Older people say that the worst thing about getting old is the feeling of becoming invisible…or useless. They feel they are no longer considered attractive or fun to be with. Sadly, older people are often ignored. This unfortunate reality doesn’t just happen to people… it happens to senior dogs too. Animal shelters and rescue groups have many senior pets, and they too are passed over for adoption because they’re no longer considered attractive or fun to be with.
Why senior dogs are Relinquished
There are many reasons a senior pet may end up in a shelter, and it is rarely due to misbehavior or bad temperament. Often times it’s simply a matter of a lifestyle change that conflicts with having a dog. Some senior dogs are placed in a shelter when their owner has gone into a nursing home and is unable to take a pet. Sometimes, the owner passes away and no one in the family is able to take the dog. Regrettably, many owners simply do not want to put up with the dog’s medical issues or injuries. They may say the dog is just old and they don’t want to have to face putting it to sleep. How heartless.
Advantages of adopting an older dog
The good news is that these sweet gentle, creatures are available for us to take into our own homes. Senior dogs make wonderful companions. They no longer chew, most likely are housebroken, and generally are quiet, calm and well behaved. Aside from some possible medication administration, they’re very easy to care for. They just want to hang-out with you… sit by your chair, or curl up with you and nap. Most people will agree they feel a sense of gratitude from their senior adoptee…a “thank you” for giving me a home… bestowed with devotion and affection.
The other day we shared with our Facebook fans an article written in The DoDo online magazine about a gentleman who has made it his purpose in life to adopt older pets. He finds a fulfillment in life by knowing that his 10 dogs and numerous other senior pets are happy, loved and well taken care of. It makes his life worthwhile. Owning and loving an older pet is truly rewarding.
More love to give
I often see a tiny gray and white shih tzu walking in our neighborhood. She trots alongside her adoring Mom, off leash, with her head held high and even has a little bounce to her step. Come to find out, this sweet girl is 18 years old. In dog years, this little princess is 126 years old! Up close, her eyes are cloudy, and her fur is a little sparse, but she doesn’t seem to mind. I doubt she is concerned that she can’t run as fast as she used to, or see as well as she once did. She just finds joy by happily living in the moment, each and every day. If 60 is the new 40, then in dog years maybe 18 is the new 10… and this little girl, and all of the homeless senior pets, still have a lot of love and life to share.