The Best of Both Worlds

August 10, 2011  

A family finds a senior pit bull is the perfect addition to their household

By Heather Hoffman

After our 15-year-old Border Collie/Spaniel mix, Meme, died in December 2009, we weren’t sure we were ready to get another dog.

Our first fur baby, Gershwin (Border Collie/Corgi) was already 10, and we thought maybe it was just better for everyone to stay with one dog for the duration of his life. A year and a half later we attended the 2011 PAWSSF event and met Sherri Franklin and some canine representatives from Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, including an approximately 10-year-old Staffordshire Terrier/pit bull mix named Junebug.

It was love at first sight.

We had thought about getting a pit bull puppy at some point, but with two kids at home and a resident senior dog, I just wasn’t ready to take on the energy and training needs.

My husband and I spent some time playing with Junebug and walking her around the event (she made straight for the kitchen door – the woman has her priorities straight!), and finally decided that we’d at least try a foster situation, if only to give her a home environment for some period of time. Our main concern was that she had arthritis, and we had stairs that she’d have to trek every time she went out for a bathroom break or walk.

When we picked Junebug up at the doggie daycare where she had been staying, this 40-pound bundle of pure muscle came flying at us, tail wagging, and after a round of kisses to everyone in the family, went to stand at the door.

I think she knew she was going home!

We brought Gershwin with us to test out compatibility in a neutral space, and the two of them did the requisite sniffing and pretty much immediately shrugged and decided they could make this work.

Within a few hours of getting home and going up and down stairs, we realized that with the help of Tramadol and Deramaxx, Junebug – now named Juno – would be just fine, and was a stellar and calming addition to our house.

I read about these breeds as “nanny dogs,” and it became clear that not much was going to faze our Juno, so long as there were treats in the offing and couches to hold down. The girls adored her, and after a few marking accidents, she and Gershwin have become – if not best friends – certainly cheerfully civil roommates.

The vet thought Juno might be closer to 12 years old, and so we know we may not have her for all that much time, but we’re enjoying every minute we have with her now. Plus she just looks so cute in her doggie sweaters! I think in a lot of ways, having the activity of a house with young children is helping her arthritis, as our daughters love throwing toys for her to fetch, and we can see the puppy come out as she scampers after them (but stay out of the way of the rope like tail!). In my opinion, senior dogs really can be the best of both possible worlds.

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6 Responses to “The Best of Both Worlds”
  1. KathyThompson says:

    Glad to hear you’ve discovered how special senior dogs can be! I just love them!

  2. AnnVanderlaan says:

    I love senior dogs too. And it’s great to hear that Juno is a member of the select Thundertails club.

  3. What a WONDERFUL story! I’m a huge advocate of senior dogs and it breaks my heart when people never consider adopting one. Thank you for seeing passed the age and opening your hearts to Juno. I wish there were more people like you and your family!


  4. StubbyDog says:

    @KathyThompson Thanks Kathy, hopefully others will see how great they are and adopt seniors too!

  5. StubbyDog says:

    @AnnVanderlaan Thanks Ann, Juno is indeed, very special.

  6. StubbyDog says:

    @WordsDoneWrite Thanks Amber, we hope that other people will see the treasures in senior dogs when deciding to adopt.