Why Not Adopt A Senior Dog?

PennyFirst, let’s get the facts straight: any dog eight years or older will be labeled as a “senior.” Translated into human life span, that equates to us being a “senior” at 50!

Smaller and mixed breeds can live happily and healthily for 15 years or more, with more than half of their potential life ahead ! So adopting a “senior” doesn’t necessarily mean that they will die on you in the next couple of years, be riddled with medical issues, or stop wanting to love, play or hike.

Some older dogs are fit and spunky far into their teens. Check out many senior success stories below for the fantastic truth. So don’t judge a dog on age alone!

If you do have the heart to adopt a senior dog, you’ll likely escape many of the issues that plague the owners of younger dogs, including: house-training, super high-energy, obsessively wanting to play, destructive chewing on your valuables or play-biting you, and the challenge of walking nicely on leash!

In general, senior dogs are wiser, having learned most or all of these skills, but are still passionate about learning more from you.

If you lead a calm lifestyle and want a companion to hang out with at home, a senior won’t likely need as much exercise…and if you’re really a couch potato, some will need hardly any exercise at all!

Miki

If you worry about seniors having medical issues, you’ll need to consider that accidents and illness can happen, and they do cost money. However, dogs of all ages need some medical attention, so if you plan to adopt ANY dog, budget for that!. Of course, if you DO have the financial capacity to help a dog with medical issues, you’re especially suited to help a dog who truly deserves a better life and the comforts you can share.

Offering an older dog your loving home for the later years of his or her life is an incredibly rewarding feeling, especially when you see the your dog’s amazing potential that so many others had ignored.

We deeply and sincerely want to promote the adopting of senior dogs. The rewards truly are endless, and you’ll always have a warm spot in your heart for the wonderful gift you received by giving an especially deserving older dog a home. Shelters show the sad truth, it happens that people dump their family dog because he’s aging and starting to get slow, or because a medical issue comes along.

Other times it can be personal tragedy, or lack of funds to take care of medical needs. Whatever the reason, let’s not allow that memory be the dog’s last stop and final life experience.

Please consider adopting a “senior” and writing your own success story.

Photos by Wendi Marafino Photography

Why Not Adopt A Senior Dog?

PennyFirst, let’s get the facts straight: any dog eight years or older will be labeled as a “senior.” Translated into human life span, that equates to us being a “senior” at 50!

Smaller and mixed breeds can live happily and healthily for 15 years or more, with more than half of their potential life ahead ! So adopting a “senior” doesn’t necessarily mean that they will die on you in the next couple of years, be riddled with medical issues, or stop wanting to love, play or hike.

Some older dogs are fit and spunky far into their teens. Check out many senior success stories below for the fantastic truth. So don’t judge a dog on age alone!

If you do have the heart to adopt a senior dog, you’ll likely escape many of the issues that plague the owners of younger dogs, including: house-training, super high-energy, obsessively wanting to play, destructive chewing on your valuables or play-biting you, and the challenge of walking nicely on leash!

In general, senior dogs are wiser, having learned most or all of these skills, but are still passionate about learning more from you.

If you lead a calm lifestyle and want a companion to hang out with at home, a senior won’t likely need as much exercise…and if you’re really a couch potato, some will need hardly any exercise at all!

Miki

If you worry about seniors having medical issues, you’ll need to consider that accidents and illness can happen, and they do cost money. However, dogs of all ages need some medical attention, so if you plan to adopt ANY dog, budget for that!. Of course, if you DO have the financial capacity to help a dog with medical issues, you’re especially suited to help a dog who truly deserves a better life and the comforts you can share.

Offering an older dog your loving home for the later years of his or her life is an incredibly rewarding feeling, especially when you see the your dog’s amazing potential that so many others had ignored.

We deeply and sincerely want to promote the adopting of senior dogs. The rewards truly are endless, and you’ll always have a warm spot in your heart for the wonderful gift you received by giving an especially deserving older dog a home. Shelters show the sad truth, it happens that people dump their family dog because he’s aging and starting to get slow, or because a medical issue comes along.

Other times it can be personal tragedy, or lack of funds to take care of medical needs. Whatever the reason, let’s not allow that memory be the dog’s last stop and final life experience.

Please consider adopting a “senior” and writing your own success story.

