November is National Adopt A Senior Month. Would you consider adopting a senior? Honestly, how sad is the fact that senior dogs need adopting? There are many different ways that a senior dog can end up in need of a new home.
1. Owner has died and no family member steps up to give the senior a home.
- This is extremely sad. Of course just because we want a dog or dogs; does not mean that any of our family members want them. Yes, it is amazing when a family member steps up to give a family members dog a home but it does not always happen. I have heard of many stories where family members have told an owner that they would take their dog if anything happened; but when the times comes, they do not. That my friends is one of the saddest acts.
2. Owner decides that a senior is too much work. I cannot imagine this; my mind just cannot grasp the idea. Dogs give us so much throughout their lives and as they start to slow and need more care we dump them? Yes there is more to caring for an old dog but when you love a dog, it is not work but the loving act of care.
3. Medical costs. This is a sad one. Many people when faced with a big vet bill of an old dog; opt to rehome a dog. There are options and ways to pay for the high cost of medical treatment.
4. Moving...sometimes people move and feel that they cannot take their old dog with them. Of course this happens with young dogs as well. Look harder and find a place that will take your canine family member.
Old dogs have a very difficult time being rehomed. There are not many people that want to take on the task of caring for a dog in their senior years. Having lost two very old girls a year and a half ago, I know all too well how much extra care they need. But never for a moment did I consider it to be work; it was just what you do when they need you. Now Luke needs more care; his body is slowing down and he needs time, an extra hoist now and again and patience.
Patience, this is what old dogs need. There is nothing more important than understanding when an old dog is slowing down and incapable of doing what they use to do. Old dogs are easy in the sense that they don't need a ton of exercise or training. They simply need a comfy spot to rest their head and body (very important, just try lying on the floor for a night), good food and a loving caregiver.
Caring for an older dog, whether it is your older dog or a newly adopted one is all about giving back. I remember watching Tilley sleep so soundly that I could come and go unnoticed. It made me happy that she felt comfortable and safe enough to do this with no concern.
Some great senior links below.
Sanctuary for Seniors
Old dog haven
The senior dog project
Of course there needs to be care when placing an old dog. If a perspective adopter has other dogs, they must be matched for everyone to be happy. Most old dogs mellow with age, I know all of my dogs have.
Consider opening your home and heart to a forgotten senior?