The House With A Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary Is A Retirement Home For Dogs That Will Melt Your Heart — VIDEO

Did you know that there's a retirement home for dogs? Because there is. National Geographic recently did a profile on the House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary in Gaithersburg, Md., and it totally melted my heart and it melted my heart. Nearly two-dozen dogs are spending their golden years at the sanctuary; run by Sher Polvinale and a team of volunteers, it gives elderly dogs a place to call home while they live out their lives. "Those dogs come to stay with us and there's no worry they're going to be passed along again. This is the end but it's a happy end," said Povinale in National Geographic's video. Oh, did I mention that there's a video? All I can say is, you'd better grab a box of tissues before you watch it.

In 2006, Sher Polvinale and her late husband, Joe, created a senior pet sanctuary in their home for cats and dogs who had lost their families through no fault of their own. These pets were at advanced ages and plagued by various medical conditions that gave them little chance of being adopted, according to the sanctuary's website

The dogs come to Polvinale's home in a variety of ways, including via rescues or as a result of their owners passing away or moving into nursing homes. Taking care of sick and elderly dogs is not cheap; according to Povinale, just one dog costs $8,000 in medical expenses. However, with help from donors, the sanctuary is able to provide the elderly dogs, many of which have severe medical conditions, the best treatment to make their rest of their lives as comfortable as possible

All I know is that after seeing this video, there are few things more precious than an old toothless dog running blindly in a wheelchair through a garden. Except maybe a tail wagging furiously as it sticks out of a pastel-colored diaper.


Yes, you're adorable.


If we can learn one thing from these animals, it's to embrace aging. These pooches might look a little worse for the wear, but they're acting like puppies (or at least trying to), running as fast as their little bodies will take them.

Povinale wakes up at 6 a.m. to attend to the dogs and rarely leaves their sides. A team of volunteers help to pick up after the dogs, bathe them, groom them, and, most importantly, give them love.

High five for that.


When the dogs pass away, their pictures are hung in what's called "the stairway to heaven."

"We never forget them. We never forget them, and they are always with us," said Harriette Sackler, Vice President of House with a Heart.

And really, how could you forget an adorable face like that?

Watch the whole video here:

National Geographic on YouTube

Images: JackPeasePhotography/Flickr; National Geographic/YouTube (7)