November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, so I want to tell you about some of the great senior pets in my life.
You all know Boomer. He is Sammie’s best friend, and every time we go to the dog park and she sees a boxer, she thinks it’s him. Even though he’s (I can’t believe it) SEVEN, he still keeps up with Sammie like he’s just a pup. You can’t tell very well in this photo, but he’s got the gray face to tell you otherwise.
While Boomer has always lived with cats, he’s never given them much attention. They, however, think he is the bees’ knees! Curled up with him in this picture is Boots, my mom’s cat, who also considers Boomer his best friend. Boomer got sprayed by a skunk the other night and had to stay outside. When he finally came in, Boots wouldn’t leave his side!
Boomer is also fantastic with kids. He let’s them crawl all over him and pull on his jowls and ears without blinking an eye. Can I just say he’s the best dog ever?
Best part is he has always been this way. Previous owners of older dogs will know their personalities and relay that on to you, the foster, the shelter, or the rescue. Having background knowledge about a pet’s behavior is one great plus about adopting a senior.
Also at my parents’ house is my brother’s border collie, Pele (he loves to herd soccer balls, hence the name). Now, Pele followed my brother home one day so we don’t know too much about his early years. We assume he was a dump, considering he’d been lingering around our country road for a while, and the vet estimated his age at 7 based on his teeth.
We guess his age now at 17 or so. He’s had a long life with us, and it’s not always been easy. However, he loves his people and will still play catch with you if you throw a stick or frisbee. He loves being pet and scritched and just wants attention.
That’s another great thing about seniors: they just want love! If you’re serious about adopting, that’s exactly what you have to give. Don’t think you’ll have enough time with them? Pele proves that’s not always the case!
This is Addison, Aaron’s blind and deaf Boston terrier living at his mom’s house. Even though she can’t rely on her senses anymore, this girl can still get around! She jumped up on the couch just fine to snuggle with me while I napped (and took this picture) and has no trouble jumping up into an even taller bed.
You also always know where she is because she runs into everything while she’s getting around, but if you try and help her you’ll get a very nice harrumph! It’s like she’s saying, “I can do it myself.”
She’s also much calmer than Matley, her younger “sister,” which can be a great advantage for an inactive household. In fact, seniors are perfect cuddle companions since they are, for the most part, beyond the adventurous lifestyle.
Remember seniors in your search for a new companion – they deserve all the love we can give them for the last few years of their life. If you have a senior or rescued one, I’d love to hear about them!