My Old Dog Book Review and Giveaway

senior cocker
Buster lived to the ripe old age of 16 thanks to his dedicated dog parents.

My Old Dog: These are three words that dog moms and dog dads dream of saying about their own dogs. How often have we been told that 40 is the new 20 or that 60 is the new 40? With all of the advances in nutrition, supplementation, veterinary medicine and, of course, the human-canine bond—10 certainly has become the new 5 in the canine world. If we play our cards right, however, and provide our dogs with a good diet, mental and physical stimulation, proper veterinary care, and a loving home, our dream comes true and our puppies grow into adulthood and then eventual a healthy old age.

What about older dogs, then, who are dumped at shelters, abandoned, and/or tossed aside when they share the same traits as human beings: Time passes and they age. If some things get better with age, why are there millions of homeless older dogs sitting in shelters and waiting for their forever homes? If you’ve considered adopting a dog in need, maybe it’s time to consider adding a golden oldie to your family pack.

I’ve heard pet parents say, “I can’t play with my dog any longer, he has arthritis” or “I want to play with my dog, but he’s old and can’t last long.” My advice? Make do with what you have!

Laura T CoffeyAs a pet parent, my goal is to help keep my dog happy and healthy, defying the signs of aging and maintaining his zest for life for many years to come. Not everyone feels the same way. And so Laura T. Coffey did what any dog lover of the highest order would do: She wrote a book about rescued pets with remarkable second acts.

In fact, My Old Dog is a smile-inducing, action-provoking work of non-fiction art that I read in one complete sitting. Age is a part of life, and Coffey teaches us not only to embrace it, but to do so in the company of dogs who have a few more tick marks on their life’s clock.

Cover Dog

I had the pleasure of meeting Laura at the Dog Writer’s Association Awards and Luncheon this year. She is a bright ray of sunshine with a genuine affection for dogs. As she showed me the book, this is the dog who caught my eye.

Meet Stacie, a 10-year-old tan Cocker Spaniel. As a Cocker Spaniel aficionado and lover, is it any wonder this face beckoned to me from the book’s cover?

She was surrendered to an animal shelter by owners who got her off CraigsList because the dog was unable to be housebroken. Her new rescuers worked long enough with sick dogs to know that something was wrong with Stacie.

“She leaned against me in the van, and my heart melted.”

Dog lovers know what happens next. A tricky surgery followed; Stacie would have died within days without the life-saving operation.

“Stacie is a snuggler, and her wigglebutt is absolutely constant — she walks down the hall in the morning wiggling that tail.”

My Old Dog Cocker

A Sixty Pound Hunk of Wiggly Love

Rescued from neglect, Healey is a blind dog who has learned to love again, thanks to Teresa Powell. He was found tied to a pole, underweight, covered in sores, and missing two inches of his tail. Powell and her husband could have given up on Healey, with his food aggressive ways and distrust of his rescuers. The couple wondered if they made a mistake. Thanks to walking with him with no other dogs around, Healey began to emerge from his overly protective shell.

Rescued Dog My Old Dog Book

Seniors Rock and You Can Help Them

I love what the author says near the end of the book. In sharing actionable steps that readers can take to make a difference for an older dog, this puts My Old Dog in a league of its own. Coffey writes, “If you’ve read this far, you probably like dogs — a lot. And you probably have a soft spot for older dogs who still have much love, loyalty, and laughter to give.”

In her own words, Coffey sums up why you need to read this book. Aside from the stories and the heartwarming rescues that change both canine and human lives, the photography is stunning. Lori Fusaro’s lens captures the love, gratitude, and essence of the canine soul in a way few others can.

She gives a plethora of resources for dog lovers who want to help but perhaps are not sure where to start. Even if you are unable to foster or adopt, there are still a bunch of ways to help older dogs. Check out this section for an action plan.

Pick up a copy of My Old Dog and follow the book’s Facebook page, too.

My Old Dog book

 

Win an Autographed Copy of My Old Dog by Laura T. Coffey

CONTEST IS CLOSED AND CONGRATS TO NANCY HEIGHT, THE WINNER! THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED.

enter to win

Enter to win an autographed copy by posting the name of a dog who has touched your heart in the comments below.

One lucky winner will be drawn at random, USA/Canada, over 18 years of age. We will ship the prize direct to you. Entries close 03/18/16 at 11:59 pm EST.

Here’s to old dogs, long may they live and inspire us to be better human beings. Age is nothing but a state of mind, and the feeling of self-gratification that comes with adopting a senior dog is worth a lifetime of wags.

About Laura T. Coffey: Laura T. Coffey is a longtime writer, editor and producer for TODAY.com and author of the bestselling book “MY OLD DOG: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts.” You can find a collection of her recent work here. Learn more about her book at www.MyOldDogBook.com.

Note: We were not compensated for this review; Fidose of Reality shares products and reviews we believe would be of interest to our dog-loving readers.

Comments

  1. Keria is my loving senior dog who rescued me during two terribly rough patches in my life. While grieving my deepest lost’s she pulled me up and back to life. I don’t mean to sound dramatic but it’s the truth.

