Fine wine, fancy cheese, and your favorite jeans are all things that only get better with time, but they’re no match for companion animals when it comes to the art of aging.

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month, a 30-day-long celebration befitting the old souls waiting in shelters for a retirement home of their very own. Here are 5 pets who understand that expert friendship is something you cultivate, refine, and apply liberally.

 

CLYDE

Clyde’s proud mom met him at Miami Dade Animal Services in 2009 when Clyde was 9. After a week of careful consideration, she brought Clyde home for a foster weekend, which swiftly turned into a foster failure. Now 15-years old, Clyde is an occasionally crotchety medical mystery, the apple of his Mom’s eye, and an expert bowtie wearer!

HeARTs Speak member Paola Paladini photographed Clyde as part of her series of portraits celebrating rescued senior pets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONNIE

Beautiful, regal Connie is not even a little bit ashamed of her tendency to hog the kiddie pool at AFEW adoption events. Her caretakers also report that transporting her to said adoption days is a little like Driving Miss Daisy! Connie is prim, proper, and a stellar example of graceful aging.

HeARTs speak member Tom Myers of Bundle of Paws set Connie up with professional portraits fit for a queen.

 

MYSTIQUE

This 13-year-old with the solar system eyes has settled seamlessly into her new position as ‘staff favorite’ at SPCA of Anne Arundel County. Of course, it’s not a responsibility she takes lightly. Having spent most of her life with the same owner, Mystique appreciates the finer points of companionship, and whomever brings her home is in for a rare treat.

And Mystique, obviously, will be expecting actual treats. Chicken, please.

Photograph by our own Lisa Carr Photography.

 

 

 

 

F
IONA

Fiona, who has a chapter devoted to her in the new book ‘My Old Dog‘, entered the periphery of her mom Rita (a HeARTs Speak member) in 2012. She was 15-years old, and had been at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter for one month.

Fiona wasn’t in top form, health-wise, upon arrival to the shelter. The staff took a liking to her, wheeling her around in a red wagon to prevent her from having to exert herself.

Rita, realizing that Fiona’s chances of adoption were slim, and not expecting her to last much longer, took her home to live our her years in comfort and love.

But Fiona had other plans. Within a few days at Rita’s house with Rita’s other two dogs, home-cooked meals, and a soft bed, Fiona became a wiggly, happy, much-more-mobile barrel of energy! Rita says “it was fascinating to see how fast it happened!”

 

 

DAKOTA

A zest for life has not escaped Dakota in her senior years. At 10-years of age, she’s exuberant yet patient and a poster girl for autumn. Dakota prides herself on being a balanced combination of affectionate and playful, which sounds like the stuff of best friends to us! HeARTs Speak member artist One By One Photography photographed Dakota at ACCT Philly, where she’s eagerly awaiting the person who’ll show her what retirement years are all about.

 

GUMMY BEAR

Gummy Bear was discovered wandering a car sales lot next to a highway before arriving at the Humane Society of Wayne County. We can only assume he was feeling very committed to maintaining his independence in his old age, and a set of new wheels were in order!

15 years gives you a lot of time to learn some tricks and figure out what you like. Whenever staff or volunteers asked Gummy Bear if he wanted to go for a walk or wanted a treat (and who wouldn’t), he answered with a happy little “yup yup!”.

A kind woman fell head over heels for Gummy Bear (and who wouldn’t!), and he’s living out his golden years in style. We hope he’s getting the occasional car ride, too!

 

These six sweet souls are proof that friendship is a fine art, and something you only get better at with time. Are you best friend to a senior pet?

 

Hannah Pearman

Director of Communications at HeARTs Speak
Hannah, an unabashed guinea pig enthusiast, grammar fanatic, and cat video aficionado, is HeARTs Speak’s Director of Communications. She fearlessly welcomes the challenge of a character limit, and if she’s not whipping up blog posts and pitching stories, you’ll probably find her sipping Earl Grey tea and wondering what the weather is like today in her homeland of New Zealand.

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