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Adopting an Older Dog was My Best Idea Ever!
At First I Thought I Wanted a Puppy
I wanted to rescue a puppy. We have two cats, and I thought a puppy would be less disruptive to the cats. I thought that the bond would grow between a puppy, the cats, and us. Plus, puppies are so cute, and I didn't know the first thing about adopting an adult dog when you already have cats in the house. And then I received an email from my sister...
This Puppy Needs a Home!
"This puppy needs a home!" wrote my sister. She included the picture above. Except, the dog wasn't a puppy! She was a cute, fluffy dog that looked older than a puppy. My sister knew the dog's family, and the family couldn't keep the dog anymore; the dog had been in need of a new home for several months. I forwarded the email to my husband and said, "This is our dog."
After several conversations and meeting the dog, we adopted her. Her previous family estimated her age at 10 years! She even had a little arthritis in her back left leg. But, she had the traits of a happy puppy; she wiggled when she saw us, and she loved going outside. This cute dog had lived a happy 10 years and deserved to live the rest of her life in a good home. She adopted us as soon as we met her!
Why Older Dogs Rule
Here are all of the great things I discovered about my older dog!
- She is sweet. Very sweet.
- She is well-behaved and trained.
- She respects the cats. Most of the time, she won't even look at them...
- ...Unless they are doing something bad. She tells us when the cats are going to jump on the furniture.
- She doesn't get on the furniture...except one sofa when we leave the house!
- She walks at a good pace. She doesn't drag us down the road, but she's happy to run when we want to run.
- She's good with kids. She might try to lick their faces, but otherwise she'll just try to avoid being stepped on.
- She is the neighborhood Welcome Wagon. She greets people if they show an interest in her. I now know my neighbors.
- She has never had an accident in the house.
- She's happy to sleep for a while if we go out.
- She doesn't chew our furniture.
- She doesn't jump on our company.
- She loves hanging out with us.
- Our friends and family don't mind if we bring her to their houses because she is mild-mannered and well-trained.
- She's fun!
The ASPCA also has a list of why older dogs rule: http://www.aspca.org/adoption/adoption-tips/reasons-to-adopt-an-older-dog.aspx
What About Problems Older Dogs May Have?
A lot of people think that by adopting an older dog, you're adopting health problems or behavior problems. I would argue that a younger dog brings the same issue. Any dog, young or old, could develop a health or behavior problem. By adopting a dog, you are saying that you will take care of the dog "no matter what." My dog happens to be dog aggressive. Dog aggression is a trait that younger dogs can have, too. We learned how to work with her so that her dog aggression isn't an issue. My dog also happened to develop a bone tumor and needed an amputation. A young dog can develop the same disease. My dog is about 12 years old now, and she's still a champ! http://hubpages.com/hub/What-to-expect-after-your-dog-has-a-front-leg-amputated Adopting her is the best thing I ever did!