By Barry Barbe

“Dogs have a way of finding the people that need them and filling an emptiness we didn’t know we ever had.” – Thom Jones

In this case, senior or elder dogs have been found by a human that fills the emptiness in their end of days. These abandoned, abused or discarded senior dogs are the fortunate few that spend their final days living in a place of safety, comfort and adventure.

A native Arizonan from Tucson and now Prescott, Cindy Lamont and her companion, Bill, share their living space and 6 acres of pine-shaded land on Dog Tree Lane with “Senior Rescue” dogs at “Dogtree Pines” (yes, it is really Dog Tree Lane).

Light footed leaping, strenuous games of tug of war and fetch are replaced by days of leisure and relaxation. “Dogtree Pines: Senior Dog Rescue” is a place of final respite for creatures that have lost a place of warmth and caring through no fault of their own.

Navi, “The Mexican Jumping Bean,” was one of Cindy’s first rescues that involved posting a request for a traveling companion to join her on a trip to Mexico to rescue a dog that had been neglected and near its end of his days, if someone did not intervene.

Cindy, with her own health concerns, traveled south of the border with an unknown, but willing companion to collect Navi, an abandoned and severely neglected dog with a pleasant disposition. Since Cindy’s interceding and rescue, Navi has regained his health, stamina and personality. He has spent the past two years living a much different life at Dogtree Pines.

Having acquired their nonprofit status last year, Cindy and her small crew of volunteers and Board of Directors have created a sanctuary for elder dogs, that without their interjecting, would have faced a life of isolation and neglect and most certain euthanasia among strangers.

“You have to be part of a certified ‘rescue’ program in order to remove animals from certain death in a shelter environment,” Cindy said.

“Sometimes their passing is in a matter of days, but our goal is that regardless of their time with us, to make the most of that time. They are able to have a pleasant quality of life in their final days surrounded by other four-legged friends and human companions that can last for months and years longer than prior certain demise,” she added.

Cindy’s yellow lab, Chester, was her best friend and companion when he began to deteriorate. “I used my knowledge in pharmaceuticals, having been a rep for various companies, and researched ways to reduce his discomfort level and help make his final time as pleasant as possible through a variety of methods and treatments.”

Cindy’s menagerie is a collection of breeds, ages and backgrounds — a rather eclectic pack that includes “Norman Walkwell … DRE, aka Eeyore, and Bernice, who all share a tale of families and relations gone by.

“Sometimes it’s someone who has passed and the family is not able to care for their pet. We also see a lot of folks who adopted dogs during 2020 for companionship, but are now back to work full time, or due to the cost of caring for a pet, have either abandoned or relinquished them to shelters,” Cindy said.

What is a senior dog? “Seven years or older is considered a senior dog at clinics and shelters. However, we try not to take dogs younger than 12,” she explains. “Our dogs are at, or near the end of their days. Our goal is to make that time as enjoyable and comforting as possible.”

For Cindy and Bill, “It’s a house filled with 14 to 17 dogs 24/7,” Cindy says.

“The dogs have free reign of the house and our schedules. We’re not going to change them, and their diets are very restrictive at this stage, meaning we spend a lot of time and finances on meal prep.

“Breakfast starts early followed by walks among the trees and creeks on our property, therapy sessions, visits to the vet, grooming, and playing. They get to enjoy their time however they please,” she continued.

“We do doggie water therapy in our pool, and Bill created a specially designed set of skis for Lady Shepherdly, who has difficulty with her back legs and uses a set of strap-on wheels on her behind to get around. For the winter, we attached a set of skis so she could go out and enjoy being mobile with the other dogs in the snow. … Our goal is to give these animals what we all want in our final days — security, nourishment and companionship.”<br />

From Chester to Dogtree Pines.

For more information on Dogtree Pines Senior Dog Rescue or to learn how you can donate to aid in this mission, visit Dogtreepines.com or visit Dog Tree Pines: Senior Dog Sanctuary on Facebook.

Barry Barbe owns the El Gato Azul and Torme restaurants in Prescott, and is the energy and insight behind the Prescott Palette. He also has a radio show, the Prescott Palette, on KQNA 1130 AM, Saturdays at noon. Email:

Prespalette@gmail.com.

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