Senior Dog Becomes Poetic Muse for Her Pet Mom

Issa the dog finds the family of her dreams and enjoys her golden years in style.

Rachel + Issa

As a sassy senior, Issa is living her best life — and showing her family how to appreciate the little things.

"She lives for her chicken stew dinners and meatball treats (No teeth? No problem!), booty scratches, and cuddles on the couch after a hard day of napping. We couldn’t imagine a more perfect pup for us, and although she’s older we know she has plenty of years full of snacks, snoozes, outfits, and adventures ahead of her."

Adopting Issa from Muttville Senior Dog Rescue made an otherwise challenging year totally worthwhile for us. Through a pandemic, a layoff, a recession, and California fires, Issa reminds us to live in the moment and be grateful.

She lives for her chicken stew dinners and meatball treats (No teeth? No problem!), booty scratches, and cuddles on the couch after a hard day of napping. We couldn’t imagine a more perfect pup for us, and although she’s older we know she has plenty of years full of snacks, snoozes, outfits, and adventures ahead of her. We don’t know what her life was like before she came into ours, but it couldn’t have been easy. Despite her likely rough past, and a diagnosis of “cognitive dysfunction” (basically doggie dementia), Issa is the most resilient, trusting, easy-going girl around; she teaches us to appreciate the little things and face the world with curiosity and love.

She even inspired me to start writing poetry again, a hobby that I had all but given up. I wrote the two “Odes to Issa” below as a loving tribute to this funny little lady (a.k.a. “Baby Grandma”) who brings endless joy into our hearts and constant smiles to our faces. It would mean everything to be able to thank Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, the organization that not only rescued, fostered, and adopted Issa, but continues to support her through their hospice program. Issa has needed a lot of TLC over the past few months, including teeth extractions, prescriptions, and a special gastro-sensitive diet. Without Muttville’s help, we wouldn’t have been able to afford this care. Winning a Holiday Wishes grant for Muttville would mean more senior dogs like Issa can enjoy their golden years and finally live their best lives! 

Ode to Issa #1

O she the pup of toothless grin 

Flecks of pumpkin on her chin 

Bambi eyes and strawberry pelt 

Sets the coldest heart to melt 

Pointy ears like a copter propeller 

Not sure she can hear but we won’t teller 

If you rouse her, you’ll get a clackety clack 

Mean streets of Modesto and not lookin’ back 

Lolling tongue, can’t help but smile 

She makes scooping poop worthwhile 

Dinner time a pitter-patter 

Without you, pup, we’d be much sadder 

We’ll wipe your face and scratch your butt 

‘Cuz you’re the village’s cutest mutt! 

Ode to Issa #2

O pup we’ve grown to love you more 

We don’t even mind when you lick the floor 

You walk around an endless track 

Circle there and circle back 

Mealtime is a messy affair 

Food on the wall and food in your hair 

Bath time’s not your jam at all 

But you never say no to a yummy meatball 

Snuggle time’s the best part of the day 

You’ve mastered “eat” and “love” although you don’t “play” 

We sometimes make you groan and grumble 

But we’re here to catch you when you tumble 

We’ll tuck you in and pick you up 

‘Cuz you’re the world’s most sweetest pup!

Each year, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Rachel won Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco, California a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.