Senior Dogs Have My Heart: A Book Signing

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Have you heard of the Dane term Hygge- visit (pronounced Hooga)? I embrace this “feeling” when I’m with all my dogs but Bruisy (now 12+) especially. Hooga means -“the recipe for a better life”. Clearly my life is better because of my dogs. Bruisy and I are as thick as thieves. I think Hygge defines how I feel about my life with Walter, Sherm and Brui.

Bruiser has trouble with his interdigital cysts on his paw pads and his Irritable Bowel Disease has been rearing its ugly head so we’re watching that closely too. I know he’s fine and these are things that we manage but lately he’s been on my mind – all the time. I’m a worry wart anyway. I’ve lived with him for so long that my heart bursts when I think about him and our bond over the years. I know what he’s thinking when he looks at me from across the room. Do you live with an old dog and worry? Do you ever feel like your heart may burst because you love your dogs so much?

So does an author I met last night. Meet Jane Sobel Klonsky. 

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This is Jane from her book signing this week! At Annie Bloom Books in Portland. 

Jane Sobel Klonsky is the author of the lovely book, Unconditional: Older Dogs, Deeper Love.

This book is a collection of photographs taken by Jane. When asked about her creative process, she explained, “Not everyone wants their picture taken with their dog. But the next thing you know they’re all on the floor with their dogs. I ask them to share stories and talk from their hearts.” These beautiful images and stories will likely create a tear or two as you flip through the pages. I have my favorites certainly and you will too. Anyone that lives with older dogs (or dogs at any age really) will appreciate these stories about this special bond that happens over many years.

The dogs and their humans are spread across the United States. According to Project Unconditional’s site, “Since 2012, photographer Jane Sobel Klonsky has traveled the United States with one mission: to capture images and stories that focus on the powerful relationship between dogs in the twilight of their lives and the people who love them.”

Resources: Check out my post on Project Unconditional’s beautiful documentary created by Jane’s daughter, Kacey Klonsky. This film includes various interviews with these families – some foster senior dogs with only months to live and one family adopted a bonded senior pair of dogs and cannot imagine life any other way. The stories are really heart warming. The film is currently traveling around in certain film festivals so I’ll update this post when it’s available for the public to download.

*Below is an Amazon affiliate link and I’ll get a few pennies if you click on this and purchase her book. 


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Unconditional Love- Older Dogs, Deeper Love


There are 37 Comments

  1. Sonja says:

    Hygge – that would be a great dog name! And yes I know the feeling well. When my little dude sleeps in my arms, paws up in the air, like a small child. Or… pretty much anytime really. He’s my heart dog. I love good books like this. Older dogs are amazing.

  2. Carol Bryant says:

    I love senior dogs, too, and I work with a rescue called OBG Cocker Spaniel Rescue. The OBG stands for oldies but goodies. This looks like a fantastic book, and anything special like this which shines the spotlight on senior dogs is a must read for me. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Oldies but Goodies! I absolutely love that! You will love it – the stories are really sweet and I think the author lives in Pennsylvania! Maybe Jane has a book signing near you. 🙂

  3. Bruisy is so very lucky to have you! <3 Isn't it amazing how our dogs capture our hearts in ways that no one else can!

  4. Wow, I hadn’t heard about this book. Its sounds wonderful. I certainly know that heart bursting feeling both with Ruby and our first dog, Pip. I still can’t believe Pip has been gone since 2013 – my heart still bursts when I think about him.

    • Thank you! I totally hear you about dogs that have passed – our dog Sandola passed away years ago and my heart bursts when I think about her too. The stories in the book are really sweet. Big hugs to Ruby.

  5. Emma says:

    I’m a senior dog now, but Mom still considers Katie her senior dog and she was such a sweetheart. I’m a bit more like the grumpy senior.

    • You’re a “young” senior and now you have Madison to keep you feeling young for sure! That little pup will keep you on your toes for sure. Bruisy is a grumpy senior for sure. I know you all must miss Katie a ton. Bug hugs.

  6. Sa says:

    I love senior dogs, especially when I’ve had them since a pup. I still miss my sweet Cassie, who’s been gone almost two years. My cockers are now seniors and are slowing down some. The book sounds wonderful. I’ll buy a copy!

    • I also have a heart dog I miss too that passed away a few years ago – I think about her often. Thank you for commenting – Sherm is also a senior so I live with two as well. You’ll love the book!

