Happy Tail: A senior Schnauzer teaches life lessons

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“Forgive and forget” is the key to a happy life, according to Catherine Cusumano of Beacon, NY. And she has learned the lesson from her adopted dog, Poppy.

Poppy when relinquished

Poppy was dropped off at a shelter, neglected and sick.

Poppy has had a lot to forgive and forget. Her family dumped her at a shelter that is forced to euthanize pets when there are too many relinquished and not enough adopters. And given her age, ten, and her condition, rotten teeth and an upper respiratory infection, the grungy, matted pooch didn’t seem to stand much chance of finding a home in which to spend her golden years. The outlook was gloomy.

“Fortunately someone recognized that she was a purebred Schnauzer and called New Jersey Schnauzer Rescue Network (NJSRN),”  Catherine says. They took her in. “They spayed her, cleaned and extracted some of her teeth, put her on antibiotic and gave her a much needed bath and haircut and good food.” Through the group’s intervention, Poppy was saved and was listed on Petfinder, where Catherine saw her.

Poppy today

Read about Poppy’s transformation in Catherine’s own words.

“The list of firsts with a puppy is to be expected,” Catherine says. “But this dog had experienced pretty serious neglect and at her ripe age was experiencing the ‘firsts’ we take for granted … She made an enormous sigh when she cuddled under the blankets with me for the first time, and she had no idea what a toy was when we met. Now she has three soft toys she gums to death (because she has so few teeth) and sleeps with.”

Poppy has settled in nicely with four feline companions, experiencing companionship with other animals for the first time, and one of them, Scout, even grooms her when she lies in Catherine’s lap.

Her life is a lesson in the power of resiliency, Catherine says. “It’s like the life she lived before she came here never happened. Every day is a chance to go forward and every day that’s exactly what she does. She’s amazing and I can’t imagine my life without her.”

Poppy, and pets in general, offer many life lessons if we choose to look.

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