There isn’t a strict age limit at Vintage Pet Rescue, but most of their furry residents are in their golden years.
The rescue was created to serve as a canine retirement home, a place for senior dogs to live out the rest of their lives surrounded by love, care and compassion, instead of wasting away in a cage at a shelter.
So 18-month-old Trigger is an energetic standout among the more aged arf-ers. The pup ended up at the Rhode Island rest home after Vintage Pet Rescue’s Kristen Peralta heard his story.
While Trigger may look like a healthy young pooch, inside he is suffering from Stage 4 renal failure. His diagnosis was discovered after he was returned by the family who adopted him from Providence Animal Care Center in Pennsylvania for excessive urination.
Once tests revealed Trigger’s kidney failure and that he only had 5 months to live, Peralta made an exception about his admission.
“We agreed to take Trigger in as a hospice resident,” she said. “He now has a home for the holidays and lots of senior friends.”
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Trigger doesn’t act like what you would expect from a terminally ill dog, he loves to run, jump and play. This is surprising behavior to a group of senior dogs used to spending their days snoozing and snuggling.
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“We are used to seniors who sleep most of the day, but Trigger just wants to play, play, play! We’ve been taking him on long walks and he’s been playing for hours in the backyard,” Perlata said. “Trigger is such a sweet pup – it’s heartbreaking that he only has a few months. But he doesn’t know he’s sick and he doesn’t act sick.”
Some dogs have opened up thanks to this bolt of youthful energy. Eleven-year-old pit bull Asher, who used to lay around with the rest of the senior pack, now adores wrestling with Trigger.
Peralta, who just wants to give him space to be the puppy he is, loves seeing Trigger enjoy life.
“We are going to make sure his last months are the best ones yet,” she added.