Column: Pumpkin and Sally, bonded senior dog pals, need a home together forever

Two dogs

(Left) Sally and Pumpkin are two bonded senior dogs whose owner tragically passed away in a car accident. These two sweeties are the best of friends and are looking for a new home together. (Right) Sally and Pumpkin enjoy doing everything together – including eating treats, going for car rides and taking catnaps in the yard.

I was sad to hear of the recent death of Bobi, the world’s oldest dog ever. As you may remember from my column back in May, Bobi celebrated his 31st birthday in his rural hometown in Portugal a few months ago.

Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker announced his death, writing that “despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him.”

His owner attributed Bobi’s extraordinarily long life to a diet of healthy human foods, the freedom to roam local farms and forests, and the tranquil countryside environment of his family home.

Bobi’s life and legacy remind us of the many years of love and loyalty our faithful canine family members can provide. As Bobi aged, he naturally slowed down, but he remained a dedicated sidekick to his owner for more than three decades.

Older pets make excellent companions. They are dignified and mature, with tons of love to give. That’s why we proudly celebrate “Adopt a Senior Pet Month” every November at Pasadena Humane and shelters throughout the country.

Puppies and kittens are often among the first animals to be adopted. Adopters express the desire to shape the pet’s personality and behavior from a young age. Understandably, adopters also want to maximize the number of years they get to spend with their furry friend.

I am all in favor of adopting adorable kittens and puppies, but I also fully endorse adopting pets with more life experience. They are great companions for however long we are fortunate to have them in our lives.

Please allow me to share the story of two amazing senior dogs searching for a home right now.

Sally and Pumpkin came to Pasadena Humane in September when their owner tragically died in a car accident. After the sudden loss of their owner, the shelter environment was overwhelming for the dogs. Luckily, they had each other for comfort.

The foster family who are giving them temporary respite from the shelter report that the dogs love long walks in the park, hanging out inside the house and chilling in the backyard. They are also expert nappers, snuggling side by side.

This pair of mellow senior shepherds are tightly bonded and should not be separated. We are committed to finding them a permanent home together. With many large dogs in shelters right now, and with fewer families able to accommodate large dogs due to housing restrictions, we know this will be a challenge.

We’re seeking a loving family that would like to provide these pups happy golden years. In return, Pumpkin and Sally are sure to bring love and joy into your home.

At community adoption event outings, this dynamic duo has enjoyed meeting new people and getting lots of yummy treats. Eight-year-old Pumpkin is more extroverted and regularly seeks contact with people. Nine-year-old Sally looks to Pumpkin for guidance and follows Pumpkin’s lead, accepting petting and treats after Pumpkin shows her it’s okay.

Sally has some medical conditions that will require ongoing monitoring by a veterinarian: a mass on her ankle that is most likely benign, osteoarthritis, and cardiac arrhythmia.

Pumpkin will need dental care. Pasadena Humane will provide their adopter with a year’s supply of Hill’s Science Diet dog food, as well as joint supplements from our Shelter Shop.

If you would consider being a guardian hero for Sally and Pumpkin, the two are available for a 10-day adoption trial. Please email to learn more.

Whether you adopt Pumpkin and Sally or one of the other great senior pets available for adoption, we thank you for opening your heart and home to animals truly in need.


Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on November 17, 2023.