  2. Gidget.. My first dog, adopted when she was 11 years old. She honored yes with her love until she was 19-1/2. And since then, I don’t hesitate to adopted an older dog !

  3. Ruby! We adopted Ruby in 2013 after our heart dog, Pip passed away. Ruby was 8 or so when we adopted her and was rescued from a hoarding/backyard breeding situation. We love her so much! The first half of her life wasn’t so great, but we are hoping the second half will be near perfect.

  4. We actually have a senior dog right now. He has slowed down a little since getting older and developing arthritis, but he is still going strong and we are very happy about that.

  5. Opal, lost one month short of her 14th birthday, Cash lost 2 mos ago at 12.5 yrs to cancer, Winnie, senior angel we lost 5 years ago….and finally Olive, senior throw away momma pittie. Seniors are THE BEST!

  6. My rescue, Buddy. He was the most gentle loving cocker. He loved to walk in the snow with the wind blowing his ears! He lived a full life of 17 years!

  7. It breaks my heart to think someone would give up their dog just because they get old. We had the sweetest dog on the planet who required a great deal of care in her final year of life, but she gave our family over 18 years of love and affection, so the least we could do was care for her when she needed it most.

  8. You know how much I loved Buster, he was my baby. Love the seniors and all of them no matter their age.

  9. Our rescue dog Dakota. We adopted him and his brother Duke, both 9 year old at the time, and lost Duke 5 months later (ruptured tumor). Dakota was our life saver during those dark, sad days. Todays he is a lively 11 1/2 year old goofball. He is our daily reminder that dogs are magic.

  10. Old Ted. How I loved this dog from the second we met when he was 8 weeks old. That love grew and grew to a magnitude that could not be measured by the time he was almost 15 and I had to say goodbye. Each day I had with him was filled with my wanting to keep him comfortable and happy. My last words to him were Thank You.. he gave me so much, Today still I can not think of him without tears. In every old dog I feel my Old Ted.

  11. Sasha was a dalmatian. She was 12 years old when we had to put her down. She was a mommy girl. She had a heart shape nose. Her full name was Sasha Valentine. My mother thought our 3 sons needed a dog so they went to find us a dog and pick her out…they came home and said they wanted to take us somewhere and he ended up where they found Sasha. Sasha was the boys first dog. I still miss her to this dog.

  12. Kobe is my 14 year old cocker who was given only three months to live last January and he is still here. He was there for me during my cancer diagnosis, tears, surgery and chemo. He cuddled with me, jumped on my lap when I was in tears and slept next to me when I was so sick. He is aging and has trouble walking and needs to be carried sometimes. I will be there for him just like he was for me. I will do anything to keep him comfortable so he has the best quality of life. My vet said I will know when it is time to let him go but it’s not time yet. I love this fur ball so much.

  13. Wow – so many and they were all so special for their own reasons. I will go with Smokey though – our most recent Weimaraner who passed away at an old age. He stuck to me like glue – I called him my napping buddy. I could be sick in bed and not move for 15 hours – and neither would he. He was the best snuggler – but not a kisser. He couldn’t spare them…

  14. I adopted Dahlia, a young white and beige parti-cocker after the death of my beloved cocker spaniels (within about a month of each other). I was totally heartbroken with the loss of my heart dog, 9 year old Rudy and 15 year old Magnolia and I adopted Dahlia in memory of the two of them, primarily as a companion for my senior sweet chocolate cocker, Bosco. Bosco had been picked up as a stray when he was three and his original family knew he was at the shelter but chose not to reclaim him. He wouldn’t eat and barely picked up his head at first — he so missed Rudy and Magnolia. When I saw Dahlia on petfinder.com, I took Bosco to the shelter and they bonded so quickly. I knew it was a match and was so thankful to be able to adopt her and bring her home. Now he is about 9 and he is very happy to join her on the coffee table to watch traffic outside. Their tails never stop wagging, they sleep beside each other and me, and they have become a very dynamic duo. Bosco was vision impaired when I adopted him, but, ironically, he sees more than most of us, he senses the good in all, freely gives kisses to anyone in his midst, helped my elderly mother and several patients at a local rehabilitation center to smile and feel a little better during Mom’s stay there and helped to heal my very broken heart. Bosco is my wonder dog, and he makes life so much sweeter for Dahlia and me.

  15. I never really thought about adopting an old dog. I think an older dog would make for a great companion for my mother.

  16. Oh, this makes me teary. Our Newfoundland passed away at almost 12 years old – which is ancient for the breed. Old dogs (well, young dogs too!) need to be loved up.

  17. Beanie T. Bear will be 16 on April 8, Since his brother Bailey passed 6 years ago he has been my rock through the loss of my Mom and the breakup of my marriage. I am throwing him a birthday weekend in Cape May with his breeder, cousins and all his favorite aunties, and getting a portrait of him done. Hopefully he will have another year or so but one just never knows.

