Ask any dog lover, and they’d tell you that their furry friends are just as much a part of the family as any other human member. Dogs have become more than just domesticated in today’s world. They are more than pets. They are loved and cared for as true companions. That said, it follows that dogs require just as much attention and maybe even more than normal companions do—especially when they get older. Senior dogs require a lot of assistance that many people are just unable to provide. Therefore, many older dogs either just get abandoned or even put to rest.
One woman from Maine found it in her heart to come up with a simple solution. Laurie Dorr from North Yarmouth, Maine recently opened Finally Home Senior Dog Rescue and Retirement Home, a rescue facility for older dogs that have otherwise no one to care for them. Finally Home is a place for dogs that are closer to heaven—those that are living out their final days. The facility gives dogs about five acres of land to roam, a place to call home. It even has a pool that provides not only relaxation for the dogs but also much needed exercise. The pool is a soothing relief for the dogs that are suffering from aching joints that prevent them from even walking.
It’s not entirely an easy operation to manage. According to Dorr, “I love all dogs and senior dogs are just…they just want to be loved.” In this case, love is definitely not enough. It’s a great point for someone like Dorr to initiate, but caring for older dogs require a lot. Many of these dogs are sick. They require special diets; they need medical attention. They also need constant companionship, which Dorr is able to provide majority of the time.
Dorr is currently housing some of her long time pets, but she’s also adopted from another shelter that is no longer capable of providing care for an older dog. Dorr owns an 8-year old Siberian husky named Toby and a 12-year old German shepherd named Sierra. She’s even adopted a dog from as far away as Mississippi. That dog is Jewel, an 11-year old senior dog. It’s been several months since Dorr adopted her, and she’s slowly acclimated to her new surroundings. It might take the dogs a little while to adjust to Finally Home’s five acres, but they’ll have the rest of their lives to do so. These dogs will no longer need to get adopted because Finally Home will serve as their forever home.
Eventually, Dorr is looking forward to having anywhere from 10 to 15 dogs at a time. It may seem like a small number, but it’s certainly a good start for her organization. Since Finally Home is currently operating and recognized by the state as a nonprofit organization, Dorr is able to encourage and collect donations and any other contributions from the public. Many local pet businesses have already supported the cause and continue to do so.
Dorr has received some food and supplies for the dogs. She’s also received some monetary help. Everything that Dorr receives financially goes directly to care for the senior dogs in Finally Home. What worries Dorr the most are the foreseeable vet costs. Veterinary visits are not affordable at all, and what Dorr would like to establish for the dogs at Finally Home is a small fund to pay for future medical costs. That number could quickly become astronomical with 10 to 15 dogs under her care. Eventually, the organization might be able to acquire volunteer vets; but for now, Dorr will have to take it one day, one dog at a time.
Senior dogs rarely get adopted, and this retirement home for dogs are giving senior pets another chance at enjoying life. It might have taken a woman with a big heart for animals to see this vision come to life, but she’s hoping that her actions will inspire others to help out. It took Dorr a simple decision to just do it to get the ball rolling. She had the home; she had the land. She had enough space to share with the animals that she loves. She has opened her space and her heart, but she’s also opened her wallet. Currently, Dorr is footing majority of the bills that have come their way. Although she has done a few fundraising efforts, Dorr is still covering majority of the expenses. Donations have certainly helped, but more is needed. Pretty soon, Dorr is expecting to adopt more animals, and it will be a constantly moving operation. As some of her older dogs pass on, new senior dogs will get adopted. And that process will continue on as long as Finally Home is up and running.
There are plenty of causes out there that seek to do some good in this world. Dorr encourages everyone to just pick one or two out of the multitude and do something for those. The world is full of animal lovers, and if every single one just did their part to care for other animals that have no one to care for them, Dorr’s load will definitely lighten up by a lot. Otherwise, any assistance towards her cause will help tremendously. Finally Home Senior Dog Rescue and Retirement Home has provided help towards companions that otherwise would just get overlooked. All creatures, including humans, need a lot of assistance with age. Finally Home has opened the door to this cause, and hopefully some people will get inspired to do the same in their local areas and neighborhoods. For now, there’s an existing facility in Finally Home that offers this hope for older dogs. It’s a cause worthy of anyone’s attention.