Roger Matz has been a dog owner most of his adult life. It was an introduction to a purebred West Highland terrier more than 40 years ago that evolved into a passion to give back through adoption.

GHS Alum Aspen, a three-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd cross.

“I like older dogs… underdogs (no pun intended) because no one else seems to want them,” says Roger. “I came to realize that there are so many dogs in need and while I can’t help them all, I can provide a good home to some.” Adding, there is no substitute for the personal reward in doing so.

When he spotted Aspen’s profile on the Guelph Humane Society’s (GHS) website Roger immediately sent in an inquiry. GHS’s intake and behaviour coordinator, Melissa Stolz, responded within hours.

Roger considered three different dogs from three different agencies, but he knew Aspen was special.

“I prefer a shepherd mix of her size with that hint of a silver muzzle,” Roger shares. “She has a beautiful trusting face and eyes. After just three weeks it seems like she has been with me forever.”

For Roger, giving back goes beyond providing a new home for animals, like Aspen. “Through my experience as a dog owner I understand the costs associated with care,” Roger says. “Shelter adoption fees are low and if a dog needs extra medical care and attention those fees don’t begin to cover it.”

It was this generous thinking that inspired Roger to make a $1,000 donation to cover Aspen’s medical and dental expenses while in GHS’s care. “I am fortunate to be in a position to help,” he adds.

At age 71 Rogers says Aspen will be his last dog. “I see the future when I am 80 and she is 14 and we will mosey down the street at the same slow pace,” he says. “If I had a checklist of all things I ever wanted, in all of the dogs I have ever had, she fills them all — she is just perfect.”

Donate to support care for dogs like Aspen by December 31, 2022, to receive a 2022 tax receipt.

One Aspen-erational Dog originally appeared in the GHS Paw Press, Fall 2022