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Dog Adoption

The Best Reasons to Adopt Senior Dogs

Apr 11, 2013

Dog lovers and why your should adopt senior dogs

It can be exciting to invite a new puppy into the home. They’re all full of energy and just want to explore the world around them. This often makes them the target of potential dog owners who want to adopt them into their lives. And in any case, providing a home for a dog is a great thing to do.

But the truth is, it’s just as great to adopt a senior dog as it is to adopt a puppy. These seniors have a lot of character that goes overlooked, especially at a shelter. What you should know is that seniors may have just the right qualities to fit comfortably in your home, and can provide you with the ideal companionship matched with your lifestyle.

Easy to expect

With seniors, you already know what to expect. Unlike a puppy, seniors are fully grown and have fewer changes to face in the future. In most situations, this applies directly to size. Consider a situation in which you rent housing. A puppy may start out below the lease’s required limits, but a senior will match and hold up without leaving you worrying about them outgrowing their stay.

Appetite is another thing. Young puppies will inherently demand more food as they grow bigger. With a senior dog, you already know what to expect, which means no unexpected bursts in hunger or even mood swings.

Teaching old dogs new tricks

Another considerable benefit is that seniors don’t require the same attention that young puppies or growing ones require. Needless to say, the need to monitor them isn’t a 24/7 job. They’re often potty trained as well, and while the details won’t be the same (such as their potty location), the basics are already covered, making training a much simpler task to achieve.

Additionally, other housetraining situations are also much kinder on your homestead. For the most part, you skip the teething years, which are often the worst on furniture and cushions as any dog-parent that has raised a puppy can vouch. In essence, seniors tend to be less destructive than their younger counterparts, and are often relaxed and more focused on spending time enjoying your company.

And who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Older dogs inherently want to focus on you and provide the best attention, whereas young puppies and even mature adults are intrigued by the whole world. This extra attention may be just the thing you were looking for after a long day at work. They want to warm up with you and perhaps enjoy a good rub down while you enjoy the feel of their fur and companionship they provide while you unwind after a long day at work.

Getting along

Older dogs tend to get along better with everyone, both people and pets included. They’ve been around, have grown wiser, and often settle into their new homes very easily because they already know what it takes to become a part of a family. In many cases, introducing a senior dog to other pets is easy, since they’re often much more focused on fitting in and less competitive.

For the most part, they enjoy the more relaxing aspects of life. Not everyone has time to entertain an active puppy, spending time training and introducing them to the entire world. Senior dogs don’t want to conquer the world around them (they already have), they just want to enjoy some time with their companions and have some fun in the process.

But, that isn’t to say that seniors aren’t active. Every dog, both young and old, needs to experience an active lifestyle. Though they may have slowed down a little, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to get out and enjoy some activity. It just means that they’ve never done it with you, and that’s the best part of finding a new friend.

Most importantly, taking in a senior dog saves a life. Older dogs are often the last ones to be adopted at a shelter, and the older they are, the less likely it becomes they will find a happy home. Saving a life offers an emotional return in itself, and can be amongst the most rewarding parts of the adoption process.

If you’re considering adopting a dog, consider one that has some experience under their collar (pun intended). They may not have grown up with you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their life with you. And sometimes, you might find they have a few tricks they can teach you if you keep your mind and heart open.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Our Inspirational Star

Aug 24, 2012

How dog owners make a difference

For us, when something goes wrong in our lives, we pray and hope for another chance or another opportunity to make a difference. We have friends and family we can run to for advise and then eventually we get the second chance that we need. However, it’s not that easy for our fury friends. But here’s an inspirational story about a dog that went through a lot of abuse until she was given a second chance when she was rescued. At first, they told her owners that she was unadoptable but thanks to the owners’ will to take her in, she had a second chance and went to a happy home. Her name was Starfish and here’s her inspirational story on how she fought for her life until her last breath.

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Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Nov 11, 2011

photoThis November is Adopt a Senior Pet month for our four-legged friends. And while picking up a cute canine companion can bring happiness to your home, there are also the elder pups to consider. Sadly, senior pups are often the most avoided when it comes to adopting, but they still need a home, too. For some folks, a young puppy with a furiously wagging tail and an excited attitude are important to an owner. But consider an older pup for a moment- quiet and calm, waiting only to be with you. Perhaps those are the best qualities that make a faithful companion.

Adopting the senior pup

Most pups reach their seniority at around seven years, depending on their breed and size. Here, most pups have begun to travel down that “old-age” hill, their physically prime years have passed them by. But that does not mean that they aren’t just as happy as a pup. In fact, they’ve learned a great many things and had many experiences.

If you’re interested in adopting an older pup, they actually have their own category on adoption lists. Your local animal shelter will likely have them posted on their website, so all you have to do is click on “Senior.” You can even go by and check things out for yourself to see if any of those faces and tails match your heart.

