I have a lot of respect for old dogs. There is just something comforting about touching noses with a senior at the park, to admire those years of wisdom written into their white-speckled snout. These elder statesdogs have dignity. Decorum. After all, they know who they are, and they have life experiences to share. Older pets can teach valuable lessons about love, friendship and growing old.
LOVE NEVER GROWS OLD. A senior pet will slow down, take a few extra minutes to wake up in the morning. They might grow thinner, and might grow a few gray hairs. But age never changes the love that senior pets have for their humans. Their bodies grow old, but their hearts stay forever young.
FRIENDSHIP HAS NO EXPIRATION DATE. Many senior pets will always be open to making new friends, no matter how many homes they’ve seen throughout their lives. They have mastered what it means to be a best friend in their years of experience.
A GOOD ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. Age often brings ailments for senior pets, from arthritis to diseases to cancer. But through all the pain, medications, and trips to the vet they still manage to keep their tails wagging and their love unwavering.
A KIND SOUL TAKES TIME. As pets age, they often mellow out; they become gentler, and enjoy the simpler, quieter things in life. Beneath the surface of even the grumpiest of old pets lies a sweet old soul that’s just a little rough around the edges.
IT’S OKAY TO BE LAZY. Senior pets love snoozing for hours. They are unapologetic about being lazy, and it makes you feel less guilty having your furry friend by your side while you binge-watch four seasons of your favorite show.
THERE IS NO SHAME IN GROWING OLD. Inside every old pet is the young, energetic pup (or kitten) that they once were. Some senior pets can channel that youth in spurts of playtime and energy, while others are only young at heart. Either way, they aren’t afraid to take their time and live a lazy retired life. That’s the true beauty of reaching the latter moments of life—spending time with family and enjoying the smells and sounds of the things that matter most. And that is just okay.
Why am I barking praise at these justified and ancient members of the canine community? Well, November is National Adopt A Senior Pet Month—a month dedicated to helping older pets find loving forever homes. Shelters are full of wise old dogs hoping for a second chance at life. Many of these animals were once owned and loved by someone, but for various reasons ended up homeless. Welcoming a senior pet into your home can literally save a life. Although you won’t have as many years with them as with a puppy, you can make their golden years the best they deserve, and they will be forever grateful. According to many who have taken in seniors, the experience can be a life-changer for both parties.