Thursday, December 6, 2012

Adopting a Senior Dog

Finnigan is one of the senior Bichons that
have added so much joy to my life. He’s
seen here getting into the holiday spirit.
For a lot of people, the positives about opening you heart and your home to a senior dog far outweigh the negatives. 

In the first place, when you choose to give a senior dog their final and forever home, you just feel good. How can you not? You know you’ve done a good thing even before you see the love grow in their hearts and feel the peace that comes over them in the first few weeks and months with you after they’ve settled in. 

How difficult it must be for senior dogs cast upon the world! I’ve thought about that a lot. And how very confusing. Though I know I’d have to go a long way to find the science to back this claim up, after having adopted several senior canines over the years, I know it to be true: senior dogs are wise and grateful. When you give them a good home, they know and love you for it all the more.

When Animal Fair’s Wendy Diamond adopted a Coton de Tulear and discovered the joys of sharing her life with a canine of a certain age, Animal Fair did a terrific piece on it. You can see that here, meanwhile here are their thoughts on why a senior dog is perfect to adopt:
The following tips are why senior animals are perfect to adopt!
1. The average shelter dog is medium-to-large, adolescent and usually have had little to no training. These dogs are overlooked at the shelter because they are past the adorable puppy stage, but still have plenty of puppy energy that needs an outlet! 
2. Taking a senior dog to the park might take on a slower pace, but socialization and temperament evaluation is still absolutely necessary to determine whether the dog is good with different types of people and other animals.
3. Basic medical care is a must, dispensing medication and taking your new dog to the vet for a once over (or twice over)!
4. Lots of love, playtime and attention will do your senior dog a world of good! And the seasoned seniors are more than aware that they got a second chance, and will reciprocate in kind.
5. Prospective adopters should ask their local shelter if they have any animals presently in a foster home setting, in need of adoption. Foster dogs are placed in a loving and supportive home, and prepared for permanent adoption! All final adoptions will take place at the shelter.

From my own perspective, adopting a senior pet is extremely rewarding and I have done so three times now with the Bichons I have known and loved. Open your heart, don’t worry about quantity, just simply enjoy the quality of the days you have together. You won’t regret it.

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