The Rewards of Rescuing a Senior Dog

Jan 21, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Lee Juslin

by Lee Juslin

About a year ago, Josie of Westie Rescue of NY received a disturbing call from an area veterinarian. Rory, a senior Westie, had been dropped off by owners who could no longer care for his many health issues. The vet told Josie, “If you can’t help, we’ll have to euthanize him.” Like all dedicated rescue volunteers, Josie couldn’t say no.


Rory day 1

Rory was adopted from a shelter by a well meaning, special needs couple with limited means and, although they received some financial assistance, they were simply not able to deal with his on-going medical issues.

When Josie picked up Rory, it was clear he was in bad shape with very advanced ear infections, skin issues, and digestive problems. The vet found a cancerous growth in one ear which he was able to completely remove. Rory was then put on antibiotics, daily ear rinses, regular medicated baths, and a new poultry free diet plus Kefir, a probiotic. After all of that, Josie discovered that Rory seemed to be having anal gland issues. The vet found a mass blocking his anal glands that was not cancerous, but he had to remove the glands.


Jammies for a boy with not enough fur

Rory lives with Josie and her family. “I’m known as the foster for seniors and hospice dogs, many of which are often unadoptable. I think this is the case with Rory,” said Josie. “He has become very attached to us and given his age and medical issues, I think he’ll be staying with me.”

Rory is a sweet boy with no aggression issues, but if you reach to pat him, he cringes and, when he first came into rescue, he was a bit shy and stand-offish. Josie believes this may be because he was hit when disciplined. Josie says in the year he has been with her, he’s become a cuddly love bug. He gets along with other dogs and one of his favorite things is to be wrapped in a blanket and cuddled.rory

Rory has a continuing battle with health issues. Josie has a supply of meds to use when his ear problems flare up, and she has him on a diet of rabbit for his skin issues. In addition, he is blind in one eye, has limited sight in the other, and is nearly deaf from his long untreated ear infections.

Although Rory is not adoptable and will happily stay with Josie, his situation has some lessons about rescue dogs. Josie says, “Never give up or be afraid to help a dog like Rory. There is help available for dogs with multiple health issues like Rory, and the reward for helping a senior dog or a dog with multiple health issues is worth all the effort. Rescued dogs often seem to know you are helping them and usually become very loving, cuddly companions.”rory

If you would like to learn more about New York Westie Rescue, volunteer, or make a much needed donation, check them out on FB or visit their website.

Website: New York Westie Rescue
FB : Westie of NY on FB

Check out more animal rescue & therapy animal stories in our Pets section.

Want to know how to see your ad like this at the end of an article? Email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] for more info. 10% of all ad sales goes to animal rescue.

Lee Juslin is a free lance copywriter living in North Carolina with her husband, Scott, and her band of misfits: Tarquin, a Wheaten Scottish Terrier, and three handicapped cats. They can be seen on their website: Hampshire Hooligans. She owns I B Dog Gone, a small embroidery business and is the author of the Nurse Frosty books for children and Frosty’s Story: Tales of a Therapy Dog. She supports a number of national and regional terrier rescue organizations.


  1. Really appreciated this particular post. I have always heard that it was harder to adopt a senior pet. But 25 years ago when I visited the shelter with the intention of adopting another dog. The gal was expressing her concern about a senior who had recently been ‘traded in’ for a younger dog. Which I felt was a despicable thing to do. But I did not realize until then how common it was. The black American Water Spaniel was so sad. It cut to the quick. They should be a life time commitment. Their love and loyalty is. The courtesy should be returned. That was when I started adopting ONLY seniors. So when people come in to adopt I think they should be told that the advantage of adopting a senior is. They are usually already well trained. You can tell almost immediately what their personality is because they have already ‘grown’ into it. And if you want to be a couch potato, most are ready to be one with you.

  2. Yay Rory. Sweet story, Lee. Love your articles.

  3. You’re stories are so well written and most have happy endings. This little guy was through a lot and hope the rest of his days will be filled with lots of cuddles and kisses.
    Enjoy your new life Rory!

  4. It’s nice to see someone willing to take on adopting an older pet. Unfortunately I hear about people trading in or giving away their senior cats/dogs all too often. I’ll never understand just giving up on your furry family member. Bless you for all the love and care you have given.


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