Project Golden Years

Project golden years is a program run by Rugaz Rescue that looks to, specifically, give senior dogs another chance.

On the surface, this seems like a pretty cool program, right?

Well, before we get to that, let me tell you a quick story to prepare you for what I’m going to tell you…

I remember the first time I ever accompanied my fiance to animal services. We had been doing rescue for about 2 years at that point, and I was acutely aware, or I thought I was, of what I would be witnessing when we walked into the “runs”, which consisted of about 20 sets of 3 x 6 kennels, made of cinder block on 3 sides, with a chain link gate facing the walkway that went down through the middle of run.

I couldn’t have been less prepared.

I knew how many there would be, and I knew they would whine, but I didn’t account for their eyes. The sadness, the desperateness in their eyes, literally, hurt. My breath caught in my chest and I was temporarily anchored to the spot two steps past the entrance of the run.

It was difficult to continue, but I did. I remember thinking about the dogs that had been surrendered by their families for whatever reason. What they must be feeling, how confused they must be.

Many of those dogs, the ones that have been surrendered by their owners, are in the twilight of their lives and they will spend those waning moments in that place…

So, on the surface, project golden years is great. But, more importantly, it gives these dogs a shot at a loving family with which to spend the rest of their lives instead of cold linoleum and sadness


Tristan was a member of project Golden Years. For some reason, which is beyond me, not one single application, email, Facebook message, or carrier pigeon came inquiring after him. Until James and his family, that is.

These people, these amazing, kind-hearted, angels on earth, adopted Tyson(aka Tristan) and gave him an amazing last few months of his life(he was diagnosed with Lymphoma shortly after adoption)



When James emailed the rescue looking to adopt another senior, unbeknownst to me, the directors of rescue were jumping over each other to find them a dog. In dog rescue, families like James’ are a rarity, so the ladies running the rescue have a special place in their heart for them.

As much as I hated admitting it, circumstances were not conducive to us keeping Hapi. He needed a place where he could be the only dog being trained, and really just the only dog in general, but he also needed to finish his convalescence following his heartworm treatment.

This basically left us, and Hapi, up a creek, so to speak. He couldn’t go somewhere that we didn’t trust, he had to stay in his crate 90% of the time here, and that was that. Or so I thought(again)


Special thanks to Bullymake Box(affiliate link) for providing us with November box and opportunity to give it to Hapi free of charge! I highly recommend trying them out(use code 4DAALL at checkout for 10$ off your first box)

I talked to James yesterday and Hapi is doing amazing! He got in the trash but nothing serious! Make sure to follow us on IG or FB for continuing updates on our handsome boy!

15 replies on “Hapi’s surprise, Bullymake Box, and lots of feels”

  1. Thank you for sharing the success stories of these babies! I will look up Bullymake Box today to learn more about them!

  2. As you know senior dogs are my passion, so knowing there are rescues dedicated just to them makes me so thrilled. I know how depressing a place like animal control can be, seeing those poor souls dumped and no idea why. Thanks for updating us on the two pups, so happy they were able to find forever homes. Love watching the dogs checking out the merch!!

  3. The video makes my heart sing. I have a senior dog (19 years old!) and a senior cat (18!) and the challenges of senior pet care can’t be underestimated. My dog is deaf, my cat is blind. I know I’ll have to make some decisions soon, but in the meantime they both get cuddles, a warm bed and endless love. No matter how hard the challenge, fostering or adopting a senior is worth everything!

  4. It breaks my heart to think of this. I already plan to adopt an elderly dog when I am able to add to our family. I also want to adopt any disabled pet, or bonded pairs. There are certain types of pets that get overlooked and I want to help in that way. I wish I could save them all.

  5. Aww, your dogs seemed to really enjoy their toys and treats from the Bullymake Box. I am OVER the moon for Hapi and his new family. Thanks for sharing the good news 🙂

  6. What an amazing story, A good friend of mine runs a Sanctuary called Dreams Disabled R Elderly Animal Mountain Sanctuary, DREAMS, a final resting place for Disabled R Senior Animals. A home sanctuary in the hills of the central valley of Cali, for senior animals in need. She amazes me with the work she does and I admire all those that do adopt seniors as there are so many needing homes especially over the holidays, God Bless them all

  7. AWW What an amazing story!! I’m so glad that Hapi was able to be adopted and will now be the light of Jame’s life! It is wonderful to know people are out there to take in older and special needs dogs!

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