Photos by Wendi Marafino Photography

The Blue Man Story

Blue Boy

Let me share with you the story of Blue Man, the dog who inspired the name of our group. Needless to say, this magnificent senior dog had a big impact on many people and dogs in the few 18 months he spent with me.

One day in late August of 2015, I went to East Valley shelter to look at a few dogs that I wanted to pull for rescue. That particular day, for some odd reason, several senior pit bulls had been surrendered to this shelter, not together, but by coincidence, and one of the staff members asked me if I would consider taking one of them. He was the oldest and biggest out of the bunch (the others where 10 years old and he was 12) and his name was Blue. He had big patches of hair missing on his back from fleas, his cropped ears were bleeding because of flies, he was a bit shaky on his front legs, but there was nothing wrong with his spirit.

We took him out so I could see him walk around and assess how he felt about other dogs barking, people walking around him, and so on. Nothing bothered this boy, he stomped around as if there was not a single thing to worry about and was most interested in a little cart he thought might have some food on it. We know his backstory…his owner lost his home and could not resolve the situation nor bring him along to his new home. Blue had lived with two other dogs, both of whom had passed away from old age. Due to the condition he was in, it was clear that he spent his life outside, what is referred to as a “backyard dog.”

I decided to take him, thinking that once his coat looked good again and he had a full medical check up, someone would want to adopt him, although I knew it would not be easy. He had his neuter surgery, and then I took him home from the vet clinic That trip was a mission of its own; he groggy and barely able to walk from the anesthesia, so getting him into the car with his huge cone, and me lifting, twisting, pushing, and pulling, all by myself, was not easy, to say the least. He weighed 80 pounds but it felt like 200!

Once home, I started to get to know him and discovered he was very mouthy, and insisted on jumping all over me. I yelled at him, and dogs always respond to the tone in my voice, but he was unfazed. I tried to startle him with a poke to his side to correct him, but that didn’t work either. He simply thought I was playing and would grab my arm and hop around like a rabbit. Hmmmm….now what? The next day he was intently staring at something outside the fence. I called him, nothing. I made a different louder noise, nothing. Finally, I tried some different tests and sure enough: Blue was deaf. This discovery did not exactly make him more adoptable and also explained why a verbal correction meant nothing to him, so I figured he would be around for some time and started working with him. He was a very dominant dog, both physically and mentally, but also extremely well balanced mentally with zero aggression towards humans or any size dog. I added “Man” to his name since he held his own performance every day as a comedian, like a Las Vegas show.

Fast forward some months and Blue Man became invaluable to me and the bond between us was very strong. He helped me with so many dogs, tiny chihuahuas, large dogs, fearful dogs, aggressive dogs – you name it, he was by my side, assisting like a champ. Other dogs where fascinated by his presence and wanted to copy him or would simple just stare at him as if he was a super star. It is very interesting to see how dogs respond so naturally to dominance. He was really funny too, had puppy behaviors like an old, mischievous man with a spark in his eye. He made me laugh every day, doing silly things, and each day was a joy to him, always happy, not a worry ever.

I describe him as a “raw” dog; he was never ruined by a human. He probably spent all his life in that backyard with the two other dogs, neglected you can call it, but never abused or had bad experiences. When he came to me, every new experience was like a big party for him – a car ride, going for walks, chewing on anything he could grab – he loved it all.

This year (2017) on Valentine’s Day, as usual, he woke up at 5 am and barked, wanting to go outside and get his FOOD. He took one bite of his breakfast and fell over dead. I was devastated at losing my dear friend, but part of me was happy he went like that. He died, still happy and mobile, from a heart attack while doing what he loved the most – EATING. He was 13.5 years old then and I am forever grateful I got to spend a year and a half with this big, old, deaf, amazing dog.

Mia

Testimonials From People Who Adopted Senior Dogs

Lorraine and Blackie

Lorraine and Blackie

When I decided to adopt a dog, I knew an adult small dog would be a good choice for me. I wanted a dog that could keep up with my athletic and social activities some days but wouldn’t mind relaxing in my apartment on other days. Blackies online posting caught my attention.

