Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary Is Pure In Heart

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary is the purest-in-heart of all of our pure-in-heart favorites. The Tennessee sanctuary provides a safe, happy, playful home for a delightful group of dogs who, due to their age, would not otherwise be adoptable. Are you smiling through tears yet? Just wait til we take a look at their Facebook page.

Here’s the thing about having a dog: even if you have a puppy today, you’re going to have an old dog sooner than you’re ready. My dog’s aging, like my own, sneaked up on me. One day I was a 23-year-old law student bounding home from the shelter with a 5-year-old English Setter, and for the next 5 years she had all the energy of a puppy. My old girl turns 12 next month – me? raising a 12-year-old?   – and in the past few years she has retained her zest for life and youthful good looks, but gained a slate of costly and worrisome medical problems. Despite my pup’s certified status as a Very Good Girl (look it up, I’m sure it’s filed somewhere), if something happened and she landed at a shelter again tomorrow, I can’t be sure anybody would have the joy and privilege of taking her home. OFSDS provides a home for all the fantastic dogs who might not find their forever family, but deserve a full and happy life just the same.

There are a few tenets I think we can agree on: Dogs are good. Old dogs are very, very good. And people who take care of old dogs without a home are extraordinarily good. That’s why, if you ever find yourself doubting the presence of good in the world, I suggest you take a peek at the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary Facebook page.

I know, I know. If you aren’t already familiar with OFSDS, you might think it’s an online version of the part of the movie where the beloved dog starts to get sick and you have to turn off your TV (ahem, Marley and Me. And every other dog movie. You know what you did.). But it’s not! These dogs may be senior, but the page is full of these sweet doggos playing, getting into mischief, being doofy, and sneaking some cuddles. It’s about as life-affirming as it gets. Watching these canine senior citizens play is just as cute, if not cuter, than puppy videos – these are pups who have had YEARS of experience of being Very Good Boys and Girls!

Just look at some of the sweetness these cuties get up to:

Though not as renowned for this skill as cats, many dogs choose to fit into places that are too small for them then stand there looking derpy:

Napping dogs: cute. Two napping dogs: ARE YOU KIDDING ME, STOP IT.

I love the dog leading the charge as much as I love the one taking a snooze break right in the middle of everything:

The only sad thing about Mack’s blindness is sometimes I wonder if he has any idea how cute he is?

I want to be in this hallway of dogs. Dogway? Anyway.

First thing you see when you walk into heaven:

Good news! If you love Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary as much as I do, you can send them a donation on Facebook to thank them for all the soothing, cheerful dog pictures that we’re definitely not looking at during work hours. And if you live near Mt. Juliet, TN, you can even foster one of their darling doggos! If not, maybe someday you’ll be in the position to adopt an older pup of your own. I can promise you, owning an older dog is a brief joy – like a sunset or an ice cream cone- but the very purest in heart.

Rad 90s Dog Names: Pogs, Polly Pocket and More!

Chances are if you had a dog in the 90s, it’s dead.

But if you’re a 90s kid – someone whose main childhood years took place from 1990 – 1999 – you’re also now old enough to adopt a dog of your very own. Silver lining!

I’ve entertained the idea of getting a second dog – an idea that I’ve shelved for now because my 11-year-old puppy needs some pricey surgery. However, I got far enough to start mulling over dog names. I don’t think you can really name a dog before you meet it, but maybe you have a new dog and you can just tell that it’s a 90s dog. But not an actual dog from the 90s. Which, again, are mostly dead. If your new pup is giving you total pre-Y2K vibes, get a load of some of the 90s dog names I’ve brainstormed.

Lisa Frank

Because a great dog deserves to be named after a great dog artist. I actually had a dream that I had a dog named Lisa Frank which was the catalyst for this post. I may use this if any of my short-list dog name faves don’t fit my next dog.

DJ Tanner

Other Tanner family options that work are Becky Katsopolis, Kimmy Gibbler and Uncle Joey, which will always lead into a fun convo about how Joey wasn’t even really an uncle.

Comet would still be good, too.

Space Jam

For this reference to really *work* and make people think of the preeminent sports/animation/celebrity vehicle right away, you can’t name your dog after a Space Jam CHARACTER. You have to name it Space Jam.

