In March 2022 I lost two of my senior dogs. Only having three other dogs, I decided I could foster a younger dog through WAMAL. When I inquired about a two- or three-year old dog, I was told about 10 year old Zippo. He was in a foster home (not his first) but the family needed to get him a new place by mid-April. Not wanting to send him back to his kennel in Malley Valley, the foster coordinator told me about him and his foster brought him to my place for a visit to meet my current pack. It went well and a few days later the fosters brought him back, to stay, along with a box of his medications and supplements.
He was fine with my other dogs, and guests that came to stay for a few days. Overweight, he huffed and puffed on his walks, which became increasingly longer as he lost some ounces the first few weeks.
He turned out to be very affectionate and quickly picked up our routine, including a daily walk off-leash back in my woods in his new home on Whidbey Island. He is an expert counter-surfer, so some care needs to be taken in regards to leaving anything edible in his reach. (He even learned to open my refrigerator, so now the kitchen is off-limits and there is a bungee cord holding the door closed. And no, he did not get that piece of cake on the counter in the photo.)
One of his other former foster families visits him occasionally and seems happy to see him settled in a final home. His block in my greenhouse joins the many others, cementing his status as a permanent member of the pack. He is the 61st dog I’ve adopted; many were old or in poor health, so their time wasn’t that long with us.
Zippo has many old-dog ails and his medications and supplements help keep his aging body comfortable during his retirement; his initial vet visit indicated he was “in good condition” for his size and age. As expected he howls when I leave the house, but I have understanding neighbors.
He may not be with us for many years, but he will have a comfortable place for as long as it’s needed.