|Our senior dog Tucker aka Sugar Lips|
The Joys of an older Dog.
Like us, most people who decide to get a dog, or another dog, get a puppy.
Puppies are incredibly cute, soft and cuddly and look to us for direction in life.
Until recently I had never questioned our decision to adopt puppies. Because of my wife’s avocation as blogger of all things dog, I have begun to think outside of the “Puppy” box.
One thing I have realized is just how many dogs are available for adoption that have had a previous loving life in a family. They are house broken, neutered, socialized and most of all longing for the love and inclusion they once knew.
I am talking about older dogs.
Just because an older dog is in a shelter or foster care does not mean something is wrong with them. Their previous people may have died, fallen on hard times or were forced to move somewhere they could not keep the dog.
This realization has led me to think about our previous pets. The recent loss of our beloved senior dogs, Tucker and Lucy, first comes to mind because I still miss them greatly. Yes they were puppies when they came to live with us, but being a puppy only lasts a short while.
You get to watch a puppy as they grow into an adult and then grow old. All the while you get to know them better and they get to know you better. They learn their place in their world and become great role models of puppies and people.
A bond grows and they truly become part of your life and you become a major part of their life.
If you watch closely you can learn a lot from your dog, and not just little things. Things we all need to learn in life: acceptance, trust and unconditional love.
Yes, my dogs have been a positive and loving experience in my life and have taught me a lot about living. Not much of this learning happens in puppyhood while you are busy house training teaching them the ropes and replacing things they destroy.
This learning happens as you share your life together. Yes, the end is hard but if you are lucky you get to hold them as you bid them farewell, knowing they had a good life and you were a major part of that.
Now we have Jeffie, six years old, who is just beginning to show some age. That realization causes me to want to spend more time with him and share the bond we have. There is Rudy, who is two years old, and I find myself longing for the day when he mellows and learns some of the lessons we are all trying to teach him.
Puppies are great but the greatest joy is sharing a long and loving life with them.
The shelters are full of older dogs that have already learned those puppy lessons and wanting to share some love.
Think about it. I am.