Tag Archives: adopting an older dog

Bosch!

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The OIF adds a few links to this pinch collar that he bought for his new dog. I’m not a fan of this type of dog collar, but it helps control a powerful pup with a high prey drive (like Bosch) when he’s out for a walk.

The OIF named his new dog after the German tool company cuz his dog’s a German Shepherd dog and he’s a contractor/carpenter who uses Bosch Tools. Perfect!

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I gave Bosch this baby blue collar. It used to belong to my Nova Scotia retriever, Bailey. Bailey, a huge, rust colored beauty passed away 6 years ago. He used to look so handsome wearing this blue band! So does Bosch! I think my gift touched the OIF because he and the late Bailey were best buds!

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Bosch looks like an adorable teddy bear from this angle!

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But he’s a GSD! An older dog, close to 11. Big dogs don’t live much longer than 12, but I nagged the OIF into getting him because Bosch’s been in a kennel situation for 3+ years (his owner died of cancer). He has been tough to place in a home because of his high prey drive, age and size.

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But now he’s heading into a new life, a life of  high protein, premium dog food, excellent medical care, comfy digs, sleeping on the bed and the sofa with the OIF (the OIF spoils his dogs), two good walks a day, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE …

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…. thanks to the OIF, who opened his heart and wallet (today we went to the vet right after we got Bosch and the OIF dropped $250 for a wellness check up, some preliminary blood work, etc. Next week vaccinations, stool sample tests, most likely deworming … and another $250 bill. Then in two or so years when Bosch begins to falter the OIF will throw money at all the dog’s medical problems like there’s no tomorrow – anything to keep his beloved Bosch around for another six months. They will be in love with each other! – and Bosch will become a canine money pit. And it’ll be traumatic for the OIF to lose yet another great German Shepherd dog. And so soon! He always told me: dogs don’t live long enough! They leave their human companions too soon!

The OIF sees the paw prints on the wall. He’s had 8 German Shepherds! Still, he committed to Bosch.

He doesn’t think he’s doing anything all that wonderful.

He is.

– text and photos by Rosalie Tirella

Adopting an older dog‏

By Deb Young

Just as our senior citizens are sometimes disregarded or brushed aside, so too are senior pets.

Older dogs are the least likely to get adopted, but are usually the best to take home.

Older dogs lose their homes for many different reasons,most of them having nothing to do with problems the dog has, but rather with those of the person or family surrendering the dog.

Many folks think dogs who end up at shelters or in rescue are all genetically and behaviorally inferior. But, it is not uncommon for very expensive, well-bred, well-trained dogs to outlive their usefulness or novelty with folks who bought them on impulse and no longer want to take responsibility for them.

Veterinarians say that dogs start to fall into the category of “senior” around the age of 7. However, it depends on size. The smaller the dog, the later in life the dog becomes a senior. Nonetheless, a dog in a shelter can be as young as 5 and still have trouble finding a new home.

Many people automatically think of a puppy when they think of adopting a dog. Puppies are warm and cuddly, and everyone wants to hold and pet them. But puppies demand patience and energy to help them become wonderful family members. Older dogs, however, can be as cute and lovable as puppies, and they often come with many wonderful qualities that puppies take years to grow into.

Five million dogs are killed yearly in U.S. shelters and it is the older generation that goes first. Here are five reasons why to think about adopting an older dog:

1. Older dogs are wiser and calmer. They will more than likely to bond with you on a mature level.

2. Senior pets tend to appreciate the love and care of their owner and the fact that they have been given a second chance of happiness. Older pets in a shelter may suffer from depression because dogs go through a mourning process just like humans do. When a pet is abandoned they form a deeper bond with their new owner, they are more dedicated to making the home happy because they fear being abandoned again. This is your chance to give them joy, and to get that joy back tenfold.

3. Although older dogs may have health problems they do not generally require as much attention and care from you as they start to wind down in their old age. A shorter walk in the woods becomes more preferred than a two hour jog around the fields.

4. Older dogs are often trained to follow commands and are usually toilet trained.

5. Older dogs are easy to assess for behavior and temperament.

Maybe you are reluctant to adopt a senior dog because you fear that your time with your new best friend will be short, bringing that painful time of loss closer. But the privilege of loving a senior dog makes every single day special, as you and your companion share love, friendship, and a special relationship that grows stronger with the knowledge that you have given this fine old dog a second chance at life. The love that grows from this knowledge is stronger than the pain of eventual separation.

While you weigh the risks and benefits of adopting an animal, take a moment to ponder the power of adopting an older pet. If you have the opportunity and resources to enhance the rest of an older pets’ life, embrace it with both arms.

We all deserve to live out the last years of our lives with dignity, love and respect. Give a senior dog a second chance at life and you’ll find the experience will change your life.