It's senior rescue time!
November is Senior Pet Adoption Month.
You are finally ready to bring a new dog into your family.
Older pets are front page on all the adoption sites.
Adopting an older dog is a good thing to do.
We could all use more good karma, right?
But is adopting a senior rescue dog right for you?
Why am I even asking? Because I love dogs. Because I have adopted older dogs. Because I will most likely do it again.
Because I like to ask uncomfortable questions and poke at conventional wisdom.
Because adopting an older dog is not for everyone.
Everyone is adopting seniors. Peer pressure!
Considering the idea of an older dog as your new pet is good. Adopting an older dog might be right for you.
But it might not be. Read on.
You have specific behaviors and tricks you want your dog to learn. You have a list of activities you want to engage in with your new pet.
A senior dog will probably have different ideas.
While she might be smart enough, she might not be particularly motivated to please yet another human.
Get a puppy instead. Make sure you choose a breed-mix that is capable of and would enjoy the activities you have in mind.
If you are looking for a buddy to run marathons with you, a senior rescue probably isn't the answer. Even herding dogs and Jack Russells slow down a bit as they age.
Find the shelter dog that is bouncing off the walls with energy. Then make sure you stick to your training schedule. You'll both be happier.
You don’t have the inclination or time to sit quietly with your new companion. Older dogs need companionship, but not in the form of rough and tumble play or ten mile runs.
Your senior rescue needs extra naps and gentle pets.
Huff’s idea of heaven was napping while snuggled against my leg as I stroked his fur. He dozed off but if I stopped petting him, he would lift his head to ask why I stopped. By the way, this was heaven for me, too.
You already have a dog at home who needs a playmate. If your current dog is full of energy and looking for a roughhousing companion, a senior rescue is a bad idea.
Think of it this way. If an rugby player needed a new best friend and practice partner, he probably wouldn’t choose a mobility-challenged elder.
Don’t frustrate both dogs by creating a no win situation.
© Copyright Suzanne Grosser