A sad reality for many seniors

Old dogs have so much to give.

Senior after senior comes across my Facebook page every morning.  Old dogs dumped simply because they are old.  How many stories have I heard about old dogs being dropped off at shelters, rescues or being rehomed.  "Too much work," "I don't have time," are some of the reasons people claim.  Having an old dog is a gift.  Do you know how many people lose their dog at a young age and never get the gift of sharing an old dogs life?  A canines golden years are truly golden. 

Each dog is different but almost all deal with something as they get into their most senior years.  We've dealt with spine issues, vestibular, dementia, tumors, poor eye sight, loss of hearing and more.  I remember when both Tilley 14 and Jessie 15 were both incontinent.  Every bed in my house was covered with an absorbent pad and then a fleece blanket.  There was more laundry to do than years before but then I had little kids then which meant more laundry as well. 

I for one am so saddened by all the old dogs who lose their home in their golden years.  Old dogs have a tough time being adopted; everyone wants a puppy or young dog.  Thinking that old dogs are too much work and dumping them off for someone else to deal with, boggles the mind.  After a life of love given to us by our dog, we dump them?  Our day to day is full of changes, growing old is one of them.  We are all going the same way; our dogs just get there sooner than we do. 

Many things can happen to an old dog; but often their needs are simple.  Good food, a soft and warm place to lay and a gentle loving hand.  How hard is that?  Life slows down for an old dog; it is a time for us to learn to stop and smell the roses.  I remember trying to adjust to Tilley's slower than slow snail pace when walking after she recovered from Vestibular disease.  It was a conscious effort but when I got it, it was wonderful.  We would snail around the park, just enjoying being there.  I remember thinking how lucky I was to be able to snail pace around with her. 

Taking care of our old dogs is what should be done.  Doing what is right sure teaches us about what is important.  Being given up when you most need your family is horrific and I cannot believe that humans can be so cold and uncaring. 

Having an old dog is a time to cherish.  Take time to enjoy the quiet times, see through old cloudy eyes, lend a helping hand when needed and just be, together.  There should be no expectations; it is a time to just be in the moment.  If you are one of the lucky ones; you will be gifted several years of life with a senior.  There may be more cleaning, lifting, balancing and general care needed but what a gift.  Caring for an old dog is work yes, but we took that on when we let that little wriggling puppy into our heart. 

Leave a comment, I love to hear from you.  


  1. I agree, unfortunately have only had 2 old dogs (one almost 13 year spoo & 10 year old dobie), the other dobermans died young of cardio myopothy and cancer claimed my sweet Shadow (standard poodle ) at 8. I don't understand how anyone could get rid of their senior dog

  2. My White Swiss Shepherd is almost 10, with kidney problems making her weaker. I didn't saw she is getting older till this spring. I get a puppy for few weeks to train...
    It is so wonderful to go to the forest only with your old dog, who understands you without words, who make you stand and look in to the green and sit on the ground feeling everything around! :) Puppies demands constant attention and effort, old dogs mostly your presence and love.

  3. Lynn Scherer PetskaFriday, December 19, 2014

    Very well said Sherri - I couldn't agree with you more. They are God's special gift to us and the longer we have them the more we should thank God for that opportunity to have their love.

  4. My first two rescue dogs were elderly both between 8 to 10 years old, both ex breeding medium poodles both werein a terrible state no fur on Pru's back hardly any teeth but I adopted them and was thanked by Sylvia who runs Many Tears Animal Rescue South Wales. U.K . I can honestly say they have been wonderful Sybil and Pru have been so loving and such cuddle monsters I would happily adopted an elderly dog any day. X

  5. I agree Sherri...it is so sad to see people who discard their old dogs when they need them the most...

  6. Our first family's pet was a mixed mini poodle. I adopted her after being told she was 10+ and found eating out of garbage cans and was a stray and had tarter on her teeth. The shelter tried to talk me out of getting her. She was going to be put down on Monday if no one adopted her so I went back on a day later and brought her home. She was about 16 when I had to send her doggy heaven. She taught my boys how to be love animals and how to be gentle. She made us fall in love with poodles. We are on our 3rd Standard. We adopted a large blue Standard and was with him til he was 14. My heart still aches over losing him 2 yrs ago. I agree, adopting an older dogs gives you more joy knowing you gave them the best last few years of their life!

  7. I agree,I actually have my almost 16 year old toy at a retirement home right now( she lives with 3 other dogs) she has severe congestive heart failure and my spoo almost 4 was to rough on her. I actually think we would lost her already if she was at home. She gets messages and all kinds of spoiled were she is and we go see her and sometime she comes to see us quite often.

  8. Sadly, we are living in a "throw-away" society, where conveniences in our lives no longer last more than a year or two. What's even more sad is that this "lifestyle", more often than not, transfers over to pets... an older dog is now seen as a nuisance or too demanding ("not enough time to care"). For the horrible people who dump off their old dogs, perhaps they will come to understand how wrong it is/was to do such a heartless act. When those people become old and feeble and they need assistance... when they are left in a senior home with no loved ones around to comfort them during their time of need, maybe in their loneliness will they come to realize how awful it must have been for their elderly dog to be left at the shelter... maybe. (One can only hope.)

  9. I have a 14 yr old Standard Poodle, and I am grateful every day that I still have her. She has a pinched nerve in her spine that causes her difficulty standing and walking, but she still participates in family life every day.
    We have 10 dogs and all but one are 7 yrs and older and all but the youngest are rescues. We have 8 poodles, 1 Bichon and a Chow.


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