Sat. May 18th, 2024

Meet Loco — a sassy senior pup who recently celebrated a big birthday milestone. Usually, birthdays come and go without much fuss in the animal shelter, but for Loco, staff at the Spartanburg Humane Society knew they had to do something the pup wouldn’t soon forget.

A small black dog wears a birthday hat.

“She was wearing a birthday hat and frilly collar, and the entire staff gathered and sang to her,” Angel Cox, chief operating officer at Spartanburg Humane Society, told The Dodo. ”She had a sweet potato cake [and] she loved it! The company that made the cake brought her a Happy Birthday banner for her office door.”

The guest list included plenty of Loco’s favorite people — but no dogs allowed.

Everyone enjoys a senior dog's surprise party.

“She is picky about her people,” Cox said. “When she loves you, she really loves you. But the people she does not like, she hates them. And she does not like other dogs at all.”

Though no dogs were a part of the festivities, everyone enjoyed celebrating the spicy little nugget they’ve all come to know and love for more than two years.

A pink birthday cake for a senior dog.

Loco, who was surrendered to the shelter in 2020 due to ongoing medical issues, has become the face of the shelter. She even gets her own cozy space to retreat far away from dogs — and people — she’d rather not be around.

“We moved her to an office that is more comfortable,” Cox said. “She has 3 to 4 dog beds, and sleeps in all of them.”

Through her time living in the shelter, Loco has dealt with her fair share of medical issues.

“When she arrived she was 13, heartworm positive, thyroid issues and issues with her hips, so she was not a great candidate for adoption because she came with so many issues and her care would be expensive for most people,” Cox said.

A senior dog waits for her cake.

Now, Loco’s proven she’s a real fighter. She’s heartworm negative, regularly vaccinated and she takes thyroid medication to help keep her healthy.

Though she’s a little older than a lot of the shelter’s residents, she’s otherwise in good health. With her new job title “office dog,” she’s not looking for a new home — but that doesn’t mean living a typical shelter life. Cox said her spunk is the reason she’s one the most memorable dogs they’ve ever had.