November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month because senior dogs need loving homes too!
When you adopt a senior pet:
1. You are saving a life!
2. Seniors have been around, they’ve seen a lot and they have a lot of love to give. They are usually calmer and adaptable to new situations.
3. Seniors don’t demand the same level of exercise or entertainment of a younger dog. They are very happy to curl up by your feet and take a nice long nap.
4. They usually have some training, are house broken and aren’t teething so they aren’t shoe destroyers. Seniors are a lot less work than puppies and you probably won’t need to supervise any middle of the night potty breaks!
5. Don’t believe the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. It might take a little while, but senior dogs aim to please and are receptive to training. They will learn the “house rules” in order to earn your love and affection.
6. There is no mystery about how big they will be, what they will look like and what their grooming needs will be.
I know most people want to bring home a pet either as a puppy or young dog so that they can have as much time as possible with them. I get that, I really do, but unfortunately I have known of many dogs that didn’t make it to their 2nd, 3rd or 4th birthday and it was devastating for their owners. We can never be sure how long our precious pets will be with us. The only guarantee we have is that at some point we have to say goodbye and that is by far, the worst part of being a pet owner.
Seniors tend to need more frequent medical care and that can be expensive. Annie and I were at the vet quite often and since we said goodbye in January, I’ve only been back there on two occasions. Once for Winn’s annual check up and then a couple of weeks later when she had her corn cob incident. Maisie is due for her annual next week and it does feel a little strange that I haven’t been in the office as frequently as I was with Annie. I don’t miss the bills, but I do miss seeing everyone who works there.
I adopted Annie when she was 9 1/2 and knew that my time would be limited with her. Because of that, I was much more deliberate about making each day count for her. I wanted her to have everything I could possibly give her to prove to her that she was deserving of a loving home. We had two years together and I loved every minute of it, even the ones when I worked so hard to gain her trust and wasn’t sure if she would ever bond with us.
Annie filled my heart in different ways than my other dogs and I know I will adopt a senior again. Recently I’ve heard of two senior boys that are both available for adoption. One of them is a 10-year-old in Washington State who has attracted the attention of many Newfie owners on social media and I believe several applications have already been put in for him. The other one is an 8 1/2-year-old in Illinois who is very sweet but needs to be in a home with no other pets. Neither one of these boys is right for me but I know, just like with Annie, when the time is right my path will cross with a girl who needs me to give her the good life in her later years and I will greet her with open arms.
I still miss Annie so much but I want to encourage others to try not to worry about the amount of time you will have with your pet, but the quality of time you will have with your pet. If you are willing to open your heart and home to a senior pet, the rewards are huge for both of you and so worth it!
One of our favorite companies, Stella and Chewy, are featuring adoptable senior pets all month long on their website. You can read about them here. They will also donate $1 to senior rescues every time the hashtag #ISupportSeniorPets is used. What an easy way for all of us to get involved! All year long, for every bag of food purchased, they donate a meal to an adult rescue pet. Thank you Stella and Chewy for your constant, generous support of adult dogs.