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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why Adopt a Senior Dog

Adopting a Senior Dog

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about rescue dogs and in particular about senior rescue dogs. Ok let’s start from the beginning. First, let’s address the reasons why dogs end up in rescue.

Some people feel that if you adopt a dog from a rescue, you would be inheriting someone else’s problems. Dogs lose their homes for a number of different reasons. Most of them are not problems that the dog has, but are problems that the people have. Not all dogs in rescue have behavioural or health issues. We live in a very fast society. When people want things they want them right away. It is quite common for a very expensive, well-bred dog to outlive their usefulness, especially when people buy them on an impulse without doing any research. Or the people no longer want to take responsibility for them. Other reasons can include things like death or illness of an owner, not enough time, change in schedule, new baby, loss of a home, allergies, or change of lifestyle. These are just a few reasons, as you can see.

Too many times, our hearts are broken because we have several great seniors that are so often overlooked for adoptions.

Why would you adopt a senior dog?

Senior dogs have had some training in obedience or house manners. Although some dogs while being in the shelter get confused and scared of being uprooted from their regular lives and may forget all that they have learnt. However, once in a new home they soon remember with a refresher course and some gentle reminders. Senior dogs are no longer going thru the puppy stage and chewing everything in sight. Yes that includes your shoes, furniture, cell phones, carpets, and walls (and it doesn’t stop there!) They understand to stay off furniture, and not to chew, and were at one point socialized in their lives to get along with humans, other dogs and pets. Another great thing is; there are no surprises. You know how big the dog is going to be as they are no longer puppies and have stopped growing! Senior dogs are grateful that you have adopted them and they are always thankful. They appreciate love and attention and are quick learners. Yes! They are quick learners. You can definitely teach an old dog new tricks! They know what is expected of them and will openly give their love to you.

Another misconception that people have about senior dogs is that their vet bills and health issues are more than that of a younger dog. Let’s face it vet care and medication is needed at any age. It may or may not be more for an older dog. Age really is just a number. Older dogs need all the same things that younger dogs do. They need good nutrition, exercise (although may be less intense and physical), regular trips to the vet, love and attention.

I have met many people who want puppies. I personally would prefer to adopt a senior dog, myself. By adopting a senior you are making a strong statement about compassion and the value of all life at any age. You are setting a wonderful example for your children and giving them life lessons that will be forever valuable. Yes a puppy has her whole life ahead of her, but so does a senior dog. You can give that senior dog the best years of his life.

My friend, who recently let go of their senior gal, told me that she had a hard time coming to terms with adopting another senior so soon after the passing of her dog. After some thought, she decided to go ahead and adopt another senior. She felt that giving a home to another senior in need was a tribute to her old gal and it actually helped to ease her pain. Saving a dog from euthanization allows for them to have quality time for whatever period they have left. It allows us to focus on the positives and to deal better with our loss.

There are no guarantees about length of life with any dog. Quality of time together is what matters more than quantity. Please consider adopting a senior today. It truly is one of the most rewarding experiences.

Please visit our website and meet our seniors

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