Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Heaven is Rescuing Older Dogs - Guest Author Monica Agnew-Kinnaman

I'm delighted for a whole slew of reasons to welcome author Monica Agnew-Kinnaman to "nonfiction Wednesday" today. First, her book So This Is Heaven: How Rescuing Old or Unwanted Dogs Provided a Touch of Heaven on Earth is about two subjects dear to my own heart -- animal rescue, and "mature" or otherwise unwanted dogs. Beyond that, Monica is 95 years young and, as you'll see when you read her bio, could undoutbedly write another couple of fascinating memoirs of her well-lived life. And just look at these lovely and loving dogs! (More on adopting older dogs below.) I'll leave it there - welcome, Monica.  ~ Sheila

I already have two "rescues" and today I am waiting for another canine victim to arrive. The year is 2009 and my latest guest, the one I am now waiting for, is an aging Old English Sheepdog. I know little about her except that she has spent her life caged in a "puppy mill", giving birth every six months. Countless pregnancies have taken their toll and now, at eight years old, she is no longer able to produce healthy puppies. Consequently, useless to the breeder and taking up valuable space, she was slated to be destroyed. A concerned sheepdog rescue group learned of her fate but their facility, already overcrowded with unwanted dogs, had no room for her. They called me.

As I stand at the window, gazing out at the Colorado winter landscape, I think of the many dogs I have loved, now all long gone. Little snowflakes are drifting lazily down, heralding a storm to come, and the van bringing the dog is past due. The long wait is getting tedious and my mind starts to wander. While I reminisce fondly about the past I find myself being transported back in time to another century, another place, another dog.
 It is now the late nineteen twenties and I am ten years old, standing on the steps of a mansion on Duchy Road, the closely guarded bastion of the super-rich in Yorkshire, England. A tall figure in a butler's uniform is gazing down at me, no doubt wondering what business this small person, who had arrived unannounced, could possibly have with his employer.
"I hear you are going to kill your dog. I have come to take him," I blurt out, with no preamble.
From So This Is Heaven, Chapter 1
Jess, 11 years young, doing what Border Collies do!

More from Monica

I have had an assortment of animals all my life, and over the years have taken in many abused and abandoned dogs, but it is only within the last fifteen years or so that I have concentrated on OLD dogs. I found that most people adopting from rescue operations, such as the pound, wanted only young dogs and puppies. The old dogs, however sweet and loving, didn't stand a chance. They invariably ended up being "put down."  So I started to look for old abandoned dogs that no one wanted, and who had never known any love or kind treatment. This was not only at the Humane Society but wherever I found them. That is what "So This Is Heaven" is all about.
I hope people will read about these wonderful senior citizens and go to the pound, specifically to adopt an old unwanted dog and shower it with love. Or if they are unable to take a dog, find an abused cat or even a rabbit!
Monica Agnew-Kinnaman was born in England and served in a British anti -aircraft regiment during WW II. She came to America sixty years ago on vacation and met her future husband. They moved to Colorado where she has lived ever since. Monica has a son and a daughter, both married. She has had dogs all her life but after her husband died she decided to take OLD abused and abandoned dogs that were destined be destroyed. She is now 95 and lives with Lilly, an Old English Sheepdog, fourteen years old, and Jess, an eleven-year-old Border Collie. Her e-book can be found on Amazon at So This is Heaven or at the publisher's website at Alpine Publications. A paperback version is currently available only by contacting the publisher, but a link to order the book in paperback will be posted on their site soon.
Note: There is nothing like the love of an older dog, and few things quite so uplifting as watching a dog who has gone for years without basic love and affection blossom in a nurturing environment. The same is true for cats, horses, rabbits....all social animals. To learn more, I recommend that you visit The Senior Dog Project, The Grey Muzzle Organization, and your local shelters and rescue groups.
Alpine Publications offers a full line of non-fiction books on dogs and horses to help people succeed with their canine and equine activities. If you are interested involved with rescue, or interested in helping in some way, check out my book Rescue Matters: How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animals, available in paperback and ebook formats from the publisher, and in paperback, ebook, large-print, and Audible formats from
I'm Sunny, and I approve this message.
I came to live with Sheila and Roger, and my Lab sister Lily,
last November at 11.5 years. I'm so glad that
Golden Retriever Rescue Club of Charlotte took me in
and, after almost 8 years living with people who ignored me,
found me a home where I have my own bed, lots of tennis balls,
and CHEESE. I might not be here too many more years, but
the love I leave along my path will last forever.
Do something good for your heart ~ adopt or foster an older pet.



  1. I too have rescued many old dogs over the years- it is so rewarding, and even though you only have them for a short time, every moment is precious. Looking forward to reading the book!

  2. Thanks for promoting Monica's book. I have had the pleasure of knowing several of her dogs and am happy to see Monica's book available to inspire others to give an animal the best years of its life.

  3. This looks like a very heartwarming story. I can't wait to rescue my first senior or special needs dog. Still trying to convince "the other half" but I think when the time comes, it will fall into place. I dream of this day...