Taking care of your senior pup

A senior pup handles quite a bit differently than a puppy. Their age has brought them wisdom and years of learning- possibly both good and bad habits. Training should always start with covering the basics. This will help you get accustomed to what your pup knows and what they like to do. They may prefer certain foods, places they like to hang out, and even a certain spot to potty. Start by housetraining them. Show them where to potty, and what is acceptable. Don’t forget that positive reinforcement is the right way to enforce good and bad.

Older pups will usually have some aging conditions, such as arthritis, so make sure you take them to the vet within the first few days of their arrival to ensure their health. Though they may be older, their health still should be a top priority.

Since arthritis is very common amongst older dogs, it’s important to know how to handle them. They’ll likely show stiff signs or placing weight on one leg. Puppy massage can be a fun and relaxing time for your older pup. You can rub their joints, usually their hind legs, while they’re laying down. To help with circulation, a good chest rub is always in order. Their paws are usually a little worn out, just like ours will get, so rubbing between their little digits can prove most enjoyable.

The nice thing about senior pups is that you actually pass by all those wild years of untapped activity. While some may want a dog that is extremely active, not everyone actually has the time to handle all a young pup can dish out. If you’re looking for a pup that is there to be with you, even if just to sit by the fire with you as you read the latest novel, a senior pup may just be the right friend for you.

To most people, an aged puppy may seem a little worn out, as though they were merely a device or toy. But consider this: wine is aged for years- and the older it gets, the better it tastes. So why not pups as well? A pup aged to perfection just for you.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Pick Me!

Oct 17, 2011

It’s bedtime. The old man snores a bit, though it is not as bad tonight. Usually, his sleep keeps me from my own. The day was exciting, and I’m sure we’re both a little tuckered out. We went for a walk, saying hello to some of the dogs and neighbors. The old man seemed really happy today, especially after chatting with a lady down the road. She gave him a pie she had made just for him (although he allowed me to have a piece, and I love apple pie). I can’t help but notice the difference I’ve made in his life, and he’s changed mine as well.

I think back to the time before I was brought to my home. I spent a long time in the cages, and before that is just a distant memory that has faded with my newfound happiness. The cages, though, were not so wonderful. There were lots of dogs, but few of them were my friends. Most were busy chasing their tails out of boredom, and the rest just sat around- waiting for someone to take them home.

The cage I was in held three other pups and me. They played together a lot, mostly wrestling and chatting with one another. They constantly talked about their days of freedom and cat chasing, the bigger pup often teasing the basset hound about his short legs. We played around when the days seemed to long, but most times, they were a little too rough for me (I’ve got a big heart, but my body isn’t exactly dog-tastic).

On that special day, two strangers arrived at the door, looking and examining each of us. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, since every dog in the kennel was barking wildly. I just sat and stared at them. I’ve always been able to hold my composure, not letting anything get me wound up or out of control.

They looked and pointed at the others in my cage, all three of whom were going wild with excitement. I put my paw on the cage door and gave them my best “Pick me!” look.

Well, it worked.

On the way home, I was super excited, but remained outwardly calm. I nudged my new owners with my nose, enjoying their scent and affection. The woman held me tightly, telling me how cute I was. My tail wagged to agree.

We stopped at my new home. A nice place, not huge, but big enough for a pup my size. The door opened up, and I sprang out and began sniffing my new surroundings. I marked a few spots and then proceeded to smell the fresh air. There was a garden near. I detected fresh fruit and some flowers, probably roses. Then my new family called to me, so I followed them into the house.

The inside didn’t smell as lively. There was something…sad about it. I looked around, spotting a piano and a comfy looking couch. My family walked through the home, calling out for “Daddy,” but I didn’t follow them. They walked down the hall and went up the stairs. I followed my nose instead. The back door was ajar, so I nudged it open and looked out. A man was sitting on the porch. He seemed lonely, I could feel it. I walked up next to him and sat down, too. He was staring at his garden, the plants beginning to wilt. I nudged him with my nose, and let out a small grunt. It surprised him, but his expression quickly turned to relief. He stared down at me, his eyes brightening up.

“Hey there, buddy,” the old man said. “Where’d you come from?”

I told him that the others were looking for him, but he didn’t seem that concerned about it. Instead, he scooped me up and put me in his lap. Then he began to pet me as he examined my expression. My tail wagged, and the sadness faded from his eyes, just a little at first. But as time went on, he learned to be happy again. I guess he needs me just as much as I need him.

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own Rocky Adventures.

