Any dog that lives without a family is a heartbreaking issue, but when it is a senior dog, there is something especially sad about it. After all, senior dogs are less likely to find a forever home and they live out what is left of their lives alone in a shelter, at best.
Every once in a while, we hear about someone who steps up to the plate and helps those senior dogs in a way that is heroic and loving.
That is the case with Stacey Herrick, who runs the Happy Trails Rescue Retirement Home out of her home in Morrisville.
When a senior dog comes under the care of Happy Trails, they are given the best life possible before they pass away. Some of the dogs have only lasted a day in her care but others have gone on to live years. In either case, they live out the remainder of their days in a forever home with lots of love.
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According to The Inquirer, Herrick says that people are always telling her what a great thing she is doing but she feels the dogs give much more in return. She says they are a reason to enjoy life and considers it a “pleasure and an honor” to care for them.
The Happy Trails Rescue has been in operation for a dozen years and has helped thousands of dogs during that time. At first, they would take in dogs from local shelters, including younger dogs, and find them forever homes. When her partner moved to a new area in 2016, she switched her focus to older dogs.
By the time 2019 came around, she was a non-profit and now works on donations and grants. Like many non-profits, Happy Trails was struggling during the beginning of the pandemic but she continued to care for 19 dogs on her own, including some with significant health problems.
One of the dogs that are cared for at Happy Trails is Hoover, a 13-year-old Chinese Crested. She considers him to be the “ugliest cutest dog” you’ll ever see. In fact, Hoover even has his own Instagram account and his followers are growing.
Every dog that is cared for at Happy Trails has their own story. Some came from a difficult background and may have been abused and abandoned. Others were left behind when their owners had to move away.
The dogs get plenty of TLC and good food while they are at Happy Trails, which includes herbs and supplements, along with a raw food diet. It costs about $190 per week just for the food, so you can see how important those grants and donations are.
She also uses Reiki and other forms of alternative therapy to help keep the dogs balanced and comfortable. At times, she may even take the dogs for a ride in her kayak or out for some fresh air in a stroller. It’s all an act of love and she doesn’t regret a moment of it.
Since the retirement home for dogs was started, 6 of the residents have died. When one of those pups passes away, they are remembered with their name being included on a feather painted on the fence.
Those deaths pain Herrick but she is doing good work and helping many dogs in the process.
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