In my personal experience, I have enjoyed the companionship of an elderly dog who lived to be age 19, and a senior cat who lived to be over 20. I know just how special older pets can be. The Facebook page banner for the Grey Muzzle Organization says, "Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog." Find out for yourself. Adopt a senior pet this month!
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, a time to remind all of us that older animals make great pets. For one thing, you don’t have to wonder how big a senior dog will become – what you see is what you get. They tend to be calmer and less rambunctious than younger pets. Many older animals often already know a few commands and are housebroken – although they may need a little refresher course after spending some time in a shelter. (And by the way, you really can teach an old dog new tricks.)
I recently came across group that calls themselves “The Grey Muzzle Organization”. Their goal is to improve the lives of “at-risk” senior dogs by working with animal shelters and rescue groups. They provide funding, and sometimes resources – like orthopedic beds for older animals in shelters so they won’t have to sleep on a cold hard floor. They fund hospice care and other special programs to help old dogs feel better and find homes.
The Grey Muzzle Organization knows that although senior pets are usually calm, lovable, and make wonderful companions, they are the highest risk group at shelters all across the country. Many folks are looking for a cute lively young puppy or kitten, and overlook many great companion animals because of their age.
The truth is that most older animals are up for adoption not because they did something wrong, but because of situations that changed for their owners. Maybe an extended illness, a job change, financial problems, even the death of an owner can mean a senior pet is suddenly homeless, in a cage at a shelter, wondering what happened. When you adopt an older pet, you really are saving a life.
Because November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, it is a great time to visit your local shelter or rescue group to find a loving older dog or cat to share your home and your heart. In hindsight, you just might realize it’s one of the best decisions you ever made, when you’re speaking of pets.