As we wrap up November, also known as Adopt a Senior Dog Month, I wanted to share some of our feelings about the newest and oldest member of our family, Sargent. In case you don’t know the story of how Sarge joined our family, you can read about it here, here and here.
Before Sarge, I didn’t really consider how wonderful having a senior pet could be. Nola is our fist dog, and like many other people out there, we got her as a puppy. Really, the only thoughts I had about older dogs revolved around how sad it will be when Nola gets older. Then came Sarge. Something about his white muzzle, his slight limp, and those soulful black eyes just got deep down into my heart and wouldn’t leave. And now, I can’t image life without him.
It’s hard not to judge the person who could give this wonderful boy up. Like, REALLY hard. But one thing I’ve learned working in rescue, is that you just don’t know the circumstances people have to deal with. While it is heartbreaking to think of a dog that has had one owner his while life suddenly being dropped off a shelter, the thing I try to focus on is that we got an amazing gift and a wonderful addition to our family.
Sarge is such a simple boy. He loves everyone and everything, including the beach, frisbees and food. Yes, he has his ‘issues,’ especially due to the fact he was only neutered in January at age 13. He has learned some pretty annoying behaviors in his past home, but the amount of joy he brings completely outweighs any negatives and I feel like this is probably true about all older dogs who get adopted later in life. I even wrote about the benefits of adopting a senior dog, here. In fact, I wrote SO much about why he was such an amazing dog, I convinced myself and the Mr. (and Nola, eventually) that we could not live without him.
Now, whenever I see a senior dog come up for adoption at a local shelter, I do my best to share and network. I love to see them find families and get to enjoy a warm bed and lots of love. I hope that people will open their minds and hearts to an older dog. Yes, they probably won’t live as long as a younger dog might, but they will give just as much love bring you just as much happiness. And, you can give them the same in return. One of my friends posted this on our Facebook wall right after we adopted Sarge. It made me cry, but it so eloquently sums up the whole experience of adopting an older dog. I can only hope that everyone will be as lucky as the Mr. and I, and get to experience the joy of adopting a senior dog.
Here are a few organizations that help promote adopting a senior dog:
Silver Hearts Project
Grey Muzzle Organization
In honor of Throw Back Thursday (and because I didn’t get a chance to finish my post about Sarge!) I wanted to share one of my very first posts, before most of you even knew M&M&NK existed. I hope it helps you understand our beginnings with Nola and why we started the blog (plus, there are cute puppy pictures of Muffin). Enjoy!
This is the face that started it all. We had been talking about getting a puppy for months. Then we found Nola, who at the time was called Camilla, and our journey began.
It was the day before Halloween. She was being transferred from a shelter in Alabama (like so many others), so we met the transport truck at a park and ride in New Hampshire. Of course we were the first in line, because as you’ll come to find out, I
am a little bit of a worrier and like to be prepared. As she was handed to me off the truck the barrage of kisses began, and they haven’t stopped since.
Nola was our first dog ever. My family had a dog when I was little, but sadly she was hit by a car before I was old enough to really remember her. I have always been an animal lover, but my brother was allergic, so we could never have pets in the house. Jim’s family never had pets. We really had no idea how to train and take care of a puppy, but as stated above, I am a worry wart like to be prepared so I did all sorts of research before Nola came.
There was a point a couple weeks in when we thought we were over our heads with her. We were DINKS (dual income no kids) so having our schedules revolve around something other than ourselves was a tough adjustment. But, we figured it all out. We took training classes, learned all the places to go on and off leash, made mistakes, called the vet hundreds of times, and asked for advice from everyone we knew with dogs. Through it all I took tons of pictures and told all my colleagues at work every little cute, aggravating, silly and naughty things that Nola did.
This blog is a way for me to chronicle the trials and tribulations of Nola and everything we will go through in the future without having to bore my co-workers anymore. (To be fair, I work with pretty much all women, and the majority of them have kids. Telling my stories about Nola is really the only way I can relate to all their
boring interesting stories about their children.) We have learned so much from her, not only about how to train puppies, but about how much we both love dogs and how much an animal can change your perspective on love. I consider blogs picture books for adults, so I promise to keep posts relatively short and focus on the photos I’ve taken of our adorable pup. I am excited to have a place to remember Nola’s puppy days (she is 18 months old now) and to write about all the new and exciting experiences we will have with her. I hope you all enjoy and fall in love with Nola as much as we did!
“Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
“No one should be alone in their old age, he thought.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Thanks to the amazing Liz Donnelly from Portland Photo Company for the beautiful photos of our old man Sarge!
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month! It pleases me that there is a whole month to celebrate a fact that I already know for sure: Senior Dogs Rule. To celebrate our favorite Senior, Sargent, I have a whole bunch of posts planned to highlight just how awesome and rewarding it is to adopt an elderbull…or eldertriever, elderweiler, elderoxer, elderhuahua …some how those others just don’t work as well. No matter what breed, adopting a senior is amazing. PERIOD.
But today’s post is simply about doing something nice for Sargent. He LOVES bully sticks. I place an order with BestBullySticks.com at least once a month. So when I saw they were having a photo contest, just for senior dogs, I couldn’t resist entering Sarge to try and win him more of his favorite treat.
You can vote for him here. (I know it’s hard to vote just for him, all the pups are ah-door-a-bull!)
The contest ends Friday, 11/15 at 5 pm EST. You can vote once a day until then. Sarge would appreciate any votes you could give him!
Thank you and yay for seniors!