Adopting Older Dogs, A First Hand Experience - By Volunteer, Debra P.

Adopting older dogs, a first hand experience.

I know it's fun to have a puppy to play with. But senior dogs are awesome and are just as much fun. I adopted my first, older pup when she was 10. Tater was my best friend and my shadow. I had her almost 4 years. We had a wonderful, slow, and mellow relationship. She did like to bite some heals of the other dogs. I didn't realize the effect she had on her brothers until she was gone. She ran a tight ship. She was the dog version of a grumpy, old man.

I always knew she was right at my side always. She would look up at me with a partially toothless smile and things seemed better. When I lost Tater I was heartbroken. It wasn't fair - I wanted more time. I thought I’ll never adopt an older dog again. It was way too painful. No more for me. Then I decided I would know when the right puppy came around. Then, in walks Gracie into my home and heart. Gracie is a cute little Yorkie that had been used as a breeder dog the first 9 years of her life. Her original owner snipped her vocal cords and took away Gracies voice. I want to track that breeder down and bop him in the nose every time she tries to bark and it sounds like a balloon deflating. When I met her she was so scared and timid. She still doesn't like loud noises or fast movements. I thought my Tater never let me out her sight, but Gracie follows me everywhere - including the rest room. It’s like having a little kid again. But it's all worth it when I get home from work. She goes nuts, wiggles her butt and goes in circles doing her happy dance. She loves to play just like a puppy.

Older dogs still have years of love to give. They are usually housebroken. If not, it doesn't take much to train them. They have seen a lot in their life and they are ready to settle into your heart. I know puppies are cute and sweet. But senior dogs will quietly listen to your problems of the day or of the heart. If you truly want a special relationship with your dog, adopt an older dog. Be their savior when they are dropped at the pound because the owners wanted a puppy.

I know my years with Gracie may be short. But we will make the time we have special. We have both been through a lot and we are still here. We are both a little slower and it might take us a little longer to get there. But we get there together. I loved my Tater so much. One of my friends said Tater would approve. I think she's right.