When Morgan the dachshund found himself orphaned at the venerable age of 18, he could have quite easily given up on life. But, while other dogs may have struggled to readjust, this dynamic dog bounced back. Now he’s living every day he has left to the fullest.
Morgan had had a tough few years. In March 2016 the dog moved to Florida, specifically to the Lee County Domestic Animal Services shelter in Fort Myers. Unfortunately, the pooch had no one to look after him after his owner sadly died.
Although any dog would struggle in that predicament, it was even harder for Morgan. That’s because the lovable pet was an impressive 18 years old. In fact, most canines only live to between ten and 13 years of age. Wanting to ensure the dog’s final months were positive, staff at the shelter decided to take matters into their own hands.
That’s when the team contacted the Florida-based Senior Paws Sanctuary. The sanctuary focuses on giving care to older dogs, providing comfortable and loving homes for pets to enjoy their latter years.
“When we arrived at the shelter we were shown a long-haired red Dachshund,” volunteer Elaine Faith Guerin revealed on Facebook in February 2017. “He was cute yet quite comical looking with his milky eyes, wispy patches of hair and a protruding snaggletooth. Without hesitation, the rescue said yes and in the same moment we were told he was 18 years old!”
And it didn’t take long for Morgan to find the perfect foster home. Kate Reidy volunteered to take the pooch to live with her and her longtime canine companion Charlie, ten. Thankfully, the dachshund settled in quickly and soon made best friends with Charlie.
And, although many would definitely consider him to be an OAP in dog terms, Reidy discovered Morgan still had a lust for life. “I joke and say Morgan has Benjamin Button disease,” she told The Dodo in February 2017. “He has gotten more active, livelier and his personality has grown in the past year of fostering him. Most people don’t believe his age!”
Inspired by Morgan’s energy, Reidy decided there was no reason why his life should slow down if he didn’t. So, his foster family decided to focus on creating special memories with the canine. To do so, Reidy made Morgan his very own doggy bucket list.
The team at Senior Paws Sanctuary loved the idea. So, they decided to reach out to their social media followers for bucket list suggestions. It wasn’t long before the ideas began flooding in. They included getting Morgan to a baseball match, taking him out for ice cream and hanging out with a celebrity.
To document Morgan’s adventures, his foster family set up a dedicated Facebook page called Making Memories with Morgan. So, in April 2016, the page went live, with the popular pup soon wracking up more than 500 followers.
With no time to waste, Morgan kicked off his big adventure that very same month. For his first experience, the dog stayed over in a hotel and enjoyed a queen size bed all to himself. And, the following day, the hound went to watch a soccer match where he was pictured with the winning team.
After that first week, Morgan began ticking off his bucket list thick and fast. He went to meet a firefighter, had a doggy date and even sat on a Harley Davidson motorbike. On top of all this, he caught a baseball game, met Santa and pretended to be a police dog sitting in a cop car.
In December 2016 Morgan went on an airplane for what his foster family believed was the very first time. The dog was jetting off for a family Christmas with the Reidy clan. And, on the morning of the 25th, the pampered pooch awoke to a stocking full of gifts.
No matter what his foster family threw at him, Morgan always put in 100 percent. “He loves to investigate new smells and new people, so all of his adventures have been a way for him to explore new places and new smells,” Reidy told The Dodo. “He loves the attention and cuddles he gets from meeting new people.”
And, although Morgan has already achieved so much, his bucket list just keeps growing. Some of the items include saying hi to Ellen DeGeneres, indulging in a doggy day spa and taking a hot air balloon trip. He’d also like to go on a train, visit all 50 states and go trick-or-treating at Halloween.
At the beginning of 2017, Morgan’s family got to work planning a very special celebration for his birthday. However, they would first need to decide upon a date, as no one knew exactly when he was born. “We do not have an exact birth date for Morgan and have decided to use his rescue date as his birthday, March 25, the day he was given a second chance at life,” Guerin explained.
So, ahead of his 19th birthday in March 2017, his family decided to arrange something unforgettable for Morgan. Using social media, they reached out to the canine’s fans across the world. It was their wish that the dog received birthday wishes from every corner of the globe.
According to Reidy, Morgan brings so much joy to people’s lives that he deserves some in return. “If you have a bad day, you come home and he greets you at the door with his tail wagging,” said told WINK News in February 2017. “He shows you so much love.”
“He loves attention,” she added in an interview with The Dodo. “He loves to snuggle as close as he can to you and every so often he will get up and sniff your face just to make sure he remembers who he is sitting with! It’s so sweet.”
So, as Morgan’s 19th birthday fast approaches, who would have thought he still has some of his greatest memories ahead of him. Thanks to his love of life, the little dog was able to overcome the death of his owner and enjoy every day the best he can. One things for sure, whoever said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks certainly hasn’t met old Morgan.