Just before Thanksgiving in 2013 (which was, in a fit of calendrical oddities, also the start of Hanukkah in 5774), we took in a Final Refuge dog from Old Dog Haven.


We lost Grace to cancer in September. She had a rough life for a long time, but she had a good three years at the end.

This afternoon, Old Dog Haven posted a plea for another Dachshund in need of a home. So, for Hanukkah 5777, tomorrow morning we’re off to the shelter again.


Old Dog Haven exists to ensure that dogs do not end their lives in shelters for the crime of being old. There is no shelter, the dogs are all in family homes, and almost all of the dogs in care (more than 300 at last count) are, like the dogs in this post, considered Final Refuge Dogs. They will not be adopted out, they are instead placed in permanent homes, and Old Dog Haven pays the veterinary bills for them for the rest of their lives.

Old Dog Haven foster homes are limited to Western Washington, but the organization depends on contributions from around the world. I urge anyone interested to do what we did, and what I would recommend doing for any charity, and request a copy of the 990. You will find the overhead costs are extraordinarily low, with almost all of the money going to pay for veterinary bills and medication for the animals. As I said when we got Grace, “The line of people at the shelter saying ‘That one, the sick neglected one with the four figure vet bill, that’s the one I want’ was, well, Old Dog Haven.”

Old Dog Haven was recently featured on The Today Show.