Hope For Shelter Seniors: Polly’s Story

By Anna V. Garrison

Polly goes camping with her new family

Polly (far right) goes camping with her new family.

It’s a sad fact, but it’s true: senior dogs at animal shelters don’t have a chance for adoption equal to that of  puppies and purebreds. It isn’t that these sweethearts lack personality or kindness; they’ve already had years of human experience and training, making for impressive resumes. However, many adopters, favoring puppies and young dogs, miss out on a great and unique adoption experience due to a dog’s age.

Polly, a 10-year-old, twelve pound Beagle-Chihuahua mix faced this problem when her owners discarded her at the Baldwin Park shelter, the same shelter she had been adopted from as a puppy. Despite this experience, Polly had nothing but love to share with the volunteers who worked with her at a United Hope for Animals Glamour Shot Day at the shelter on May 14th. Even the small tumor on her upper arm failed to douse her spirits.

In the couple of weeks following the Glamour Shot Day, volunteers and animal advocates fiercely networked Polly, along with her fellow shelter seniors. It was at that time that Kathy Blank, a resident of Sacramento, California, asked through the Baldwin Park Shelter Facebook page if there was any way that someone could bring Polly up north. She was interested in adopting her, and after a UHA Adoption Coordinator spoke at length with her, it was clear that Kathy and Polly belonged together. It just so happened that I had already planned a two-week vacation in Sacramento come the day after my college graduation on June 13th. It was too perfect to be luck – the great big dog in the sky was looking out for little Polly!

Almost two and a half weeks after Polly’s Glamour Shot, and literally the last day the shelter could keep her, I took a quick trip to Baldwin Park to assist in her jailbreak. Needless to say, Polly was grateful for the escape – she wouldn’t sit still long enough in my car for me to take a decent picture!

Polly with her new canine family members

Polly enjoying the some fresh air with her friends.

Polly spent the next two weeks settling down in my home as a temporary foster. She had my own two pups for company, but she seemed to prefer people best, proof that her species knows what unconditional love really means. It didn’t take long for my family to fall in love with this gentle senior dog, and they were sorry to see her leave.

In the early morning hours of June 13th, Polly accompanied me and my father on the 7 hour drive to our state capital. At first a little concerned at such a long car ride, Polly soon relaxed and firmly set her tiny body between driver and passenger in the front seat for much of the ride.  

Polly tackles the Continental Divide

Polly and friends visit the Continental Divide.

Come the end of our trip, Polly was glad to emerge from the car and bound into the arms of her new forever owner! Of course, there was some adjustment time needed as Polly had to accept two new siblings into the deal, but it didn’t take very long for this senior girl to act as though she had always made berth in sunny Sacramento.

But why should you believe me? Take a look at these pictures of Polly’s adventures with her new family and tell me that Polly hasn’t found a place better than heaven!