We don't think anyone can deny that 2016 has been one rough year as far as deaths are concerned. Just as we are reeling from the death of Prince
earlier this week, and the passing of Angel
earlier this month, another icon has left us.
Susie, the inspiration behind Susie's Senior Dogs
, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge
News came late Friday evening, on the Susie's Senior Dogs Facebook page
, that the nearly 17--year--old Chihuahua mix had passed peacefully away.
Erin O'Sullivan, one of Susie's humans and the founder of Susie's Senior Dogs, wrote:
"It hurts the heart so much, but Susie's dad and I were so privileged to have her for the last five years of her nearly 17 year long life... Thank you to everyone who has regularly followed Susie's journey and cared so much about her. Most important, thank you to everyone who has been inspired by Susie to adopt an old dog of your own. She is the first of adopted seniors in our own personal lives and we would adopt her again 100 times over. Susie was a gift and she has certainly spurred a movement bigger than she will ever know."
Susie had quite a story that led her to live with her human Brandon Stanton, boyfriend (now fiance) of Erin. Brandon is a photographer who is well known for his stunning pictorials of "Humans of New York."
Back in 2011, he was walking around his neighborhood in Bedstuy, New York when he came upon an older man sitting on his front stoop with 11--year--old Susie. Brandon told Today.com
in a previous interview that he thought to himself, "That is the coolest dog I've ever seen" and stopped to get a picture.
He posted the photo to his blog with the caption: "This is the best dog."
Little did he know at the time just how right he was.
A week later, the owner approached Brandon when he saw him again. The man's new wife said that he couldn't keep the dog. He said that he saw how much Brandon liked her and asked if he would take her. Though he wasn't in the best financial position, and friends warned him that he would be better off getting a puppy instead of an older dog that had less years to live, Brandon had already been "charmed" by Susie and felt compelled to take her home.
Today, Brandon issued his own statement on the Humans of New York
"[Taking in Susie] was one of the best decisions I ever made... Erin and I are both very thankful that Susie came into our lives. She was such a special friend. She was my introduction to the love of dogs. And she helped Erin discover her purpose in life. So in a way she's going to stick around forever."
Over the years, as Erin and Brandon fell more and more in love with Susie, Erin had the idea to create a Facebook page called "Susie The Dog."
It started getting a lot of "likes," so Erin began figuring out a way to use the page to bring attention to other senior dogs in need of homes. Senior dogs are notoriously difficult to rehome for various reasons that Susie herself wrote about for BarkPost
two years ago.
Without really having a plan in action, the couple launched Susie's Senior Dogs. They share information about adoptable senior pups who are either in rescues or shelters. Since January 2014, the nonprofit has helped countless senior dogs find loving homes, all while spreading the word that seniors are just as fun a pup of any other age. Plus, senior dogs can live longer than you might expect. As with any pet, we all face the inevitable crush and heartbreak of their passing because they just don't live as long as humans, but that shouldn't deter anyone from giving one of these loving creatures a home.
To raise awareness for Susie's Senior Dogs, Erin and Brandon encouraged the followers of Susie's page and Humans of New York to join them in their efforts, and they now have over half a million followers on Facebook and nearly 200,000 more via Instagram
The tiny 9.5 pound Chihuahua mix with the mohawk started a movement that is helping people discover the joy of having an older dog in their lives.
There is another bright light in this otherwise dismal news, and that is that Erin and Brandon made the decision to adopt another senior just a few days ago! Introducing --- MOBY!
Moby is the pup on the left, with Susie's other adopted senior brother Simon on the right
It seems that in one final act of altruism, Susie waited until her parents had another furry best friend to take care of them before she took her last breath. We know there will be no replacing Susie, but we are happy that they can bestow the love they have on another senior that was in need of a home. Moby couldn't have found a better family, and we look forward to hearing more stories of him in the years to come!
>We offer our sincerest condolences to Erin and Brandon, and thank them wholeheartedly for all that they do for dogs in need. Our biggest thanks goes to Susie, who has done so much for all the grey--faced loves out there and who will continue to live on in the hearts of all those who will be adopted now because of her.
Please follow Susie's Senior Dogs on Instagram
, and Twitter
to see all of the wonderful work that they do, and visit their website
to find out more on how you can adopt, volunteer, and donate
to their mission.
We'll miss you, Susie! We hope you're already having the best adventures as you wait for mom and dad over the Rainbow Bridge.
Featured Image via: Humans of New York/Susie's Senior DogsSources: New York Times, Mashable, Today.com, The Blot