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After surviving two house fires, senior dog Joey came to the DCSPCA desperately in need of comfort.

Big, handsome 12-year-old Joey is a cuddly teddy bear of a dog. It’s hard not to fall in love with him. But any senior in a shelter faces challenges in getting adopted. Many people won’t consider an older dog, no matter how sweet and friendly they are. And on top of that, Joey had survived not one but two house fires, so he was understandably shaken when he arrived at DCSPCA. We knew he needed to get into foster right away. Luckily, Kimberly quickly stepped up to the plate, taking this gentle giant into her home as a foster. She devoted herself to healing Joey’s trauma, and the bond they formed through that process made this foster mom realize that Joey was already home.

DCSPCA: How did you become Joey’s foster parent?

KIMBERLY: I was looking to adopt a second dog. I wanted a playmate for my Pitbull, Valentino. I will admit I was hesitant to adopt a senior dog but Joey and Tino got along well and even played a little in our first playdates. I still was not sure but I knew Joey needed a home at 11 years old so I decided to foster.

DCSPCA: What inspired you to take the leap from foster parent to adopter?

KIMBERLY: I thought I was safe. I didn’t think anybody would want to adopt an older dog but I got nervous when I was told he would be featured in a successful adoption program. I couldn’t think of giving him up, so I let DCSPCA know I wanted to adopt him.

DCSPCA: What has Joey brought to your life?

KIMBERLY: Joey brought more than I anticipated. He fulfilled my original goal to be a buddy for Tino but he is also a fun energy in the house. They get along well but could not be more different. Tino is not very vocal but Joey barks and talks back in a playful way. We have great conversations. I would be remiss if I did not mention Joey is very stubborn. He does not do anything until it is his idea. I made them jammies for Christmas and Joey was just not having it!

DCSPCA: What are some of his favorite things?

KIMBERLY: I don’t give stuffed animals to Tino because he destroys them but Joey actually loves them. He carries them around the house and sleeps with them. He lives for belly rubs and “cookies.” Joey is my porch dog. He loves to sunbathe. He has also claimed the only recliner in the house as his own. It’s his favorite spot.

DCSPCA: Has adopting Joey changed anything about your relationship with him?

KIMBERLY: I didn’t think it would feel different but it is definitely more relaxing knowing Joey is a permanent part of our home.

DCSPCA: What would you say to someone who is considering adopting a senior dog?

KIMBERLY: They may surprise you. Joey has more energy than I thought he would. He still runs after squirrels in the yard and loves the big garbage trucks on trash day. An older dog comes with training and experience, but also gratitude. I believe Joey is happy here. He tells me every day with kisses.

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