The Idea for Shep’s Place

Being new to this blog thing, I’m not sure exactly what the rules are.  So wing it, I shall!

For this post, let me tell you how the idea for Shep’s Place came to be. I grew up a Cat Person. I thought cats were cooler and smarter than big, dumb, slobbery dogs. However, when our son Layne moved to California, my wife Ann got a dachshund, Malcolm, to fill the empty nest. To my surprise, we both developed a deep love of dogs, of their innocence and enthusiasm. We adopted a second dog from the SPCA, Kaylee, to be a companion to Malcolm.

While at the shelter, we were touched by the older dogs housed there. Puppies and young dogs find families fairly quickly, but old dogs have a harder time. Though they are just as affectionate, and usually more mellow and friendly, most customers don’t want to adopt a dog who won’t live as long. Seeing those sweet, old dogs being left behind really tugged at our heartstrings. We felt they deserved better.

Eventually, we went back to the shelter and adopted an 8-year-old beagle named Shep. Shep is a big, chubby, slow, quiet sweetheart of a dog, and we love him to death. We were so happy to have Shep in our home, that we wished we could do the same for other senior dogs. But, with 3 dogs, our house was already full.

With Layne gone, we had already decided that we didn’t need such a big house anymore. We began to wonder, what if we sold the house, and bought a small place in the country with enough space to adopt or foster a few more dogs? We looked at some places online, and several had separate garages or barns. We thought, you know what, we could put kennels in that barn, and add a fenced-in yard, and take care of a bunch of old dogs. Well, if a bunch is good, why not more? The idea quickly evolved into an actual facility, a small animal shelter devoted to the care of senior dogs. It reminded me of the old cliche, where parents tell their children that they sent the old dog to a beautiful farm in the country where it could play with other dogs and be happy. We thought, hey, we could actually do that! I wanted to call it “Happy Dog Acres,” but Ann thought that sounded morbid, so we settled on “Shep’s Place.”

So that’s how it started. We know it’s a long, hard road from having a good idea to making it a reality. But we’re going to give it our best shot.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

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