It’s a Dog’s Life
The puppy or young dog lying in your living room will one day become old.
God willing, he will still be with you, loved and given every consideration until his dying day. But there is always ‘what if?’.
People get ill, families split up, dogs stray and get lost. What if it was your dog with the arthritic joints and the fading eyesight waiting in a cold kennel day-in, day-out for months on end? Wouldn’t you want someone to take care of him and restore all the home comforts that you allow for him now?
The alternative for these dogs is bleak.
The ageing process will accelerate rapidly in a stressful environment; concrete floors are not designed for old bones and joints. The bustle of day-to-day life in kennels is not always compatible with an old character who just wants to curl up by the fireside, content in the knowledge he is loved and safe. The tragic reality is that the old dog will spend his last days in kennels, wondering why he is there and not in the arms of a human who loves him.
Enrich Your Life With an Oldie
There’s no such thing as a typical oldie, and there’s no such thing as a typical home.
Maybe you want a companion but your own health means you are unable to satisfy the exercise needs of a young dog. Oldies are often quite happy with a potter around the garden and a 20 minute slow-paced stroll around the neighbourhood.
Some oldies are ideal for families/couples who are active, but out for some of the day. These dogs thrive in a lively household with a couple of brisk walks each day and longer walks at weekends, but enjoy the peace and quiet when their owners are at work, and they’re left alone to snooze by the radiator.
How many of us know what we will be doing in five years time, or ten? Many people could offer a fantastic home to a dog but ‘would like to travel in a few years’ or ‘will go back to work when the kids start school’. When you take on a pup or a young dog you need to be as sure as you can that you can honour that dog with a home for life, which can be anything up to 18 years or more. With an older dog, the commitment is just as immense, but the time-frame is likely to be shorter.
Obviously oldies are not for everyone but they do have so much to offer. They are generally less problematic than younger dogs that still need guidance and training, given that very few oldies will not have spent at least some of their life in a home environment. For this reason, they make ideal choices for first-time dog owners. Myself, I will always have an oldie (or four!) around my home. The reward of knowing that you have given a noble and faithful dog a warm, loving home for the last few years of his life is incalculable.