Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I just checked my Humane Society calendar and noticed November is 'Adopt A Senior Pet Month'.

What can I say about adopting that I haven't said before? Plenty. All of us are attracted to adorable little puppies and kittens but are all of us up to training, babyhood and what I refer to as juvenile delinquency - that wonderful time right on the heels of puppy-hood and teething into what would be the canine equivalent of the teenage years? I don't think I could go through it again as wonderful as Annie is she definitely was a handful when first adopted at almost 5 months.

I can still smell the potting soil Annie gleefully shook all over my bedroom as she 'killed' a 5 lb. bag I forgot to pick up from the floor. She was pleased with herself; I was beside myself and my bedroom was a disaster area.

Kittens aren't in my experience (Buddy came to us as an adult) unless you count my Aunt's cat Sheba flinging  herself at the drapes and pouncing on my head at night during a weekend visit when she was still a kitten.

The way I see it there are many pros to taking a senior animal:
  • What you see is what you get - the size and personality are set. That takes the guess work out of trying to determine if the puppy's full size will be bigger than what you anticipate.
  • If training is needed - it more than likely will be minimal and easier since older pets are calmer and more focused than younger animals.
  • House-training isn't on the agenda since most seniors have already been through this as little ones. 
  • Older pets while active, have long ago passed the super-active stage of younger animals.
  • A good home with love and companionship goes a long way with a senior dog.
  • With age comes wisdom - older animals are more adaptable to new situations.
  • Senior pets have a harder time getting adopted. If you adopt one you definitely are saving a life since older animals will be euthanized first in order to make room in shelters.
Of course, there are some cons to taking a senior animal:
  • Medical issues. The possibility of chronic illness is all too present but, hey, if you get a young animal as they age the same issues will appear on the horizon.
  • You might have your new companion for only a few years before they pass away. But what will you receive in terms of time spent and memories created with your senior animal? You will know in your heart you made 'the golden years' truly golden for your senior companion.
Consider a senior pet when adopting this month or any month.

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