Bela

Bella is one of the most popular dog names out there, but in this case your dog is named for famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi.

You could probably name your dog after Kerri Strugg as well.

Kerrigan

After Nancy. Also if you have two dogs, and ones a good girl and one’s full of mischief? Nancy and Tonya.

Spinderella

Please? Someone please?

Hallie and Annie

Only if you have two dogs, otherwise the reference is lost.

Pogs

I happen to think that it works better with the “s” on the end, but do what you wanna. Pogs the pug would be especially wonderful.

This is a great name for a dog that you think is really cool-looking but you don’t actually know what to do with.

Cory Matthews

Is your dog the lovable boy next door? With tousled brown curls?

The Rachel

You can technically name your dog just Rachel, but you have to use the article before it for this to be a top-shelf 90s reference. 

Mavis Beacon

Mavis is a great dog name AND Mavis Beacon is a great fictional typist. Obviously if you get a pet pig you’ll name it Mavis Bacon.

McCallister

Have to leave your dog Home Alone? And he always gets into unlikely, messy mischief?

Also you could call a boy dog Mac for short and a girl dog Callie so this is just perfect for any dog ever.

Polly Pocket

If your dog is tiny and compact, maybe you should name her after our favorite 90s choking hazard, Polly Pocket. I’ve already talked about how Molly is an overdone dog name, but for some reason Polly doesn’t get much play and I think it’s a lot more unexpected and cute.

Furby

Your dog already has fur, so right away this fits. It’s especially apt if you end up with a dog who doesn’t shut up.

Macarena

Macarena isn’t just an annoying pop song and an even worse dance craze – it’s also a girl’s name. Heyyy, Macarena!

Dunkaroo

If you were jealous of the kids whose moms bought Dunkaroos, imagine how jealous people will be of your dog named Dunkaroo. This has no basis as a dog name other than that it’s fun to say and also sounds kind of dog-ish?

__ Spice

You can name your dog after a Spice Girl, but I think the spice name has to match your dog’s personality. Like if your dog is intimidating, Scary Spice, and if small and fluffy, Baby Spice.

Carmen Sandiego

How dope was Carmen Sandiego? This would work great on a dog who was a runaway, is sneaky, or who is just very good with geography.

Zubaz

You can definitely call your dog Baz or Zubie for short, but if he’s stripe-y or sporty there’s no name like Zubaz.

Biggie Smalls

Too soon? It works equally well for a very big dog or a very small dog.

Pepper Ann or Doug Funnie

She’s like one in a million.

Or in the case of Doug, dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah.

Tamagotchi

I don’t like the sound of this as a dog name. But what I DO like is the idea of someone being like “I have to go home to feed my Tamagotchi.”

Wishbone

 

Last but not least: I can think of no better way to honor your dog than to name him or her after the greatest dog of the 1990s, Wishbone.

How (Not) To Go Running With Your Dog

Things have warmed up a bit since I wrote How (Not) To Go Running In The Snow, and upstate New York is beginning the slow, sloooow journey toward springtime. I thought now would be a good time to address the best way to go running with your dog. Or, at least, what works for me.

This post would not be possible without my number one running buddy, Harper. She is an almost-8-year-old English Setter. I got her from the shelter a few years ago, and we’ve been besties ever since. Well, I think she’s a 8-year-old English Setter. Due to the whole shelter thing I don’t really know much about her. Sometimes I think they just make stuff up. It’s like having a witness protection program member living with me, because I can’t really ever ask about her former life. Anyway. Running. Here we go.

(1) Gather all of your stuff. That’s probably like, some shoes. Now get your dog’s stuff. Collapsible water bowl, poop bags, collar, leash, personal identification, etc.

(2) Do all of the above in as stealthy a manner as possible, because as soon as your dog sees you wearing sneakers or holding keys, it is ON.

(3) Oh, shoot. The dog saw you. The dog always sees you. Watch as she prances and turns circles.

(4) Do any pre-run  stretches or warmups now. Oh I’m sorry, does your dog actually stand still when you are at the park or on the trail, and allow you to do lunges and arm circles? You’re cute.

