SF Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum chooses senior dogs

Tim Lincecum witnesses a kiss between Timmy and Muttville founder Sherri Franklin

I heard from a friend this morning about a friend of hers who is moving out of the area. This friend of a friend is spreading the word that that she’s selling her car and giving away gardening items she no longer needs. Oh, and she’s also looking to rehome her ten-year-old dog. “So if you know anyone who’s interested…”

I know what a powerful tool networking can be, and I don’t blame my friend for contacting me about a dog in need. Truth is, I get those types of emails all the time. But humans, come on! Yes, I love animals, but it doesn’t mean I have this secret list of committed, responsible families just waiting for a senior dog to become available.

In fact, quite the opposite.

Last Friday, when I got to the shelter for my usual stint, one of the kennel staff warned me that we were really busy. More than just trying to keep the population cool and comfortable in three-digit temperatures, we’d already received 30 animals that day. And it was barely one o’clock.

Maybe that’s why it felt like such a salve to hear about San Francisco Giants player Tim Lincecum’s big win yesterday — and he wasn’t even pitching. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was participating in game changers, a program created by popchips® brand potato chips to highlight athletes giving back to the community.

Lincecum was asked to team up with one of five local nonprofits, and he happened to choose a DogTime favorite: Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. At Sunday’s game, Lincecum, along with Muttville founder Sherri Franklin and 11-year-old adoptable dog Timmy, appeared at home plate for a special ceremony designed to bring awareness to the plight of homeless senior dogs.

The star pitcher also autographed memorabilia for Muttville’s upcoming Moolah for Mutts fundraiser. Lincecum, who has two pups of his own, told Franklin that he would’ve become a zoologist had it not required so much studying. A visit to Wikipedia confirmed he could’ve done anything he wanted — his SAT score was 1450 out of 1600. Impressive guy, him: top notch brain, pitching arm, and heart.

Meanwhile, dogs of all ages keep arriving at our nation’s shelters. The older ones are often hardest to place. I hope word of Lincecum’s actions spread, inspiring dog lovers to adopt seniors from rescues like Muttville. Or better yet, to not discard them in the first place.

Alaska, an 8-year-old Doberman Pinscher, is available at Espanola Valley Humane Society.