Senior Dog Barney Makes Himself At Home! -By Ken Green

I was keeping an eye out for a very senior dog.   Then I heard about a 13-year-old Lab mix at the Burbank Animal Shelter.   I named him Barney and brought him home.

When he first entered my house, he ran into the hallway and stood, frozen, for at least a minute. I petted him and spoke softly and reassuringly, and my other dog Gypsy began sniffing him and licking his snout. Suddenly, he ran to the front door, barking and trembling. Lots of work lay ahead–for both of us.

That was four weeks ago. Today, Barney acts as though he’s lived here for all his life. He is very affectionate and demands to be petted. He and Gypsy act like puppies together. (Gypsy is also 13. I adopted her from the Burbank Animal Shelter last April.) When I’m working at the computer, Barney often will shove my arm up with his nose, telling me he wants attention. I had expected Gypsy to be jealous, but she seems thrilled to have a playmate. Barney is deaf and has a touch of senility. So we’re working on hand signals, and Gypsy is good at leading Barney into and out of the yard.

Barney (top) and Ginger.

Thanks to the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter, Barney had some major and costly dental work done–extractions, stitches, the works–and recovered quickly.

Because I’m a senior myself (I’m 12-1/2 in dog years) I will only adopt old dogs, even if they have special needs. Besides, I hate the thought of an old dog spending its last days alone in a shelter–even a good one like Burbank. Four years ago, I adopted a 14-year-old hound mix from Burbank. He spent his last year with me. Barney is my fifth oldie. They’ve all been wonderful companions!



Friends have told me that my old doggies are very lucky. The way I see it, I am the lucky one!  -Ken Green


Seniors make great pets, and we have a number of senior dogs available at the shelter!  Check the website, or come on in and visit them!