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Senior dogs

Senior dogs

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“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.” The words of Sydney Jeanne Seward ring true for all of us who have had the pleasure of loving an old dog.

There is something very special about senior dogs that endears them to the humans they know as “family." It seems to be a mix of patience and wisdom and unconditional love that elevates them to something close to sainthood. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but if you have ever had an old dog, you know what I mean.

You might be surprised at the number of senior pets that come through the doors of the Beatrice Animal Shelter. It saddens me to know that an older dog or cat has to give up their home and their humans and all that is familiar, but at the same time, I am relieved to know that they are in a safe, loving place where every effort will be made to find a loving home for their remaining days and years.

Looking for love

Currently, there are two senior canines at the shelter looking for a forever home. “Toby”, a 10-year-old hound mix, still loves to go on walks, but he is also perfectly content to be a couch-potato with his humans.

Another hound mix, “Oden," is eight years old and also enjoys his walks. Both dogs are looking for forever homes where they will get all the love and attention they deserve.

“Patches”, a five or six-year-old feline, is also looking for a home to call her own. She is a gray/beige dilute calico who would love a sunny window seat or a warm lap to curl up on. Staff and volunteers alike agree that she is a sweetheart who will make her new family very happy.

Why seniors?

It’s true that there is nothing cuter than a roly-poly puppy or a fluffy kitten. However, with the cuteness comes a whole set of issues and concerns. A senior pet is different.

According to the website petsforpatriots.org, an older animal has an established temperament unlike a pup or kitten that will undergo many developmental changes. The animal will also be fully grown so there will be no question about potential size.

Like humans, animals have their established routines. A mature pet will probably be more mellow and relaxed and not feel the need to run helter-skelter around the house chewing shoes and furniture as they go. And even though exercise is important for all animals, it does not need to be as frequent or vigorous for the older critters.

Of great concern to all potential adopters is the question of whether or not the animal is house-broken. More than likely, a senior pet is trained and ready “to go”. There is none of the anxiety and angst associated with teaching a puppy the rules for house-breaking.

A senior pet ends up in a shelter-setting for a variety of reasons…usually through no fault of their own. If you are thinking about adopting another animal into your home, please consider a senior. As an anonymous dog-lover stated, “There is a special place in heaven for people who give their heart to an old dog.”

Pop quiz

If you follow college sports, you are probably looking forward to Monday night’s national championship football game… not to mention the frenzy of college basketball games happening now. Here’s a question to test your knowledge of college mascots taken from our new 2020 Workman Publishing doggy desk calendar.

TRUE or FALSE: In collegiate sports, the most popular canine mascot is a terrier.

And the answer is…FALSE. The Bulldog claims the title of most popular dog mascot. Yale, the University of Georgia, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Mississippi State, Butler, Drake, and Fresno State are among the Division I schools that all have a Bulldog as their mascot.

Go Team!

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