Naps were his main hobby. He couldn’t be an exercise buddy anymore. And toys didn’t float his boat too much.
But Walter still had so much to offer. The 9-year-old, low-key Australian cattle dog could be an amazing family member. He just needed some help in getting there.
Luckily, Walter had a whole team who wanted to make his senior years the best of his life.
It started when an animal control officer found him roaming outdoors. Yup, this old gent was trying to make it outside on his own. And that was pretty hard because he had bad arthritis and bladder stones.
The ACO knew that this boy needed an extensive amount of medical care and brought him to the Connecticut Humane Society. Walter would need surgery for his bladder stones at CHS, along with exams and testing before and after. So more members were added to his team of caregivers: a volunteer foster family who could give him a cozy home for rest and relaxation, and The Grey Muzzle Organization, which supports medical care for senior dogs, especially those from animal control.
Walter went from having absolutely no one, to having an entire fan club rooting for him! And with his long overdue medical treatment funded by Grey Muzzle, he was starting to feel better.
He enjoyed lounging on the couch and taking short strolls in his foster home, and even took up reading. “He would pull all their magazines out of a basket they had on the floor. He wouldn’t chew them—he’d just take them out,” according to the notes in his file.
His foster family soon realized how special Walter was. “We missed him when we brought him for surgery,” foster dad Mike said. “When I got the chance to foster him again, we happily accepted.”
And sometimes, your foster pet becomes…just your pet. When Walter was ready for adoption, everyone realized he was already home. His foster family officially adopted him.
“He’s now a member of the family. He can’t chase a ball anymore, his walks never last very long, and he sleeps a lot,” Mike says. “But he gives us a lot of love!”
There’s going to be more “Walters” to celebrate in the coming year. Why? Because the Grey Muzzle Organization has chosen CHS as one of 64 animal welfare groups among 288 applicants to receive a grant for medical treatment of animal control pets. The Grey Muzzle Organization, a national nonprofit, improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries and other nonprofit groups across the country.
When asked what made CHS’ application stand out, Grey Muzzle Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer said, “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re delighted to help deserving organizations like the Connecticut Humane Society make a difference in the lives of dogs and people in their communities. Many senior dogs in Connecticut are enjoying their golden years in loving homes thanks to the wonderful partnership between CHS and animal control officers.”