2012 was a good year. I have had the chance to spend a lot of time with my wonderful dog Cleo all year. Each day she shows me how to give fearlessly while influencing positively the world around us. Watching her in action is impressive. This year she has shown me that though she is aging rapidly, she can still demonstrate the joy of a puppy.
She has shown me patience as I learned the art of insulin injections. Her blindness has only made her cuter as she walks gingerly through our home. Her loving behavior belies the aches and pains I know she has. Cleo's ability to handle ailments with quiet grace is astonishing.
There are many things I love about my dog. One thing that I love, is her capacity to give. She fearlessly gives her affection to other people, dogs, to strangers we meet on our walks. Since the day we brought her home, she has influenced us in a positive way.
Do you know one way the millions of Baby Boomers could use their powerful force to help improve the lives of animals? They could foster or adopt a senior dog.
Walking a senior dog, keeps you both healthy!
Living in San Francisco, the hills make it easy to get daily exercise. At the start of her walks, Cleo jogs down the street, before taking a sharp turn straight up a steep incline. This daily exercise helps maintain her weight at a steady 85 lbs now for two years in a row.
As a senior dog, it is important to keep excess weight off of her so we don't put any additional stress on Cleo's joints.
Read more about life with and the benefit of having a senior dog in your life
Our dog is an old dog. Some people think having an old dog is the opposite of fun. I beg to differ with them. Cleo couldn't be more fun and cute, entertaining and full of personality. She also still makes us feel protected with her booming barks, and watchful radar-like ears listening for trouble.
Just looking at her over in the other room, five myth-busters popped into my head:
Myth 1. They're boring.
Fact: How can you be bored when you have this face around keeping you in stitches?
Most shelter dogs are not broken, they are discarded. This is why many people and organizations care about making cities, states and our entire country, no-kill.
Compared to when I was a kid, more people understand that dogs we find at rescues, shelters, humane societies, and animal centers are there because a family or a person didn't want them anymore. We've made progress. Today more communities have rescues and family friendly animal centers than the cold, and brutal looking pounds.
Cleo is the face of a shelter dog. Read more of why we believe dogs are amazing creatures...