Friday, November 9, 2012

Brooks Says, Adopt a Senior Dog

I'm joining Petfinder in celebrating November as Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month.

Why is this one of my "pet" causes? --If you're a regular here, you know it's because we adopted Brooks as a senior dog. Brooks was 11 years old when we adopted him this spring.


It took a leap of faith to adopt a dog this old. Larger breeds like Brooks don't have a much longer life expectancy, on average. I didn't want to adopt him, only to have my heart broken if we were to lose him in a short time. But my husband sealed the deal when he looked at Brooks and said, "But Honey, he deserves a loving home in his golden years."

Brooks has turned out to be loving, gentle, easy-going, and the perfect dog for us. We've only had him for 6 months so far, and he's stolen our hearts. Even our resident dog Kelly is beginning to come around. She was jealous at first, and put him in his place. Now, at times, she'll lick his face and sleep beside him.


Brooks is easy to care for. "Think of a pet that is already trained and doesn't chew or scratch everything in sight -- a pet who will love you unconditionally," said Kim Saunders, Petfinder.com's Vice President of Shelter Outreach and Public Relations. "That's what you get when you adopt a senior pet."

Some people worry that a senior pet comes with problems. We got lucky. Brooks has fewer "issues" than Kelly, adopted at 1 year old (also through Petfinder.) I think senior dogs just want what any dog wants--love.

Brooks has some health issues--he has allergies and at the moment needs to be on steroids. But no dog, young or old, has any guarantees. A friend of mine paid a hefty price for a labradoodle puppy and after only a month it was discovered that the pup had a life threatening immune condition. (Fortunately the puppy is improving.) When we adopted Brooks, I accepted that we needed to be prepared to provide for additional senior health needs, if they were to arise.

So don't be afraid. A senior dog has lots of love to give. A senior dog deserves a loving home for his or her golden years. During Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month, take the opportunity to get acquainted with the older pets available at your local shelter or rescue group, or at www.petfinder.com.

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