After speaking with Mia, who was fostering him, I went to her house to meet him. Because he was 9 years old, I could accurately see what kind of temperament and behaviors he had. Plus he was already perfectly crate trained and potty trained! I brought him home the next day, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

He is such a loyal companion and good sport. Two years later he’s just as spunky as ever at almost 12, still hiking, running, camping, and hitting the downtown cafes, bars, and festivals with me. He’s the best little buddy I could ever ask for!!

Lorraine and Blackie

Lorraine and Blackie

When I decided to adopt a dog, I knew an adult small dog would be a good choice for me. I wanted a dog that could keep up with my athletic and social activities some days but wouldn’t mind relaxing in my apartment on other days. Blackies online posting caught my attention.

After speaking with Mia, who was fostering him, I went to her house to meet him. Because he was 9 years old, I could accurately see what kind of temperament and behaviors he had. Plus he was already perfectly crate trained and potty trained! I brought him home the next day, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

He is such a loyal companion and good sport. Two years later he’s just as spunky as ever at almost 12, still hiking, running, camping, and hitting the downtown cafes, bars, and festivals with me. He’s the best little buddy I could ever ask for!!


Megan, Mike and Pita

Megan, Mike and Pita

My husband Mike is widely known for being anti-dog. He doesn’t hate them, he just doesn’t really see the benefits of them: They’re messy and loud and smelly and needy, they make traveling harder, and it seemed like friends were always leaving parties early to care for them. Because of Mike’s dog bias it took a while for me to convince him to let us adopt one.

But, once he gave in to my near-constant begging, I immediately went on a search for an easy first dog for him and us. I reached out to Mia and wrote: “I’m looking for a super-good dog for my nervous partner and our nervous cat… a dog that likes snuggling and watching tv, but in good enough shape to go on our long daily walks, and is travel-sized for taking on planes when we travel.

The last thing I expected was for her to recommend a 12-year-old chihuahua. But sometimes the perfect dog doesn’t come in the form you’d expect. I pictured a senior chihuahua to be all medical bills, and ear-splitting barks, and pain-induced biting. Chespita was being fostered by Julia and I went to meet her and the rest is history.

She’s so quiet and calm that her nickname is Pita the “chillhuahua.” Pita is a champion walker — she naturally heels, she keeps up with whatever pace we set, and she either happily sniffs or happily ignores every dog we pass. Her calm demeanor also made her the perfect pet to have around our 5-year-old niece who is learning (through Pita) to get over her fear of dogs, and our 1-year-old nephew, who is working on his “being gentle” skills. Pita has put up with both hard and tentative attention from those two with the patience of a skilled service dog.

And when she’s not walking, eating, or babysitting, Pita is burrowing under the blankets and sleeping for hours. When we leave the house we literally throw a blanket over her and give a kiss. When we come back, hours later, she’s still burrowed in the same spot.

Oh, and traveling? Puh-lease, it’s easy. She flies carry-on with us and sleeps the whole time. And every time we de-board, we hear “Oh my god! I didn’t even realize there was a dog there that whole time!”

Ah, the benefits of a senior dog — more snuggles, less struggles.”


Megan, Mike and Pita

Megan, Mike and Pita

My husband Mike is widely known for being anti-dog. He doesn’t hate them, he just doesn’t really see the benefits of them: They’re messy and loud and smelly and needy, they make traveling harder, and it seemed like friends were always leaving parties early to care for them. Because of Mike’s dog bias it took a while for me to convince him to let us adopt one.

But, once he gave in to my near-constant begging, I immediately went on a search for an easy first dog for him and us. I reached out to Mia and wrote: “I’m looking for a super-good dog for my nervous partner and our nervous cat… a dog that likes snuggling and watching tv, but in good enough shape to go on our long daily walks, and is travel-sized for taking on planes when we travel.

The last thing I expected was for her to recommend a 12-year-old chihuahua. But sometimes the perfect dog doesn’t come in the form you’d expect. I pictured a senior chihuahua to be all medical bills, and ear-splitting barks, and pain-induced biting. Chespita was being fostered by Julia and I went to meet her and the rest is history.

She’s so quiet and calm that her nickname is Pita the “chillhuahua.” Pita is a champion walker — she naturally heels, she keeps up with whatever pace we set, and she either happily sniffs or happily ignores every dog we pass. Her calm demeanor also made her the perfect pet to have around our 5-year-old niece who is learning (through Pita) to get over her fear of dogs, and our 1-year-old nephew, who is working on his “being gentle” skills. Pita has put up with both hard and tentative attention from those two with the patience of a skilled service dog.

