Published: March 28, 2014  

Last updated: November 6, 2023  

Silla was our first foster dog. She was 10 years old when her owner decided to surrender her to Fetch. She apparently was not getting along with the newly adopted herding dog and the owner decided it was in Silla’s best interest to find a new home. As a dog-lover, I can not understand why, but I am not here to judge… just to help save a dog’s life! Silla was dropped off at our home on Thanksgiving 2014 weekend, and she was with us until April 2015.

Foster Dog Training

The fact she was 10 years old and black were working against her. Black dogs are often looked over, not sure why but it is called Black Dog Syndrome! And most people are afraid to adopt a senior dog, for fear of losing them too soon.

But Fetch found the perfect family for Silla. A family that was willing to love her unconditionally. This family had a young daughter and thought a senior dog would be a great starter dog, since they wouldn’t need to worry about Silla jumping, chewing on toys or being a crazy puppy.

Silla had a great smile!

Foster Dog Silla Smile

Here are a few of the updates we supplied on Silla to help you get adopted:

Pre-adoption update 1 (November 2014):

Well, this week sure flew by. Silla is settling in nicely. She really is a lovable dog. We just melt when she looks at us with her big brown eyes. She loves to cuddle, a typical lab that thinks she’s a lap dog 🙂 It took a couple of days to be comfortable with our other lab, but now they are doing good together.

Silla knows basic commands… sit, down, come and walks well on a leash. We walk every morning and afternoon, she likes to stop and smell everything! She does not know how to “heal” when walking, but she doesn’t pull either. Today I found out she likes to chase squirrels… good thing she was on a leash 🙂

Silla does get excited when new people come inside our house and tends to want to jump up. But a stern “no” and a knee up stops her quickly. We will continue to work on this. She is great with my three kids, youngest being 7. I think she would be totally fine with any aged kids.

Anyone would be lucky to have Silla as part of their family, she is a sweet, calm, loving girl. She even smiles when she rolls over for a belly rub. See the picture attached.

Pre-adoption update 2 (December 2014):

Silla is doing great. Don’t be fooled by her age, she is a very healthy girl with lots of life in her. She got a clean bill of health from the vet last week, even the vet was surprised she is 10 years old – she has the cleanest teeth I’ve ever seen in a dog. Adopting an older dog has great advantages… no chewing your shoes, no potty training and over that super high-energy stage!

Silla is super easy, all she needs is love, a daily walk, food and a warm place to sleep. She is happy to sleep on the couch all day. She is crate trained, she needs a little coaxing with a treat to go in the crate, but once in, she just chills out.

We gave her a bone this past weekend and she was in heaven. She ate about 1/2 of it in one sitting. She even brought it to me, as to say thank you 🙂 She did get a bit protective of it with my other dog, but with people, she was just fine with us taking it away. She has shown no signs of being food protective. My 7-year-old daughter has even hand fed her!

Pre-adoption update 3 (Spring 2015):

Silla’s favorite place to be is curled up on our couch! She really loves to snuggle up with whoever is sitting watching TV. She will snuggle her head up on my husband’s chest as close as she can get.

She’s doing great with other dog encounters, so I think she’d be fine with a home with or without other dogs, but preferable another older dog that is not wanting to constantly play. Silla is very laid back, doesn’t really like to run, even getting to a jog during our daily walk seems more than what she likes. We try to get her to play fetch inside, usually isn’t interested, but when she does, she does this cute little playful trot. She also trots when she comes inside from a walk… it’s very cute.

Silla really has been so easy, the worst thing she’s done is take tissues out of the trash can. Even on the freezing days, we haven’t been able to get out for walks, she’s just happy being here.

Post-adoption update December 2019

I know it has been a while but I wanted to give you an update on sweet Silla.  I am not sure how many dogs you have fostered now.  People find it hard to believe she is 14 – her gray gives her away.  

Her Lymes disease is in check.  Her heart is strong and we had one episode of sudden onset vertigo which she overcame (knock on wood).  She gets a supplement now to help with prevention.  And she was getting fearful to go potty at night and storms were extra hard, but now that is resolved with the supplement.

She has some arthritis so walks are still strong – but shorter at times depending on the weather.  She gets an anti inflammatory and a green mussel powder to joint pain.  Because of her sensitive tummy, omeprazole and a probiotic.  It’s a balance that works well for her 🙂

She still loves to chase squirrels!  And the squeaky toys are her favorite.  She loves to sit wherever we are to be part of the action and a lap dog on the couch.  My daughter – is 8 1/2 now and adores her.  Silla will still have the protective bark for people she doesn’t know coming near the house.  And loves to play bow with smaller dogs and tolerates larger ones. She and a German Sheppard genuinely like egging each other on when we walk. It is hilarious.

We don’t get to the dog park as often, but she does love roaming off leash at the baseball field across from our house.  She loves rolling around there and will chase me a bit even!  

I wanted to let you know how much I love my sweet girl and how thankful I am she came into our lives.

The last update (July 2020):

I just wanted to tell you that Silla died today.  She had another bout of Vertigo about 2 months ago and never quite recovered.  I had to continue to hand feed her and slowly she began to eat less and less (over the course of 2 weeks).  Then she stopped taking her pain and nausea meds in lunch meat (even the good stuff).  I could get her to eat small meals of good table food, but that was it.  She started walking slower and panting on the walk but I attributed that to the heat.  

Over the weekend she took a dramatic turn and walking was visibly painful – even just out potty by this morning.  I had had blood work done – and all was normal – except a slightly elevated liver panel and slight anemia. Last week  I had scheduled an abdominal ultrasound for this Wednesday- her walking while eating and not standing in one place made me wonder if something was wrong with her organs and such.  

This morning with such visible pain and not taking any medication I decided to schedule an euthanasia appointment.  But then she had a cardiac event outside.  She moved a bit later and had another.  She settled and decided to move back into the house to lie at her favorite spot – next to the air vent.  She was still alive when the vet came to the house to euthanize her.  

I was so glad to be home today so she did not struggle on her own.  

I did get her to eat a 1 lb steak I grilled for her rare last night :). She would eat small amounts of meat here and there – but the steak she gobbled up.  I am so glad she enjoyed that!!

Thank you for fostering her and entrusting me with her care.  I loved her dearly and did all I could to have her comfortable over the years and healthy.  She was loved by so many and enjoyed being the center of kids’ attention. 

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About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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  1. Thank you for your story. I have adopted an older dog for my mom, the dog is named Dixie. She is great with my aging mom and very mellow. I am the primary caretaker for both my mom and Dixie. The previous owner also had a new puppy and the owner decided to keep the puppy, not Dixie. We think she is 5+ years old, very skittish, but she is a good dog. We had her go to doggy boot camp and get crate trained. She is great on the leash, and I have gotten her to run as I ride a recumbent bike.

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