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ADOPT A PET MONTH – From Our Eyes

Oct 14, 2011

photoI’ve been here for a few weeks now, waiting for someone to come and take me home with them. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much traffic through here lately. One of our friends got picked yesterday. A family dropped by and took him to his new home, making the cage seem a little lonelier. Luckily, I’ve got a couple of pals to spend the time with. We chat on occasion, telling grand tales of freedom and running through the parks, chasing cats. But all we really want is for that right someone to walk through that door be as excited about us as we are about them.

Perhaps there is a little more to it, though. A home would be great, but the right home would be perfect. I often wonder to myself what the right companion would be like. Personally, I like to spend my time with my companion, a daily walk in the park and some quality time well spent. A little bit of space would be perfect, but I’m small enough that I’d be happy with anything.

The cages are quiet today, feeding time has come and gone, so everyone is just lazing about. Ace and Frank seem a little bored, both pups just lying around doing much of nothing, so I break the monotony. I ask Ace and Frank what they think their owners should be like.

“Gee, Benny, I don’t really know,” Ace says, his face deep in thought. I can tell he’s concentrating because his droopy expression is tensed up. “I kinda like to be my own dog most of the time. A companion would be nice, but I like some time to myself, too. You know, get into mischief, maybe tear up the neighbor’s garden on occasion.” Ace jumped up and added, “Gotta have some room to run or else I’d get bored.”

“Whatever,” Frank interrupted, “your little stubby legs would be happy with a tiny fenced-in yard.” Frank’s a good dog, but he likes to tease Ace about his stubby legs. Ace responded by tackling Frank, starting a wrestling match.

“Well, what about you?” I asked Frank. He was a wild character, so I knew he definitely needed some room to run, too.

“Me?” Frank stopped wrestling with Ace and started thinking. “I’d like someone to spend a lot of time with me. You know how I am, I love to play. It’d drive me nuts to be by myself all the time. Maybe some kids to play with, too. A few games of fetch in the park and tons of room to run and dig would be perfect.” Frank sat down and asked me, “What about you, Benny?”

I thought for a moment, trying to picture what the perfect home and companion would be like. “I’d like someone who is there to play with me, but I don’t really think they’d have to spend every waking moment with me. At least enough time so that I don’t think they’ve forgotten about me.”

I’ve had an owner before, long ago, but they didn’t want me anymore, so they brought me here. A companion would be great, but I don’t need attention as much as Frank does. The rascal loves attention. I figured Ace wouldn’t be as worried about spending time with an owner, he always talks about how much he enjoys his “alone time.” That lazy pup would likely just sit around and watch the Discovery channel all day long. At least, whenever he gets out of here.

I look around the cage. Really, all we want is for someone to come and take us home. I’d love someone that I could call “mine.” I know Frank definitely wants a whole family to play with, and even though Ace likes to be alone, deep down, I know he wants a family, too.

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Should I Adopt a Protection Dog?

Nov 19, 2010

Q:

photoRecently, my good friend Ricky, who is a professional dog trainer, asked me if I would like to adopt his five-year-old Belgian Malinois, Beaumont. Beaumont is a trained protection dog and is capable of guarding his master, biting on command, releasing the bite on command, and others. He has placed third in level 1 protection in a protection dog competition. I currently have two dogs – both are Labradors, females, obedience trained, and not spayed. One is nine months old while the other is one year old.

I would like to adopt Beaumont, and I know that I will be able to take care of him. I’m concerned about one thing, though. Will he accept me after being with my friend for five years? Ricky assured me that he can transfer Beaumont’s loyalty to me. He is a fierce dog when competing but is a very quiet one otherwise. In fact, Ricky brings Beaumont with him all the time, and on many occasions he is off his leash. Ricky is offering Beaumont for adoption because he wants to get a younger dog.

Should I adopt Beaumont?

A:

I’ve got good news for you. Yes, the dog will transfer his loyalty to you.

But. But! There are two main issues you should consider before adopting Beaumont:

1. Plenty of work is required on your part to learn how to handle a Belgian Malinois, especially one that has been trained for protection. You’re going to need a lot of one-on-one training to successfully integrate Beaumont into your life. Think of it as driving a race car. The vehicle already runs great, but if you don’t learn how to drive it properly, you’ll only end up crashing the car. Or worse.

2. The Belgian Malinois is a very high drive breed. Beaumont will need tons and tons of physical exercise and mental stimulation. Tons. Please take the time to recognize that adopting him will be a huge responsibility.

If you decide to take your friend up on his offer and are successful with Beaumont, then you’ll have an excellent companion by your side. The Belgian Malinois is a healthy breed and is a first-rate working dog.

To be honest, I’ve always wanted a Belgian Malinois myself. But I know that my current lifestyle will not be a good fit for the dog. Training requirements and dedication to exercise are some things that I do not have time for right now.

One last thing – make sure that Beaumont isn’t aggressive towards other dogs before you adopt him.

Good luck!

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