Earlier this year, Rachel C. was looking to add a new member to her family. Specifically, a canine companion to enjoy and share her life with. Knowing that searching for a dog did not mean “shopping” for a dog, Rachel found her way to the ASPCA Adoption Center to meet some animals who desired companionship as much as she did.
“When I entered, I was met with the kindest team members who were excited to share their love for the animals who were in the center,” Rachel tells us. “When they introduced me to Eustace, you could tell that everyone had built a really sweet bond with him.”
The senior Beagle-mix was popular among Adoption Center staff, not only for his good nature, but because they understood his sad situation.
Who is Eustace?
We don’t know much about Eustace’s life as a youngster. Before he came to the ASPCA, he was with a partner rescue group in Tennessee. But as a senior dog with vision problems, Eustace’s ability to find a home would become increasingly more difficult.
Innocent, homeless animals at any age are sad to see, but an older gentleman like Eustace was particularly heartbreaking. In an effort to help him stand out from the crowd of young, energetic pups, Eustace was transported from Tennessee to New York City through the ASPCA Relocation Program, where everyone hoped that he’d have a better chance at finding a loving home.
At 13 years old, Eustace was not a spry puppy. Upon his arrival to the ASPCA, he needed medical attention to get him in the best shape to be find his new home.
“Eustace is an older gentleman with several medical issues,” says Dr Felicia Magnaterra, ASPCA Adoption Center Veterinarian. “He is blind with cataracts but was getting around quite well in the Adoption Center. Eustace was thin and he had severe dental disease that required two dental procedures with a total of 11 tooth extractions. He had a mass on his lower lip removed, which was thankfully benign. He was also treated for a urinary tract infection while in our care.”
Despite all his medical issues, Eustace was a sweet and friendly dog who was happy to make friends with people. All he desired was a comfortable retirement home where he could curl up with someone who loved him. Once he was feeling better and became available for adoption, it didn’t take long for him to meet his match.
“Finding adopters for older dogs can be hard,” says Rita Viola, Transport Manager at the ASPCA Adoption Center. “Eustace was transferred to us due to not being adopted at one of our partner shelters. Once he was seen by our staff and given the proper medical and behavioral help, he was ready to find a home, which he did quickly, because he is such a charmer!”
A True Old Soul
“My first impression [of Eustace] was how sweet and gentle he was,” recalls Rachel. “He is both old and blind. These two factors lead to him being fairly timid, quiet and calm.”
Rachel was conscious of not only what she was looking for in a pet, but also what she could offer to the relationship. She realized that her home would be “a truly great environment for him in particular.” A perfect situation for a senior guy like Eustace—quiet, calm and cozy.
Rachel made the adoption official on August 12, 2019, and renamed this sweet guy, Marley. Coming a long way from his Tennessee roots, Eustace was finally going home.
Marley didn’t take long to settle in to his new place, and Rachel says that he is now “living his best life.”
Marley has found lots of pleasures in his new life that he doesn’t need his sight for. He enjoys all the attention he receives from Rachel, her friends and anyone willing to love on him.
“We live near a really nice park that he loves to have his morning walks in,” Rachel tells us. “Also, he has his favorite spot of the house right under my book shelf, which has led us to calling him ‘Professor Marley.’ He always looks so studious sitting under rows and rows of literature.”
Rachel describes their life together as slow and simple. Her open mind and open heart were the perfect match for our sweet senior.
“Adoption is a chance for people to meet their animals in the most genuine and loving way—that’s the experience I was craving and in adopting Marley I got just that,” Rachel says. “We can all celebrate the opportunity to bring home an older dog. They are simply the most loving and appreciative of their people; they offer a more ‘mature’ way of existing. They have a soft sweetness that you really don’t get to experience with a puppy, who can often be full of energy and preoccupied with exploring the world.”
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, a month which celebrates and promotes older animals who are waiting for homes. We hope that you will honor this special month by keeping animals like Eustace in mind when looking to add a new furry friend to your family. Spread awareness this month and throughout the year that no matter their age, all animals deserve a safe and loving home.
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Behind every animal rescued and every happy ending at the ASPCA is a generous friend like you. Please help us find loving homes for animals—and make more second chances possible—with your special gift today.