Adopting a senior dog may be the best decision you’ll ever make. Unfortunately, most of the senior dogs at shelters don’t get the attention they deserve and are euthanized needlessly. As we wind down October’s celebration of Adopt-A-Dog Month, let’s look at the advantages of senior dog adoption and tell you about Odie, a one-eyed senior rescue living on the streets of New York.
Top Reasons for Senior Dog Adoption
1. Older dogs aren’t all “problem dogs.” Senior dogs may be at the shelter for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with the dog’s temperament or behavior. Usually it is something to do with issues in the household such as death of an owner, a new baby, moving to a place that doesn’t allow dogs, loss of a job and various other lifestyle changes.
2. Older dogs already have some training. Most senior dogs will come potty-trained and with an understanding of basic commands. They’re past that “I can’t hear you” stage of puppyhood and will save you a lot of time and energy of training a young dog. Their ability to focus makes it easier to teach them new tricks.
3. Older dogs are calmer and less energetic. Senior dogs have an established temperament and demeanor, so you will quickly be able to see if it is a good fit for your household. With puppies, you don’t really know what they’ll be like as an adult, and it isn’t always a guarantee that they’ll settle down after the puppy phase. For many baby boomers, a more settled, less demanding dog is a perfect fit.
4. Adopting a senior dog may save its life. Most dog adoptions are of puppies and dogs under five years old. While senior dogs make loyal and loving companions, many are not given a second look. Overcrowded shelters are faced with euthanizing seniors if they aren’t adopted in a timely manner. Help save a senior, and you could be saved yourself!
Related: Support Adopt-A-Dog Month
Odie’s Happy Ending
Odie was living on the streets of Brooklyn when he was brought to a shelter in New York City. He had suffered some sort of blunt head trauma causing a severe eye wound. Thought too injured to save, he was slated for “death row” until he was rescued by Kyla and her husband, Bruce.
As a stray, Odie came with no known background or history to speak of. But the large tattoo on his stomach gave them reason to believe he was a breeding mill dog that was dumped because he got too old.
Kyla and Bruce rescued Odie and had his injured eye removed. “He was a very sad case, but we could tell he had so much more life to live. This poor little guy suffered enough, and it was time he got the love he deserved. He’s been with us nearly four years now, and he fills our hearts each day. We strongly encourage people to save a senior dog!” Kyla and Bruce are so committed to saving dogs, they're funding the transportation of dogs from the overcrowded shelters of the south to Vermont.
If only Odie could talk, I’m sure we’d hear a tragic story. But what really matters is the happy ending he was fortunate enough to get. Like so many seniors, their hearts are big and they just need a loving home to fill.
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