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Adopt a Senior Dog - A Tail of True Love

When senior citizen Grace walked up to one of our volunteers at an adoption event and said “I want your oldest dog”, it took all we had not to plant a big, wet kiss right on her cheek. Maddie was a nine year old Chocolate Lab who was surrendered to the Colorado Animal Welfare League due to an impending divorce. She was overweight, had had many litters of puppies, and was scared and lonely after leaving what she had known as her only home. From Grace’s perspective, Maddie was perfect – she was a senior just like her. has deemed November as Adopt-A-Senior month, so shelters and rescues across the nation are sharing the virtues of our senior companions. As an owner of a 13 year old Golden Retriever named Blitzen (she was born on Christmas), I can attest to the special bond between a senior dog and its owners – along with a few other nice bonuses from sharing a home with a senior:

  1. They love to spend time with you and make the best companions. Blitzen usually keeps my feet warm under my desk all day.
  2. They don’t require a lot of playtime. Sleep is definitely the order the day with a senior.
  3. They are typically past their days of relentless chewing. Although treats are certainly appreciated!
  4. Their personalities are done developing. You will know if they are going to be child/dog/cat friendly prior to bringing them home.
  5. Most are house trained unless they were kept as strictly outdoor pets.
  6. You will be saving their lives.  Unless specifically taken to a no-kill shelter, an older pet has a much higher chance of being euthanized as they are typically much harder to place.
  7. Adoption fees are typically less. Rescues know that seniors are much harder to place than a young dog and will usually offer discounted adoption fees.

Grace was an angel that gave Maddie a second chance at a great home and I suspect Maddie was an angel for Grace as well. Please do consider adopting a senior dog this month – especially if you don’t have the time and inclination currently to spend with a younger dog.

Please visit our article on more information on why to adopt an older dog if you have further concerns on senior adoption.

3 comments to Adopt a Senior Dog – A Tail of True Love

  • You certainly make a good case for why one should adopt a senior dog…many thanks!

  • Beth Lazar

    Thanks Moxie Paws. It’s so sad when a senior dog is surrendered. Only the really lucky ones find new homes.

  • Nicola

    Just a warning, I have 3 “senior” dogs – one 8, two 13 years old. They still need a daily walk of at least 30 minutes, daily training and individual time with me to be happy. Also, be prepared for higher vet bills as blood & urine tests should be done twice yearly over 7 years of age (depending on breed). Having said that, my next dog will definitely be an older dog – they have so much to give!

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