At Marty’s Place, we provide senior dogs with a meaningful quality of life for as long as they are with us. Over a few months or many, a year or several, residents become friends, family members. They bond with each other and with their human caretakers - the dedicated staff and volunteers who feed, walk, snuggle with and care for them.
Losing friends is an inevitable part of this endeavor, and while there is grief and sadness when it comes time to say goodbye, there is also comfort in knowing we have done our best to provide loving care for these members of our family.
Casey and Steve
Zeus in the Spring of 2017, not long after he arrived at Marty’s Place. Shown here sizing up his new room, new toys and the photographer, he was a gentle soul who lived out his days in comfort, surrounded by people who only wanted to love and take care of him.
We said goodbye to our little Buster on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. He brought love and joy to all who passed through his life, and will be remembered for his indomitable spirit and his unique presence.
Buster, a Pug/Chihauhua mix, was already 14 years old when he moved into Marty’s Place in March of 2016, quickly befriending his fellow residents and capturing the heart of every person he met. He was beyond pleasantly plump at that point, and had a tough time getting around - although that didn’t stop him from following our volunteers from place to place, wanting to be a part of everything. He earned the nickname “Chug” for his slow, steady pace while walking from one wing to the other, snorting all the way!
During his first weeks at the sanctuary, Buster, walked continuously from one end of our east wing to the other and out in his play yard. He literally walked off 10% of his body weight - and started enjoying life even more. We’ll always remember his jaunts down the hallway and his happy little hop.
By his 16th birthday, Buster had slowed down considerably, was blind and showing signs of dementia. He enjoyed resting - quietly in the comfort of his room or under the shade tree in the yard outside it. Ultimately, he let us know it was time to let him go.
Buster’s time with us was filled with love, attention, treats and companionship, and he is missed by all …
Zeus came to us in early 2017, a large, sweet, 12-year-old Rottweiler who was clearly feeling his age. He had his quirks and preferences, as any dog does, but he got along well with his canine and human companions here, and was usually willing to go on walks. Of course, if he didn’t want to go in a certain direction, you couldn’t convince him otherwise. Some might call that being stubborn, but we came to see it as Zeus knowing his own mind - which he most certainly did.
10-year-old Moochie, a large yellow lab, and his brother Teaker, came to us in July 2016 when their owner passed away. The boys had spent their whole lives together, and no family member could take them both, so our Sanctuary was a good choice for them.
From day one, Moochie seemed happiest and most comfortable with his brother. Moochie was the bigger and older of the two, sweet and pushy, putting his big head in your lap or pushing against your leg to get attention.
Shortly after his arrival, Moochie was diagnosed with cancer. Because of the advanced spread of the disease, it was not treatable. We knew our time with him would be short, but our mission was to ensure he was loved, cared for, and kept as comfortable as possible. In the few months that followed, everyone at Marty’s Place came to love him and appreciate his big personality.The last few weeks became more difficult for him, and the time came to say goodbye. Knowing this this too is a part of our mission doesn’t make it any easier. Moochie’s very large presence and personality will be missed by staff and volunteers alike.
Bear, a 12-year-old Rottweiler, arrived at Marty’s Place on our first weekend of operations.
Bear was not accustomed to socializing with a broad range of people or animals and needed to get used to having new people around him. So, our volunteers read to him. Newspapers, children’s books, racy novels – anything to help ease him out of his shell, and his room. Eventually, he took over the North wing of the sanctuary.
Bear liked being in the kitchen, lounging in the family room and Angelina, who runs our swim program -- not necessarily in that order. Angelina was his favorite, possibly because she cooked him chicken and meatballs, but more likely because she loved him so much.
Although Bear had never seemed to like being with our other dogs, during the last few months he was with us, he found his canine friends in Buster, a pug mix, and Morgan, a pug. Whether all three were lying together on a bed or Buster was walking over Bear to get through a doorway, it was heartwarming to see them together.
Bear will be greatly missed by all of us who comforted him and kept him company through his final months. His presence will forever be felt at the sanctuary, where he gently and sometimes not so gently helped shape our way forward.
One of our first residents was a sweet beagle named Casey, who arrived with her lifetime companion and fellow beagle, Quincy. At Marty’s Place, they shared a room, even a bed, and happily spent time together wherever they happened to be.
Casey, at 10 years old, was a bit cautious, but still typically beagle. A treat would certainly get her moving, and she always had her nose in the ground. One morning, while sniffing her way through the food prep area, Casey came across an empty carton that once held dog treats. On the off chance there might still be something tasty inside, she dove in and wound up with the carton on her head, where it stayed like an extra-large hat while she continued her quest for those elusive treats.
Medical challenges shortened Casey’s stay at Marty’s Place, but her brief time with us brought her much attention, love, and, of course, treats.
Casey had a special friend in Steve, who, at 88, was happy to walk her at her own pace and have her snooze on his lap while he watched football. They were a perfect match, and it was this wonderful pairing that inspired our signature line: “Never too old for a new best friend …”
Steve and Casey are both greatly missed and remembered with love by all of us at the Sanctuary.