- Gender: Female
- Age: 15 yrs
- Size: 40 lbs
- Color: Orange
- Cats: No
- Dogs: Yes
- Traits: Claudette is a sweet cuddly Young at Heart setter
January 21, 2015: Farewell to an Old Friend ...
ACES lost Safe Haven Setter Claudette to heart disease on January 21, 2015. She was 15 years old. Thankfully, Claudette lived a full active life until her final day. In fact, the day before was an unseasonably warm winter day and Claudette wanted to enjoy the warm weather and hunt for critters. She wasn't bothered by arthritis so she was still able to move quickly enough to catch a mouse every so often. Her eyesight was failing and her hearing was bad, but her nose and her legs never failed her. Claudette had a special dance to ask for a treat and another for her foster mom. She was the best snuggle-bug ever and enjoyed keeping you warm on a cold winter's night. Claudette was a sweet classy old lady, loved by all her ACES friends and especially by her long-time foster mom. Our hearts are heavy, and we miss her very much.
Update September 2014: My Big Adventure by Claudette
I love car rides. I don’t care where or when, as long as I’m invited. So I convinced my foster mom to let me tag along to the ACES Reunion this year. After a nice long ride, we arrived at … well, I’m not sure where. I’m 14/15 years old now and I don’t see or hear like I used to. My ophthalmologist says I’ve lost most of my sight so I guess it’s not too strange that I got lost in our hotel room several times. But I figured it out eventually. A couple of nice dogs named Biggles and Dudley came to visit us in the hotel. They really liked visiting because they got to eat my leftovers.
My foster mom thought the dog park might be too confusing for me, so I stayed at Aunt Heidi’s house instead of coming to the Reunion. The dogs there (Snickers, Blizzard, and Bear) were very nice and showed me around. ACES Safe Haven Setter, Molly, also lives there, but she didn’t like it so much when I bumped into her or got too close or sat in her bed. She didn’t realize that I’m not being rude, I just don’t see very well. So mostly, we ignored each other.
We all went to Aunt Heidi’s again on Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day and we spent a lot of time in the yard. I walked along the fence line so I wouldn’t get lost. I didn’t have to worry though, my foster mom came to get me when I got confused. Then it was back to the hotel for dinner. After Biggles and Dudley ate my dinner leftovers, their mom was taking them outside and I sneaked in between them to go out myself. When the door opened, I made a break for it and ran down the hallway. Biggles, Dudley, their mom Aimee, and my foster mom all ran after me. I may not see well but I’m pretty fast for an old lady, so they had to chase me for quite a way down the hall. It was really fun!
We came home the next day. It was another long car ride, which I loved. Once we got home, my foster mom lifted me out of the car and I went into the yard from the garage. Then I looked back and noticed my foster mom was unpacking the car. The car was still open … maybe we could go for another ride. So I skipped back into the garage, bouncing and grinning my toothless grin to let my foster mom that I was ready to go again. But she said, not today. Bummer! I’m glad to be home but I’m ready to go again. I hope we have another Reunion next month!
Update 3/23/14: Claudette remains in good health, but is starting to show signs of her age. The extreme cold this winter has really taken a toll on her but she has her own warm fleecy coat and her foster mom covers her with warm blankets to ward off the chill. Her foster mom also encourages Claudette to cuddle on the bed overnight to stay warm. Claudette is a great cuddler. Claudette started having frequent tummy upsets recently. Her foster mom changed food again and started giving Claudette more home-cooked meals. This has perked Claudette up considerably, and now she often dances for her meals like a puppy. Her favorite meal is chicken, sweet potatoes, and peas. Although Claudette is not as active as she used to be, she joins the family more and more. She follows her foster mom around in the mornings before work, knowing she will get an extra treat. Claudette has her foster mom trained well. No one could resist Claudette's toothless grin and her "I'd like a treat please" dance. Claudette loves to snack. Potato chips and popcorn are her favorites. Claudette has learned how to get her foster mom to sneak her a few snacks even if there's not enough for everyone. Claudette knows that seniority has its privileges and she takes full advantage.
Claudette has been with ACES since July of 2009. She is spunky enough that it's easy to forget she's about 14 years old now. Overall, Claudette is a happy, loving dog. Her front teeth had to be removed, and her back teeth aren't so good. She has a couple bare spots (from a flea allergy) where the hair will never grow back, but her toothless grin and tail wags are as strong as ever. She may never win a beauty contest but Claudette has grown into a lovely senior citizen.
Claudette officially retired in January 2013, becoming an ACES Safe Haven Setter. She is happy to spend her retirement years in a comfortable ACES foster home. Claudette loves to ride in the car but has become somewhat of a home body. She likes her car rides to end up back at home. Whether going to the vet or visiting friends, Claudette doesn't want to get out of the car until she can see that she's back home again in her own garage. But show Claudette a car, any car, and she's ready for a ride. She's even been known to jump into the trunk of a strange car in a parking lot while her foster mom was talking with the car owner.
Claudette is still active and enjoys her time in the yard. She especially likes to go out just after dark when the other dogs have come in. Then she can stalk critters without the younger dogs interrupting her quest. Claudette gets along with the other dogs in her foster home, but they know not to take advantage of her good nature. She'll put those annoying youngsters in their place in a flash.
Over the past year, there have been signs that Claudette is aging albeit gracefully. Dry dog food upsets her stomach, but she is thriving on a combination of canned food and home cooking. Claudette really felt the cold this winter and wore a sweatshirt or jacket all winter. Encouraged by her foster mom, she learned that cold winter nights are much warmer in a bed snuggling up with a human. So when it's cold, Claudette's the first one in bed at night. On warmer nights, she's content to sleep in her dog bed where her younger siblings are less likely to crowd her. Claudette's joints are good so she has no trouble jumping on the bed or into the car.
Claudette would just sit back and watch when she came to ACES in 2009. It took her almost a year to decide to come out of the bedroom and join the rest of the family. She didn't act afraid; she just didn't seem to know what to do. Since then, Claudette has learned not only to join the family, but she has also learned to dance. She has a special dance for when her foster mom comes home and another to ask for a treat. Sometimes Claudette dances for dinner, and she dances for squirrels and other critters. She dances for her favorite foster brother, and sometimes she dances with that toothless grin just because she's happy. Claudette's theme song is Lee Ann Womak's "I Hope You Dance." When Claudette had "the choice to sit it out or dance," she decided to dance.
Setter Sidekick Laura and her ACES dogs Tucker and Gracie send lots of hugs and setter kisses to Claudette.
Claudette dedicates one of her special "happy dances" to thank Pam Miller for her support of ACES Safe Haven Setters.
With love from me (Sandra Witten) and my two setters, Tiger and Annie.
Carmel & Bill Broadfoot are happy to support sweet Claudette as she enjoys her "golden years" as an ACES Safe Haven Setter.
Jodi Jenkins & Angie Howard encourage all potential adopters to consider the special love that Young at Heart setters like Claudette offer. The love of senior setters is like no other.