Friday, August 8, 2014

Why You Should Consider Adopting A Senior Dog

**** IT's SENIOR DOG MONTH!!!  ****
I'm re-issuing this post in November, 2014 because it's Adopt A Senior Dog Month!  There are so many benefits to adopting a senior dog.

August has been designated Senior Dog month.  It's a sad fact that at shelters, as a cat or dog's age increases, the likelihood of them being adopted decreases.

One of these cuties is much older than the other one, and will likely take a lot longer to find a home.
Once they pass around 5 years of age, many potential adopters think twice about adopting a dog or cat.  Why?  There are a number of misconceptions adopters have, here are a few I have heard in my 5 years as a shelter volunteer:

She's 5 years old, she probably has health issues and her family didn't want to pay the vet bills
 
She's older already, if she doesn't have health problems now she probably will soon
 
We won't get many more years with her.  It's not worth it
 
He's too old to train, I want a dog I can train
 
He probably won't be able to love me as much as his first family, he was with them for so long
 
We really want a puppy!  We don't want an old dog
 
We want an active dog that can play with the kids in the yard.  This one won't have enough energy
 
We don't want a dog that's more than 3 years old.  I don't know, anything over 3 just seems old!

The list goes on, but you get the idea.  If a dog is more than 7 years old, we have an even more difficult time adopting them.  Not many people want to adopt a senior dog.  The 10 year old dogs we've had.... well, it's a special person that will open their home to a 10 year old dog. 

One of my absolute favorite adoptions was a 10 year old blind Daschund.  I was so worried that no one would take him.  One morning a man showed up at the shelter, he was an older military Veteran.  He had driven all the way from a city about 50 miles North of Phoenix just to adopt this dog.  He'd seen him online and said that he and his wife felt the dog "deserved to live out the last years of his life in comfort".  He didn't mind that the dog was blind, he had researched tips on living with a blind dog and how to make things easier for the dog in the home.  He didn't mind that there might be veterinary bills.  They loved Daschund's and wanted this sweet, beautiful little dog to join their Doxie pack and spend his last years with their family.  I could have KISSED that wonderful man!!  My eyes are tearing up now just thinking about that great adoption.  I'll never forget it.

My darling girl, Phoebe.  She was about 6 years old when we adopted her.  She's brought us so much joy! I can't imagine our family without her!
Don't make assumptions!   Senior shelter dogs can be the best pets!
 
Senior shelter dogs are often already house trained
 
They may be well trained in general, and possibly easier to teach new things
 
They are usually much calmer than a puppy or 1 to 3 year old, but still have plenty of energy for walks, hikes, and playtime!
 
An older shelter dog is probably just as healthy as your own dog of the same age.  Don't assume they have health problems
 
Your senior shelter dog just might outlive that shelter puppy or 1 year old dog.  You can never tell how long a dog will live.  Just like people, a dog's health is as individual as he is!
 
Senior shelter dogs are often Owner Surrenders due to divorce, death or failing health of the owner. 
 
Sometimes pets are surrendered due to extreme financial issues in their family.  We saw a lot of that during the economic downturn these last few years.  It's heartbreaking.

People sometimes forget that puppies are a TON of work, and that they are only puppies for a few months.  An older dog will bring your family just as much joy and love as a puppy.  One thing is for certain, when you adopt a senior dog you SAVE A LIFE!!

Have you adopted an older dog?  Please leave a comment and share your Senior dog's story with us!


6 comments:

  1. Sad sad excuses why people dump their senior pets at the shelters. Poor babies :(
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. I know, shelters have to work extra hard to find homes for these wonderful seniors. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. What a sweet story about that man. I'm sure that dog brought him a lot of joy. We had a 16 yr old dog come in to the shelter I volunteer at - great dog and still very spry! We were all so happy when she got adopted!

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    1. That is so awesome! A 16 year old dog is SO hard to get adopted. Thanks for sharing your heartwarming senior dog story, and thanks for stopping by the blog Jackie!

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  3. Love this post :) My dog is 11 years old and she is awesome. It's just so hard to believe that people really think that dogs "over 3" or even 5 are old! My senior dog still acts that old lol.

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    1. I know! It's so ridiculous that people think 5 is over the hill in doggie years! I'm so glad your senior dog is enjoying life, hopefully you'll have many more years together! Thanks for visiting us, Ann.

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