Green Heart Rescue: Adopting a senior dog is rewarding — for dogs and humans.
A Boise couple have fostered a bonded pair of elderly dogs for the past 10 months, hoping that they would be able to find the right home for Mario and Jack to live out the rest of their days.
That day finally came.
On Wednesday night, “the old men” — as Brittany Sundell and her husband, Evan, called them — got a ride to their new home in Emmett. Sundell posted video of them riding in the car online.
“I think that they’re going to have really happy lives here in Emmett,” Sundell told the Statesman in a text message Wednesday night.
What made finding Mario and Jack’s new home difficult was that they are large, old dogs: 13-year-old black Labrador retriever-border collies.
Sundell said their new home is a small farm with horses and plenty of room to roam. The couple that adopted the dogs have previously taken in other older dogs.
One of them told Sundell that he feels like old people are ignored and pushed aside — and old dogs are too.
“He felt like they found each other to love,” she said, noting that everyone involved was crying when the dogs were dropped off at their new home.
This is a news update on a story we did in April. Read that below.
It would be a lot easier for Fuzzy Pawz Rescue to find a pair of bonded senior dogs a new home if they split them up — but they aren’t going to do that.
They once tried separating Mario and Jack.
“That lasted about eight hours,” said Amy Mitchell, founder of Fuzzy Pawz. “Both of them did nothing but whine and bark and pace. We thought Mario was going to have a heart attack. It was one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen.”
The Boise couple that is fostering the pair was featured in the Statesman in January. The “old men,” as their caretakers affectionately refer to them, are 13-year-old black Labrador retriever-border collies whose faces are now frosty white from age. They are healthy and happy pups, who love nothing more than napping on the couch. They are house-trained and good with children and other dogs, cats and chickens.
So Mitchell was thrilled when she recently got an email out of the blue from someone associated with the Hallmark Channel show “Home & Family.” They asked if they could feature a Fuzzy Pawz foster dog on the show’s pet adoption segment.
The show ended up recording two different segments with Fuzzy Pawz fosters: Mario and Jack, and a 2-year-old Chihuahua named Kenny. Kenny has a heart murmur, so he needs a mellow lifestyle where he’s not going to get “any undue exercise,” though he’s not on medication for his heart issues.
“The reality is, he’s going to be fine for many years, but he’s not going to live to 20,” Mitchell said.
The segment on Kenny aired last week, and the one on Mario and Jack aired this week. As of Thursday, there were three people who inquired about Kenny, but no one asked after the old men.
Two different people on the East Coast wanted to adopt Kenny without traveling out to meet him. Mitchell said Fuzzy Pawz doesn’t adopt dogs out sight unseen. She said there’s a much higher failure rate when people don’t meet the animals before adopting them, and it doesn’t help the dogs to be cycling in and out of homes.
Fuzzy Pawz has done many adoptions to people who live outside Idaho, including six to residents of Alaska.
So Kenny, Mario and Jack are still waiting for their forever couches.
“We’re disappointed, but we also understand the realities,” Mitchell said.
Interested in fostering pets in the Treasure Valley?
Here are website links to some local groups who have pet fostering programs.
- Fuzzy Pawz: http://fuzzypawzrescue.com/fostervolunteer/foster-program/
- Idaho Humane Society: https://idahohumanesociety.org/get-involved/foster/
- West Valley Humane Society: https://westvalleyhumanesociety.org/foster.htm
- Happy Jack Cats: http://www.happyjackcats.org/foster
- Simply Cats: https://simplycats.org/volunteer-foster/fostering-a-cat-or-kittens/
- Take Me Home Dog Rescue: http://www.takemehomedogrescue.org/foster/questions/
- Pug Pals: https://pugpals.org/pdfs/info/PugPalsFoster_Parent_Informatio_Sheet-REV-10-6-2012.pdf
- Boxer Lovers Rescue: https://www.boxer-rescue.net/foster