  18. We adopted a dog to before. It was the most loving and loyal dog. He just recently passed away. He will be missed.

  19. My Scooter a blind 11 year old Shih Tzu who was found as a stray. What fur he had was filthy and matted. The rest of his body was covered with leathery skin. The shelter where he was taken nearly put him down but Patti saw the fight in this little guy and called him a trooper. Six months later we saw him and adopted him. He was still a work in progress. We soon discovered he was in kidney failure. Even blind he would run in our back yard. He loved our Pom, Sonja and could find her easily. Trooper that he was he lived and was loved by us for 3 years, 3 months and 3 days.
    We have adopted several senior dogs but he was our first senior in the line of wonderful older dogs that we adore.

  20. My adopted pup Nibbles has touched my heart. She keeps me going everyday and always gives lots of kisses.

  21. We just said goodbye two days ago to our 15 year old toy poodle, Pierre. We had been fostering him after he was dumped at a shelter when he was 12 but discovered after a few months that he was home with us. He binded strongly with my husband. When I first met him at the shelter to see if the rescue should help him he had the funkiest poodle cut, matted fur, and sore infected skin. He was too weird cute to leave. We healed his skin and he turned into an adorable senior gentleman. Unfortunately, he also had multiple orthopedic problems that caused him problems. He was diagnosed last September with a cancerous tumor on his colon. He spent his days in his favorite spot with his dad in his in house office. But he always knew when it was mealtime and came to get his share of treats at bedtime.

  22. My dear Almond came to us as a foster as one half of a 10 year old pair of bonded cocker spaniels. We adopted them too. He was my special “heart” dog. He was always ready to go or do whatever I was doing and wanted to be close by. Sadly, he developed IBS and despite many vet visits and trips to a specialist and strong medications he continued to get sicker. I will always remember with great love this sweet, gentle boy.

  23. Coco, my 10 year old cocker spaniel is the love of my life! I can’t imagine my life without her. She is going to be in the guiness book of records for the oldest dog some day! I have seen this book going around on FB and I wanted to read it b/c of course with a cocker spaniel on the cover it caught my eye and I said I have to read this!

  24. All of my mom’s and grandma’s dogs lived to be 15 or 16. They were all very loved. And still missed.

  25. We are currently a pet free home but I have to tell you , I would much rather adopt an older dog and give them a new lease on life then a puppy any day!
    The shelters are overfull here and it breaks my heart. I just want to make sure we find the right dog to love.

  26. Maggie my 10 year old blind cocker spaniel. Maggie is my foster failure dog. When I first took her in as a foster you could not even pick her up or pet her without her flinching. She has a long tail and it was always between her legs and she was over weight. It took some time for her to come around but now her tail is always wagging, loves to go for walks and to cuddle up with you. She loves my son and always comes running when he comes home. I had Maggie for about a year and her glaucoma got so bad so she had to have both eyes removed. You would never know this by watching. So glad we adopted her. Love my little girl Maggie Mae.

  27. I pray that I will be able to share old age with Bentley. I still can’t believe that he is already 8 years old. This sounds as if it would be an excellent book.

  28. i have several dogs that have touched my heart. my first mini schnauzer,
    Rose, who became my parents 1st grandchild. i had to do an internship and could not take her with me, when i was in college, my parents finally conceded to keep her. however, when i came home 3 months later, the first thing my dad said to me was that i could not have my dog back. they loved her and took her everywhere, which was when dogs were not allowed in most places. my dad would take her to work with him. my mother would cook her tenderloins, boil chicken for her, she would sit every wkend with my dad and watch the ball games with him. she would wait at the door for him everyday and if he was not home on time, she had to go outside and look for his car then come back and wait. Rose was the first person my dad would hug and kiss when he got home even if the kids were home for a visit, we came last. unfortunately, Rose passed away at an early age due to cancer. my mother would cry all of the time. Rose is buried with my mother, next to my dad. my current girl, Evie who is almost 15 yrs old and whom i have had since she was 6 wks old, has touched my heart. i pray everyday for her. she has had a rough 2 yrs with lots of health problems, deaf, almost blind, vestibular twice, disc problems, etc. but she is still my baby. everyone she meets she loves, she loved my mother, sometimes i think more than me. she is one of the smartest little gals i have ever met. she is a fast learner. she has touched my heart and my late mothers in so many ways. she will always be my baby. i have 2 other girls Tressa and Harley that have touched my heart as well. they are 6 and 5 and first cousins. i love all my girls. all miniature schnauzer girls. they all have pulled my heart strings.

  29. Our dog is 10 and we are doing all we can to ensure that he lives a happy, healthy life. We are blessed to share our home with him.

  30. We lost our first Golden Retriever, Cherokee in my family at the age of 10. We got another Golden a few years later. Her name is London and she is 9 and doing great! We are getting worried because we don’t know how much longer she has with us. Currently, her health is great, but with Cherokee it was out of know where. She got a stomach tumor. London has her days, but she is older!

  31. I adopted my dog Shaina when she was already a senior, and we loved her every day of the years she had with us.

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