Sarah Traeger remembers her year with Betty White fondly.
“September of last year was when I lost Betty White,” she said. “She was ten years old, blind, and mostly deaf.”
Betty White was a white poodle Traeger adopted through Lucky 7 Dog Rescue, a foster-based dog rescue located in downtown Green Bay.
“I wanted to make sure it was the best year of her life,” Traeger said. “Her coat became better, she became more relaxed, you could tell that she knew that she was definitely home.”
Because older dogs have a significantly reduced life expectancy, Traeger says finding forever homes for golden girls like Betty White can be a challenge.
“Sometimes it’s a little harder for people to adopt a dog that might have only a year to three years left,” she said.
Traeger was there for Betty White’s last days and says that being there for the poodle was worth the heartbreak.
“Her last moments, she was relaxed because she knew that her person was there and she wasn’t going to be alone,” Traeger said.
That time spent with Betty White inspired Traeger to join forces with Lucky 7 Dog Rescue to create the Betty White Senior Sanctuary, a special foster program for older dogs.
The program launched January 1, 2019, and has served four dogs so far. Two of those four have already found forever homes.
“I feel like sometimes the senior dogs appreciate it a little more because they’ve gone through whatever it was previously,” she said. “Sometimes it’s been a good life, but sometimes it hasn’t.”
For a dog that has had a hard life, having a place to call home during those golden years can make all the difference.
“It’s the hardest thing when you lose a dog,” Traeger said, “but knowing that she didn’t leave this world by herself and had a family I think is the most important thing.”
To learn more about the Betty White Senior Sanctuary click here.
To learn more about fostering or volunteering through Lucky 7 Dog Rescue click here.