"Blessed is the person who has earned the
love of an old dog." (Sydney Jeanne Seward)
If you have been lucky enough to have a dog in your life that has lived to a ripe old age, you will know of that special sort of dignity and a
charm all their own.
If you are in a position to adopt a dog, but know (or should know) that a puppy or young dog doesn't suit your lifestyle or situation, you may be shying away from adopting an older pet. Perhaps because you think they are "too set in their ways", or "incapable of bonding to a new family", or "too old to be taught anything -- especially house manners and obedience".
But actually you are missing out on a great opportunity. (See below the "Top Ten Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog")
Tess DeLacy, who has been involved in rescue in Ireland for many years, often takes in oldies from the pounds. She also helps out other rescues with rehoming oldies they have. "I think adopted oldie pets are so lovely to have in a family because usually
they have had come from sad circumstances such as a bereavement, or just not
wanted because they are old. These animals are so appreciative of a
little love, and to also to see them coming round, gaining that old
sparkle that they lost when they found themselves abandoned for whatever reason is just the
best thing ever. They are also calmer than young dogs. (Apart from my
Minnie, who is a hooligan at the age of 12! ) Long live the oldies!"
Read about Max, who was recently adopted by his new family - they tell us how it's been going.
Top Ten Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog
1. Older dogs are housetrained - You won't have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and mopping/cleaning up after accidents.
2. Won't chew inappropriate items - Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won't chew your shoes and furniture while growing up.
3. Focus to learn - Older dogs can focus well because they've mellowed. Therefore, they learn quickly. Know what "no" means
4. Settle in with the "pack" - Older dogs have learned what "no" means. If they hadn't learned it, they wouldn't have gotten to be "older" dogs.
5. Older dogs settle in easily - Older dogs have learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.
6. Good at giving love - Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they've been given.
7. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) - Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.
8. Instant companions - Older dogs are instant companions -- ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do.
9. Time for yourself - Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.
10. A good night's sleep - Older dogs let you get a good night's sleep because they're accustomed to human schedules and don't generally need night time feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.
(Source: The Senior Dog Project )
If you, or someone you know, is interesting in adopting a mature cat or dog, visit our special page set up for this edition of the newsletter.
Attention Welfare groups: Here's a pdf version of the list to add to your website or have available at your rescue.