I was reminded of this when a friend called me to say that she had checked out the Petfinder link at the bottom of my homepage and fallen in love with a 15 year old Dachshund who is in need of a home. We began talking about older dogs and I asked her “how is a dog this age in need of a home? Who dumps off an old friend?” She, being the kind person that she is, mentioned that many have elderly owners who have to leave their homes for care in a facility where they can’t take their beloved pets or in some cases senior dogs get left behind when their owners have died and the family members can’t or won’t take the dog.
While I love her for thinking that way, in too many cases older dogs are abandoned for many reasons. The puppy grows up and is too big or too requires too much exercise, the people don’t have time for a dog after all, or economics can sometimes play a part when properly caring for a dog is beyond the owner’s capability to pay.
I can’t imagine what this must be like for these poor four legged friends who find themselves in this kind of a situation. I’m sure that they can’t understand what is happening and what they’ve done to deserve what has happened. I do believe that dogs have feelings. Most dogs reach the emotional level of a 3 yr. old child and are capable of many of the same emotions that we humans feel. Some do better than that.
So there they are. Lost and feeling abandoned.
November is a good time to learn or teach someone else about how wonderful older animals are and a time to either adopt or encourage others to adopt a senior dog. Older pets are among the hardest pets to place in suitable homes so sadly; many of them are killed or live out their days behind the bars of a dog shelter. All too often, during visits to rescues and shelters people are highly influenced by the “cuteness factor” which results in the benefits of adopting an older dog being overlooked in favor or a puppy or a young dog.
There are plenty of benefits to adopting an older dog. Just a few reasons off the top of my head are:
- Mature dogs make the best friends.
- Senior dogs and senior people bring out the best in each other.
- You get to keep ALL of your shoes!
If that’s not enough for you, Petfinders has put together a list of the top 10. You can read their list here.
The bottom line is this… if you’re thinking of adopting a dog, consider a senior dog. If you know someone who is thinking about adopting a dog, share this page with them. If you have an older friend or family member who is alone, talk to them about opening their heart and their home to a senior dog.
To your dog’s health & happiness,