13 years old. She is mostly deaf, has some vision loss, two fatty tumors on her side, a heart murmur, arthritis, and maybe a bit of dementia. She also seems to be a bit incontinent in her old age, poor girl -- she can't "hold it" very long, and does best in a crate with a pee pad. Despite all that, she's pretty cheery and thinks she has somewhere VERY important to be all the time... her favorite activity is wandering in circles in the yard. She doesn't walk particularly well on a leash, so would do best in a home with a safe fenced yard and not very many stairs (I have three steps down into my backyard and that's about all she can manage). She DOES need a fenced yard because despite her issues, she can motor along pretty well and will just wander off into the sunset otherwise.
I haven't had any vet work done... just a rabies shot. I did get her groomed because she was REALLY shaggy and stinky. And her nails had probably never been trimmed in her whole life. I'm certainly not planning to treat her for any of her issues, nor would I expect someone else to -- I'm just letting her hang out as long as she can.
She is a bit snappy with strangers -- she never actually even comes close to biting, though, it's just sort of her version of "get off my lawn!" (Since she doesn't see or hear very well, she also startles easily and may snap if you surprise her.) Once she knows you, though, you'll get a bit of tail wag from her and she'll offer her head for petting. She's a cute old gal, sort of like having a canine Chia Pet... not terribly interactive, but cute to look at. She is currently living with a large boisterous pit bull and cats, and pretty much ignores everybody. She does very well in a crate and does not bark. She is pretty well behaved out of a crate too, but she will pace around in circles whenever she's not crated. So, basically, I let her hang out in her crate most of the time and put her out in the yard for 30 minutes or so several times a day, where she happily wanders in circles.
I know, this is a long shot... but hopefully there is someone out there who's as much of a sucker as I am? My Island of Misfit Pets is already really full, so another mouth to feed isn't really something I was looking to take on...
I've got an album of photos on Facebook, and have attached a couple of before/after pictures.
If she's circling, she may have an inner ear issue, vestibular something or other. That could be why she's so unsteady. Hope you are able to find her a place to live out her remaining days with dignity!
My guess is that the circling is mostly just because I live in a rowhouse with a tiny backyard... she wants to GO GO GO!!! somewhere (I'm not sure she knows WHERE...) and circling is her only option. Given the chance she'd boogie on down the sidewalk in a straight line, but I don't give her that opportunity!
She's very cute and endearing, in a grumpy old lady-dog way, so I'm hoping someone will take pity on her and take her on as a summer project.
Awww! I have a neurotic (or jumpy - take your pick), elderly Jack Russell terrier who is perpetually on the move. He can barely stop for pets before moving on...anywhere...just gotta keep movin'. To a degree, I think it might just be in a terrier's nature, although I've known some seriously lazy terriers, too. In any event, good luck placing her! I think she looked adorable (if not just a bit stinky) with her crazy hair.
I do not know your area, but it seems that everywhere now has rescue groups who will take in dogs in need of a home. Some specialize in the elderly and dogs with special needs. These groups are mostly all volunteer and work with a network of loving foster homes.
You might just fine one by calling your local pound (please do not take her to the pound. Dogs live in sterile cages and are afraid and shaking until they are put to sleep because they are unwanted. It is a terribly sad end for a good dog who has done nother to deserve it.)
SOME where a person exists who wants to make the last part of this old girl's life safe and happy.
Ace, it may be the terrier-ness... it's pretty dang funny, actually. She's like an old lady who's all mad that she won't be half an hour early to her weekly hair appointment... "You don't understand! I have to go! NOW!"
LHU, I don't really want to bounce her around any more than I have to... she is, honestly, not a very highly-adoptable dog, even considering that she is a senior, so I doubt any rescue group would take her. I do have friends with several local rescues who are helping me get the word out though. I'd prefer to just let her hang out here until I can find some other sucker... I mean, animal lover ... to take her. She is, fortunately, pretty easy to care for!
I also volunteer with the local (open admission, urban) shelter, and no, the dogs are not all scared and shaking. They get walked, they have play groups, etc. I still wouldn't want to send THIS dog there if I can help it, but they are not all bad places.
I'm not terribly good about checking back here frequently, so if anyone is interested or just has questions, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.