Today would have been Woody's birthday.
Woody was 10 years old when he was dumped at the Burlington county (NJ) SPCA back in December 2007. Seeing his "rescue me" photo for the first time being sent through the e mail chain made me stop and take notice. What stood out to me was that he was obviously scared, but still very calm and collected. The poor boy didn't know he didn't have much time.
Two days past when a second e mail came through about him. He was urgent, but there were no takers. I couldn't stop thinking about him and what would become of him, but was hesitant to take him because the timing was the worst with already so much going on in my life at the time.
Maybe it was a knee jerk reaction, but I agreed to take him. I didn't know him from the next dog, but there was already a connection just through his picture. There was something special about him, and I wasn't going to let him die that day.
Woody went on to live a happy life for 3 + years before he succumb to Degenerative Myelopathy surrounded by people and fur friends who loved him dearly. He was spunky yet loved laying on his pillow, Courageous, but needed to be cuddled at times, funny, but also very serious. His loyalty however, was unwavering to our family which he had become a huge part of.
It is in his honor that Woody's Place ~ Senior German Shepherd Sanctuary was founded in 2011 shortly after his passing. Woody taught us that abandon SENIOR German Shepherds/dogs deserve a chance to get a loving home too. They ARE just as deserving as their younger counterparts, and they are beyond grateful.
Some say it's not easy rescuing a senior because they are just going to die soon. That may be true in some cases, but not all. Still, the rewards you get by giving yourself to a pet that has most of his days behind him are two many to list. I don't know one person who has regretted opening their heart and home to a senior dog.
If you are on the look out to adopt a German Shepherd, or any pet for that matter, consider a senior. They have life left and love to give too.
Although Woody has left this earth, he will never leave my heart. <3