Granny came to Smiling Dog Farms from the Carrollton Animal Shelter, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
I had emailed Joe Skenesky, the rescue-friendly manager at that shelter, about another dog who had been widely posted on the internet. Joe wrote back that the dog in question had already found a rescue... but would we consider helping Granny instead?
Joe described her as being exceedingly old, probably about 15 years old. She was missing some teeth and had one tooth placed perpendicular to her jaw, so that it stuck out from under her lip all the time. She moved her little jaw around when she ate like any other senior citizen who had lost most of her teeth and had no dentures to take their place! Joe felt she had no chance to be adopted and she was almost out of time.
Ricky's mom and dad have a studio attached to the house where they stay when they come to Texas. That is where Granny lived out her last days. Above, she is in Ricky's mom's recliner, which was Granny's favorite spot to relax. This picture does not show it, but she normally had a blanket on the recliner. And she would hide her favorite foods in that blanket. She was partial to "dinner rounds", a dog food with a slightly crunchy coating and soft center, which she could eat comfortably, even with her dental issues. Granny loved powdered sugar donuts, too!
Ricky often uses the computer in the studio, and Granny would usually sit on his lap while he worked. She had her own special bed.
In spite of her age, she got around very well right up to the very end. She had a lot of personality. Like any cranky senior, if you tried to kiss her when she was not in the mood, she would snap at you with her little toothless mouth and that one snaggle tooth pointing toward the North Pole!
Granny did not have a lot of time here with us. We lost her after only a few months. But her final days were spent in a place where she could relax in the recliner or curl up in her little bed... where she was loved, and held, and fussed over. When it was her time to leave, Ricky was holding her... she was not alone.
Granny's story is worth telling, because even the oldest, frailest of dogs deserves the right to die in God's timing, not at the end of needle. We appreciate Joe and his sensitivity toward the dogs under his care. Not everyone would have seen the spark of life still left in Granny, in spite of her advanced years.
Jay Hellerich, executive director
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