A Sanctuary For Senior Pets
I hope all readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. During the holiday season, we reflect on things that are meaningful to us. Things that have impacted our lives. Things that we are grateful for. I have met many wonderful people through my column, and I have written about many interesting topics. But one that is so close to my heart and is more than worthy of a revisit is Mureille’s Place, A Senior Dog Sanctuary located in Wapwallopen, established in 2006. Barbara Nullet-Yackel is as close to a saint as anyone I will ever meet who walks on this earth. It is a pleasure and privilege to know her. This selfless woman devotes her life, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to the care of all the senior dogs at her home. Barbara always has 25 seniors, along with a waiting list. As sad as the passing is of one of her precious senior dogs, it opens the door for another to experience the same love and nurturing for the remainder of its life, for as long as that is. When Barbara accepts responsibility for one of her charges, it is a lifetime commitment. I touched base with Barbara today on the phone to get an update on what has been happening at Mureille’s Place. I last saw Barbara at the pet expo in April, and before that, it was when she accompanied me on my final journey with my beloved Aussie, Ty, last December. I spent some time crying about Whitney and Ty. They are gone one year in December, and both are so missed. Barbara stated that this year she has lost 13 of her residents to date. In three weeks alone she lost two dogs and one cat. Although loss is very much a part of Barbara’s life, she is not immune to the pain and sorrow of loss. Barbara mourns each dog and cat that peacefully leaves her loving care and ever-present nurturing. Bailey, the Maltese In my previous column about Mureille’s Place, I had written about the delightful little Maltese, Bailey, who suffered from congestive heart failure. This adorable little fellow was adopted into a loving family. However, circumstances in Bailey’s household dictated that it would be in his best interest that he return to the sanctuary. Barbara was more than happy to welcome Bailey back. This little guy was totally devoted to Barbara and was happiest and most content when cuddled in her arms. Sadly, Bailey was one that Barbara lost this year. Everything happens for a reason, and Bailey was where he was meant to be at the end. Milton, the Min Pin Many who follow Mureille’s Place on Facebook knew Milton the Min Pin, 15 years old. Milton’s mischievous antics were a huge hit with readers. This fellow is a handle-with-care kinda guy. He was not fond of being handled and certainly not a fan of being forced to do things he was opposed to doing. As a result, Milton was a bite risk and deemed unadoptable. His placement at the senior sanctuary was a success. Barbara recognized Milton’s quirks and dealt with them effectively. Every day was an “Oh Milton” day. An endearing quality of Milton’s was his love of stealing things. Milton was with Barbara for a year and a half. In this place, Milton was able to be himself, where he was loved and cared for to the end. His passing left many sad fans, who looked forward to reading about another day in the life of Milton. May he rest in peace. Simba, the Chihuahua/Pug mix Simba the Chihuahua/Pug mix, is 13 years old. Simba’s owner was diagnosed with cancer and placed her beloved dog at Mureille’s Place while she was undergoing treatment. Sadly, the cancer spread into her lungs/brain, and she lost her battle with the disease. Prior to her passing, she asked Barbara if Simba could please remain in the sanctuary for the remainder of his life. She will honor her request. Every night, Barbara kisses Simba on behalf of his owner. Buster, the Pitbull/Bulldog mix Buster the Pitbull/English Bulldog mix, is 16 years old. Buster is diabetic, drinks more water and must potty frequently. However, this big boy needs assistance going up and down the steps. He will bark for Barbara to let him out, and then bark when he wants back in. While I was on the phone with Barbara, we had two brief interruptions when she was off to assist Buster on his potty break. Those in hospice, and the unadoptable Barbara explained that all dogs at the sanctuary are in various stages of their disease (such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease), while some are suffering from nothing more than old age. She currently has a few dogs in hospice care, at the end stage of their lives. I must stress that their diseases are controlled through close monitoring with Barbara, her veterinarian, and medication. Dogs are not lingering in pain and suffering. Barbara’s facility is dedicated to the care of senior dogs, but she currently has a 5 year old special needs Chihuahua. Spicoli was deemed unadoptable. Due to the circumstances, Barbara said that Spicoli did qualify and opted to accept responsibility for his care. He has been there a short time and is doing very well at the facility. Seniors needing homes Barbara currently has two senior dogs that she would love to place in the right home. One is the charming Buddy, the Pomeranian. Buddy is 13 years young, and he is filled with perpetual joy and an ever-wagging tail. Barbara said if she could rename him it would be “Happy.” Buddy is joyful every minute of every day. He is a cuddler who loves attention, but he will also contentedly settle in his dog bed. With that luxurious Pom coat, who wouldn’t want to cuddle with Buddy all day? Other than the fact that Buddy is a senior, he has no health issues. Buddy came to the sanctuary when his owner had to enter a facility and could no longer care for him. And Buddy, the Dachshund mix, is 15 years young and full of life. This fellow runs with the 5 year old Chihuahua and keeps up to him! This Buddy has no health issues, either. He is perfectly mannered and would make an excellent companion for someone seeking a well behaved and loving companion. One hundred percent (75 percent for vetting) of all donations that Barbara receives goes to the care of her dogs. She has some dedicated volunteers, such as Bill, who assist her in her mission. Thank you, Barbara, for all that you do in the care of senior dogs, making them comfortable, safe, and very loved. God bless. You are my hero. Visit www.mureillesplace.org. Visitors to the sanctuary are by appointment so as not to disrupt the dogs’ nap time. Dog bless. Judy Endo writes about pets. Contact her at email@example.com. Bear encounter! On Wednesday night, I was unloading groceries from my car, turned, and approximately 30 feet away from me was a big black bear, staring at me! I raised my arms (to appear bigger), shouted “Go Bear! Go Bear!” (to scare him?) and slowly backed into the house. When I came into the house, my heart was pounding out of my chest, and my legs felt like spaghetti. A very scary, if not unforgettable experience. This fellow was HUGE, and it still seems surreal. I’m thinking he just wanted to make my column!