This is Lester. He came to us from Mississippi about a year ago. Although he is a handsome guy in his photos, they don't truly do him justice. He is a beautiful dog with a lot of personality, despite his advanced age. If you look very closely at the bottom photo, you can see that one of Lester's claims to fame is his left front foot with only three toes, not unlike a chicken's!
Sadly, Lester is an example of a classification of dog being turned in to shelters whose numbers have increased exponentially in the last couple of years: the elderly.
It is hard for any rational and caring person to understand how a family could just dump a dog who has given his life and love and loyalty to them for many years. But that is exactly what is happening all across America. Our elderly population has tripled since 2005!
Lester was a favorite at his shelter. You can tell, because he lived there for over three months, an astonishing longevity for a public shelter that usually has no choice but to euthanize in days or weeks, if a dog is lucky and the population stays low. Lester's Guardian Angel was volunteer Debbie Lowery who sensed that Lester had used up his time, and was coming to the end of the line. She made arrangements for Lester to come live out his golden years at Smiling Dog Farms.
You can see from the middle photo that Lester is an active senior who still enjoys a ride in the convertible -- in this case a 1965 Chrysler convertible that is actually older than Lester!
We found Lester some elderly friends... Dolly the dalmatian and Minerva the retriever mix. They enoyed each others' company and would lay in the sun together, or sit on their cottage porch and watch the goings-on at the farm.
Then Dolly died. Not long after than, Lester seemed to be moving more slowly and he seemed to have lost his
Jay Hellerich, executive director
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