And when she’s not walking, eating, or babysitting, Pita is burrowing under the blankets and sleeping for hours. When we leave the house we literally throw a blanket over her and give a kiss. When we come back, hours later, she’s still burrowed in the same spot.

Oh, and traveling? Puh-lease, it’s easy. She flies carry-on with us and sleeps the whole time. And every time we de-board, we hear “Oh my god! I didn’t even realize there was a dog there that whole time!”

Ah, the benefits of a senior dog — more snuggles, less struggles.”


Marci and Dora

Marci and Dora

Last September, I lost my beloved 14 year old Pharaoh Hound. I’d only had him for 6 years… far too short. My mother, who also lives with me, was in love with him. She didn’t want another dog and I needed a break. That didn’t last very long. By November I knew we were ready for another dog. Mom wanted a “sweetie” dog… that’s what she calls the little white fluffy pups. I knew I wanted a senior. My last 3 dogs all made it to senior status so I was used to having seniors around. They are calm and easy. 2 of mine were deaf and they were even easier than the one that could hear.

I started the search. I first saw Dora on the South LA Shelter website. She was a mess – matted fur, fleas, filthy. They thought she was a 15 year old poodle. I was a little worried that a 15 year old might have a lot of physical ailments, but I kept an eye on her as I continued my search. I couldn’t get her out of my mind, but by that time, she had been pulled by a rescue group. When I figured out who had her, I immediately sent in an application. Mia responded that she had just had her spay surgery and wasn’t available for adoption yet, but they thought she was only 10.  To me, that’s the ideal age for a small dog. Still plenty of years left and mature enough to be calm and mellow.

We filled out the application and went to meet Dora at her foster mom Julia’s home. She immediately jumped up in to my mom’s lap and the deal was done! Dora has no teeth, but that makes her even cuter. She can’t keep her tongue in her mouth. Her tail has been docked… no idea who/how…. so when she’s happy and wags, she’s wagging a little nub and a lot of butt.

She has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and the perfect dog for us. Zero accidents in the house, calm but loves her walks, loves to cuddle but not overly needy, loves all people and dogs, just a very easy dog. She walked in to our house and made herself at home and now she’s Princess Dora.

I don’t know how she ended up in the pound but I’m pretty sure she has forgotten anything negative that happened before she got here. She is pure poodle perfection!


Marci and Dora

Marci and Dora

Last September, I lost my beloved 14 year old Pharaoh Hound. I’d only had him for 6 years… far too short. My mother, who also lives with me, was in love with him. She didn’t want another dog and I needed a break. That didn’t last very long. By November I knew we were ready for another dog. Mom wanted a “sweetie” dog… that’s what she calls the little white fluffy pups. I knew I wanted a senior. My last 3 dogs all made it to senior status so I was used to having seniors around. They are calm and easy. 2 of mine were deaf and they were even easier than the one that could hear.

I started the search. I first saw Dora on the South LA Shelter website. She was a mess – matted fur, fleas, filthy. They thought she was a 15 year old poodle. I was a little worried that a 15 year old might have a lot of physical ailments, but I kept an eye on her as I continued my search. I couldn’t get her out of my mind, but by that time, she had been pulled by a rescue group. When I figured out who had her, I immediately sent in an application. Mia responded that she had just had her spay surgery and wasn’t available for adoption yet, but they thought she was only 10.  To me, that’s the ideal age for a small dog. Still plenty of years left and mature enough to be calm and mellow.

We filled out the application and went to meet Dora at her foster mom Julia’s home. She immediately jumped up in to my mom’s lap and the deal was done! Dora has no teeth, but that makes her even cuter. She can’t keep her tongue in her mouth. Her tail has been docked… no idea who/how…. so when she’s happy and wags, she’s wagging a little nub and a lot of butt.

She has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and the perfect dog for us. Zero accidents in the house, calm but loves her walks, loves to cuddle but not overly needy, loves all people and dogs, just a very easy dog. She walked in to our house and made herself at home and now she’s Princess Dora.

I don’t know how she ended up in the pound but I’m pretty sure she has forgotten anything negative that happened before she got here. She is pure poodle perfection!