An elderly woman who could no longer care for her elderly dog can rest easy now knowing "Tic" is well fed, loved, and will live out the remainder of her days in warmth and happiness.

Tic, who was given the name by her former owner due to the amount of fleas and ticks that covered her when she was found, is a 12-year-old hound mix with a heart condition.

These attributes didn’t make Tic a very adoptable dog, but ArkanPaws Animal Rescue in Conway posted her and her story on the group’s Facebook page hoping someone would have a heart for the situation the old dog had found herself in, a situation which far too often involves euthanasia.

"We saw that [ArkanPaws] had a senior dog whose owner was going into assisted living and needed someone. She is 12 and had a heart condition and would need to take a diuretic daily," said adoptive mom Jen Ryken. "It was the same condition and same medicine as our dog we had lost last year, a 14-year-old yellow lab named Jesse. We had her all 14 years."

Robin Stauffer, ArkanPaws board member who helped in the adoption, said James and Jen Ryken came forward and said they were sure they wanted to adopt Tic.

"I called and checked references, and everyone we talked to said yes, they’d make a fantastic home for this dog," Stauffer said.

After losing a 14-year-old dog just recently, why would the Rykens take in a 12-year-old dog with the same heart condition knowing they’d have to go through it all again?

"I tried to put the needs of the dog ahead of my own emotional weakness," Jen Ryken said. "So I just wanted to put aside the pain of losing another dog and really focus on what this dog needed for her final time on earth. Because I knew, having gone through a senior dog with a heart condition, they’re very easy dogs. They’re already calm, sweet. She hardly makes a sound. It’s not like getting a puppy. They’re easy dogs to take care of."

Ryken said it was just a few hours and Tic was at home with her sisters, a five-year-old Bassett hound named Addison and a five-year-old Cockapoo named Pepper.

"She has been home with us three weeks now," Ryken said, adding that Tic is eating well and getting along with her sisters.

On Facebook, Ryken posted a photo of Addison giving Tic a kiss on the face, "her daily facial."

Stauffer said Tic’s first mom was worried her dog wouldn’t be adopted by anyone and was afraid she’d be put to sleep.

"She can rest a lot easier now knowing the dog is in a home where she is loved and cared for," said Stauffer.

The adoption is just one that has been recently coordinated by ArkanPaws, a nonprofit that sprung in September of 2012.

The group has about 60 dogs in homes in the area that serve as fosters.

Between six members, the group coordinates foster homes, volunteers, collects adoption fees and donations, and coordinates adoptions.

ArkanPaws has no actual shelter or building front, but they operate off of adoption fees and donations.

Stauffer mentioned that in the holiday season, a tattoo parlor spearheaded a food drive that has kept the organization in dog food for some time.

Psycho Ink Tattoo offered its customers $1 off of a tattoo for each pound of food donated. The result was more than 1,500 pounds.

The group will hold a Stoby’s pancake breakfast benefit Sunday, March 23.

Find more information about ArkanPaws at or on Facebook at

The group’s director is Danielle Maddox.

Board members are Robin Stauffer, Lynette Long, Dani Butler, Kim Brandt and Karla Carmody.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to Send us your news at