An Homage to Max
A departure from my other posts, and one that I hope will resonate with you.
Most people wanting to adopt a pet will typically look for a puppy or at least one under a year of age. But since we adopted Max, a miniature dachshund who was then between 10 and 12 years old, I consistently try to persuade anyone who is adopting a pet to consider adopting an older, or as they say in the world of pet adoption, a senior pet.
Admittedly, I was reluctant to adopt Max. But when we met him through his foster parent, I couldn’t resist and have never regretted it.
He was overweight, tentative, didn’t want to walk at all and was a little aggressive. We gave him glucosamine and took him for walks. We were careful with his diet, and until about 6 months ago, he was pretty spry for an old guy.
Within a few months of our adoption, we saw him lose his fear and aggression as he became more comfortable with us. He simultaneously became a lot more demanding but we didn’t mind because it was obvious that he appreciated us. He was my shadow, would follow me from room to room and would run, or his elderly version of a run, to go to bed with me at night.
Here is what I learned are benefits from adopting a senior pet:
- No house training;
- It’s is a very good thing to do, karma wise;
- The rewards of helping a dog no one else may adopt cannot be matched;
- You can have a major impact in terms of improving an older dog’s health and outlook;
- Let’s be honest–puppies are cute, but they can be annoying. They are all id while an older dog is usually a much calmer dog.
We had Max for a very happy 8 years, and we were devastated to have to say goodbye to him. I wanted many more years with him, but the time that we had was definitely worth it.
My other dog is now 9, but he has as much energy and playfulness as he did when he was a puppy, and is also a lot less irritating. While he’s considered a senior dog, I wouldn’t hesitate to adopt a dog like him.
So, when we’re ready to adopt another dog, we will look for an older dog and I hope that I can inspire you to do the same. You can’t make up for any terrible times they had before you, but you can give them a loving, happy and more healthy end of life. Adopting one of them will be the best thing you can do, not just for the pet but for you as well.