(5) Wrestle the collar/leash onto your dog. My dog knows that I do not put her leash on until she is sitting in front of me. This is ostensibly to make her less wiggly, but actually because it is HILARIOUS. She gets so exciting that she’s trembling.

(6) Let the animal run to the car, because you will not run well with a dislocated shoulder. Wait, so your dog trots calmly at your side on the way to your vehicle? Fun.

(7) Watch the dog try to get in the front seat even though she clearly cannot drive. Nice try, pup. BTW, my dog rides in a crate in the back seat — I cannot recommend this method enough.

(8) Get to your destination, and start a slow warmup lap.

(9) Stop 45 seconds later. The dog is pooping. Backtrack another 30 seconds to the closest garbage can.

(10) Run for real. This is going well! The dog is probably looking up at you and dog-smiling and you’re feeling pretty great about your choices.

(11) One mile in, and the dog is pooping again. You are nowhere near a trash bin. No big deal. You run with the leash in one hand and the poop bag in another.

(12) SQUIRREL! Try not to get tangled as the dog lunges in front of you to chase a squirrel. Fall, probably.

(3) How many times can one dog poop? You may be out of bags by now. Try to remember to get one from your car and deal with this before you leave. Nobody wants to be that person.

(14) See an unleashed dog in the distance. Darn. Call out to see if an owner is there. You hear the most dreaded words a dog owner ever speaks: “ Don’t worry, he’s friendly!”. Dog owners who say “don’t worry, he’s friendly!” while walking an unleashed dog are, in my experience, frequently big liars. They just don’t want you to freak out by saying “WORRY! He’s an a-hole.”*

(15) The dog is… not friendly. Run faster. Hey look, you’re interval training! Cool.

(16) Change your route so that you won’t pass them again.

(17) Water break! In the 30 seconds you are stopped, meet another dog owner who wants to tell you that you are using an inhumane collar. This is inevitable because for every single kind of dog collar, from regular collar to Martingale to prong, there is someone who very passionately believes that (1) it is inhumane and (2) your life would be better if you tried the thing that their dog uses.**

(18) Start running again.

(19) Peeing? Ughh fine. Does your dog only stop once per run? Now you’re just bragging and frankly, I don’t like it.

(20) If your dog is a big panter/drooler, now’s about the time someone will make a comment about how hot your dog is. If you know that your dog is fine, a simple smile and “I know, right?” will do. Keep going. Around now is when I thank the lord that I don’t have children, because I know parents get this feedback but a million times worse (Always as well-meaning questions: “oh you’re potty training already?”/ “You haven’t read Happiest Baby on the Block?”/ “You bottle feed?”/ “Your baby wasn’t delivered in a Lake of Shining Waters by a nun and a civil war reenactor?”)

(21) Oh, come on — a family with kids. You’re not going to be running for a sec. My dog loves children and children love my dog, so I don’t really say no to kids who want to pet her. But I do feel bad that she slobbers all over them. Oops.

(22) Run for real for another few miles.

(23) Reach an area with water or mud. It wouldn’t be a proper run if you dog didn’t come home looking like a swamp creature.

(24) You’re done! Drive home with all the windows down because the air smells like dog breath concentrate. Also because your dog is probably fogging the heck out of your windows.

(25) Water all around! Then collapse on the floor with your dog. Until next time!

This was taken after H and I collapsed on the floor after a run. Pretty much how we roll.

*In case you think I’m oversensitive, my dog was attacked at a leash-only park while the owner stood by and didn’t get his dog. I had to pay serious $$$ for shots for her. And it was my birthday. Also as a child I was VERY frequently chased by neighborhood dogs that were guarding the drug houses across the street and next door to me.

** I’ll probably get judged for this too, but my dog is a puller. I got her at 5 years old and her habits were set. I have tried everything. Yes, EVERYTHING, even the thing where you give her liver snaps every time she’s doing well. No dice. Halti? Tried it. Gentle Leader? That too. I finally found a collar that works for both of us, meaning no pulling on my arm and no pain for my dog. Deal with it. [Sidenote, any Halti users hate how everyone thinks that your dog is muzzled? People treated my gentle children’s therapy dog like a vicious beast when we used that thing.]