  7. Cathy Armato says:

    I have grown partial to senior dogs as well. This came from being a shelter volunteer and watching so many amazing older dogs get passed over for, what seemed to me, like no good reason. It’s also from now 8 year old Phoebe, whom I adopted at approx. 5 years old. She’s a senior but she’s so special. I love my dogs to pieces and yeah, it often feels like my heart could burst from the love I feel for them! I hope Bruisy feels better soon with his paw issue, he’s so adorable and sweet. This book sounds great, and the film sounds amazing – right up my alley! Please do keep us posted if you find out when we can expect it to be available.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • UGH I hate when the senior dogs get passed over – it’s heart breaking. I’m so glad you shared this as I didn’t know Phoebe was 8 — she’s a young senior! Thanks for your sweet and kind words about Bruisy – these cysts are the worst and force him to take steroids which I hate. The books is great – and you’d love the stories!

  8. This sounds like a lovely book. I always have a book going. I think I’ll order this one for my next reading, since I love all animal things. Thanks!

  9. Heather Reid says:

    Oh yes, my parents dog is quite old, and I worry about him often. He’s my dad’s dog, but I was in high school when we got him, and love him dearly. Max is not elderly yet, and we’ve only had him for nine months but already I can’t help but run across the room for a quick cuddle when he looks at me. Bruiser is lucky to have you, it’s so clear that you love him. That book will make me cry to much to read, but it sounds precious.

    • Oh thank you for sharing this: your sweet senior I know receives so much love from your family. And your dad – there is nothing sweeter than a man and his dog. I feel for you both – I hate worrying. Your cuddle story makes me smile. The book WILL make you cry – there were some stories I couldn’t finish…. 🙁

  10. Lindsay says:

    I totally know what you mean hun. I feel exactly the same with Charlie and Baggy (Baxter’s nickname is Baggy and I never write out his name in public because most people get confused who Baggy is).

    I often think that when they go, a piece of me will go with them. Nothing could ever replace those silly, loving little boys. I wish that time would slow down because the years are flying by and as much as I love every single moment with them, I feel like I’m running out of time. 🙁

    My hope is one day I’ll reunite with all those that have gone before me. Wouldn’t that just be amazing?!


    • Charlie and Baggy are precious – It makes me feel better knowing others feel the same way. I’m with you – a piece of me will go for sure. I cannot even imagine anything being the same – I agree that time is going so fast and even though I try to slow down and really live in the moment with them – it’s so hard some days. 🙁 I too hope we all reunite with our guys – that would be awesome!!!! Thanks for your note…

      • Lindsay says:

        I sometimes get weepy thinking about it and my hubby will notice and tell me to snap out of it, but it’s reality. We’re all getting older and it’s bittersweet. If I could put it all into a jar and save for a rainy day, I would.
        Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to the love a dog have for theirs and you them. Not everyone feels this way but I know a large number of pet lovers like you and I would agree. 🙂


  11. Senior dogs are so sweet. Thankfully, we are taking better care of our best friends so we are able to enjoy them for many more years. ♥

  12. Jess & Mini says:

    Jess: I hope Bruiser feels better soon 🙂 He looks so cute in his sweater by the way. And about your heart bursting, I know what you mean. A dog’s love is a special love and you never want to lose it.

    Thanks for stopping by our blog and saying hello!

  13. Emily Jones says:

    My dogs have saved me – My daughter left home for University at the same time I moved from London to the middle of nowhere in Cornwall, UK – I was feeling very lonely and then we got our two dogs – I love them and we are a little family who do everything together. x

  14. Debbie says:

    Aww, our oldest is 10 and while he’s in good health still, I get a lump in my throat just thinking about him getting older. I love seniors so much. Pictures of them make my heart swell, even if I’ve never met them. Definitely need to check out this book. Thanks!

  15. Jean Dion says:

    That looks like an amazing book! I’ll have to check that out. And I agree with what many others have said. Liam the pug is about to move into double digits, and his face is much whiter than it once was. He’s growing older–but he’s growing sweeter to me with every moment.

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

  16. Diana says:

    I’ve been on the lookout for a new book and I think I have just found it. My dog Luna (RIP at 19 years), was there for me through all of the good and bad times. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t still think of her and all of her antics.
    Now I have Sherlcok-9 years, Anja-10 years, Laguna-3 years, and Coco the parrot-6 years. These 4 provide me with a recipe for a better life and I would’t trade it for anything.

  17. Harley is 8 years old now – I’m loving my life with a senior dog!

  18. Ruth Epstein says:

    It looks like a fantastic book and am happy when people highlight senior dogs, Layla is 10 years old but I call her my middle age LOL. She is actually more puppyish lately but I think that is because before me she never had that chance.