My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts By Laura T. Coffey/Photos by Lori Fusaro

Nov 7, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Every Other Book, Pets, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of My Old Dog, along with a link to purchase the book.

This is not a sad book. It’s full of hope and laughter with tales of rescued dogs with remarkable second acts. The only tears you’ll shed will be from laughing so hard and smiling so big your face has to let it all out.

There are some people, very special people, who decide to adopt an elderly dog. Maybe it’s one who is ill or looks to only have a short time left. They are sure the end is coming soon but want the dog to feel love for those last days. Often they’re surprised. Sunny, the dog behind the photos in this book, adopted by Lori, is still going strong two and a half years after adoption, at age 18.

Marnie, a Shih Tzu, has a million followers on Instagram. She’s met celebrities. Shirley rode by subway, train, and taxi to return with a smelly, growling and unhappy dog. Marnie was groomed before going home, which helped a lot. A vet visit resulted in fourteen teeth being pulled so she felt as good as she looked. Shirley took Marnie along to a Super Bowl party and that’s when she blossomed. Marnie is a party girl! book

Pit Bulls are often overlooked by adopters. Not so with three nuns from the Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine in New York. They set out to adopt the least-wanted dog in the shelter and that was nine-year-old Remy. It was love at first sight.

Speaking of love at first sight, that’s what happened between Einstein and George, Clooney that is. Yes, really. George Clooney, who could have any kind of dog there is, opted for a formerly overweight black cocker spaniel whose video he saw online. Einstein requires thyroid pills, eye drops and a special diet with added veggies to keep him feeling full without gaining weight. He’s not the dog for just anybody, so the rescuers were nervous about meeting Oh My God, George Clooney. Little did they know George was having a small panic attack of his own. What if the dog didn’t like him? The solution Clooney came up with is worth the price of the book alone.

Fiona, the dancing fool dog, is another success story. She was so weak that the shelter workers pulled her around in a little red wagon. She went home with Rita who thought Fiona would stay with her for a few months or so. Fiona had other ideas. With two other dogs as companions, a soft bed, and home-cooked meals, Fiona got her zoom back. She’s ditched the wagon and is dancing instead. Her front feet keep the beat in rapid time—at age 18.

Another internet sensation is Susie, a terrier, age 15. Her Facebook page, Susie’s Senior Dogs, encourages others to adopt seniors. In one year, it reached 200,000 followers and helped 300 older dogs find their new families.

Jeanne and Bruce Nordstrom, of the upscale store, rescue litters of kittens and very large older dogs. Duchess was one of many success stories—she came to them at age ten and, with acupuncture treatments, lived to be twenty-one.

The one story that might bring a tear,is of Bretagne (pronounced Brittany), the oldest surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog. Last September, Bretagne and her handler, Denise Corliss, returned to New York and the site of Ground Zero for the first time. Bretagne is 15 now, swims to keep limber, and works as a reading assistance dog.

This only covers a few of the stories in the book, all told with humor and compassion. The photos are fabulous, showing dogs at their best. This is easily the best dog book I’ve read—ever. It will make a great gift for the holidays but be sure to get a copy for yourself as well. You won’t want to let go of this one.

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Have you been inspired to adopt an older pet?

To enter to win a copy of My Old Dog, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Old Dog,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 14, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out more animal rescue & pet stories in our Pet Perspective section. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue.

You can use this link to purchase this book:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur”, included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.


  1. Great Review Sandy – I’ve always said that ‘Old Dogs are Gold Dogs’ – and this just proves it – can’t wait to read it –

  2. I live with 2 old rescued dogs. Of course when I got them, they were younger and so was I. My son has a third rescued dog living with him in Ft Worth. All 3 have grey faces, and they move more slowly than they once did. But, one thing they know – they are well loved.

    This book sounds wonderful.

  3. We currently have three rescued dog. Jack is 13 and his face and eyebrows and the fur on his feet are grey, making him quite elegant (he is a chocolate lab). He moves slowly, except when it comes to food, plays possum, except when he smells food, and must sleep at the head of our bed so he can see out the window, and commandeer the pillows.

    This book sounds awesome.

  4. We have a winner!


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