The Joys of a Senior Dog

“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”
Sidney Jeanne Seward

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.
IMG_4857Now, 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.
olddogHere are a few organizations that help promote adopting a senior dog:
Silver Hearts Project
Grey Muzzle Organization

10 thoughts on “The Joys of a Senior Dog

  1. What a wonderful post! It’s been delightful to read about Sarge joining your family ! What a blessing for all if you! Olivia

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Sarge seems like such a beautiful soul. When our living situation gets more stable, we will definitely be looking into adopting a senior.

  3. Yes, it is so hard not to judge people, but you’re right – we have no idea what the circumstances are. Maybe something happened and they felt like he would get the best care with someone else.

    I recently read something saying that dogs don’t live in the past, so we shouldn’t either. We’re just glad we get to see that white face!!

  4. I wonder if I will even make sense if I try and type through tears. I love that last picture above. There is definitely a special place in my heart for elder dogs and I just love you Sarge. ❤

  5. Love this post. I was drawn to a 10-year-old pit bull at the shelter when I adopted Kaya but he was on a stray hold. I still think about him all the time and wonder if he made it home.

    My parents’ dog is getting older and it’s so much fun to watch her still enjoying the little things like car rides, toys and fetch…even if she can’t get that far:)

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