I told you when I started this blog on occasion I’d talk about my dog because it’s my blog and I love her (hey, those are the rules). But I wanted to talk a little bit today about senior dog adoption. On Friday night, one of my favorite accounts posted something we knew was coming but hoped wasn’t coming soon. Susie the dog, who inspired Susie’s Senior Dogs died.
I know I don’t know this little pup but I shed a little tear and snuggled my Cher a little closer because I’ve been following her and their senior adoption stories since we adopted Cher. I understand their love of Susie because I love Cher. She’s a part of my family. I even shared my story with them and they posted it to their Facebook page. When we told people we were adopting a dog they’d immediately ask me how old she was and I’d say 9, not thinking about it. I kept getting hit with the, “oh she’s old, aren’t you afraid she’ll die?” What, like the day after I get her? No. Don’t dogs die all the time regardless of their age?
We adopted Cher in 2013, she was already 9 and when we got all of her records that they had we found out she had spent the last 3 years of her life in 3 different shelters before she got picked up by a rescue group. No one wanted the older dog except for me. No one saw the value in giving my sweet old girl a second chance at a good life. But Cher isn’t the only senior dog that faces that same problem and Susie the dog inspired her owners to start a non-profit to promote adoption of senior dogs.
You know what made adopting a senior dog so great? At this stage in our lives we work long hours and knew we couldn’t handle a puppy and I definitely couldn’t take a young dog that needed hours of exercise. At 9, Cher was already house broken and crate trained (although we don’t use a crate, she roams the first floor of the house freely during the day). She didn’t chew things and didn’t really care about toys. All she wants are treats, belly rubs and all the snuggles you can give her. She is quiet and a little timid at times but she also loves car rides and she’s perfect on long road trips. She may not have as much zip in her step as a puppy but she’s definitely still got a lot of spunk.
Adopting any dog has costs and some older dogs do come with medical needs or require more than Cher does. We bought doggy insurance for her and make sure she has the best food and treats so we can keep her healthy and happy. But the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that if you give them love they give it back to you a million times over. Sunday morning Cher woke me up at 6am bright eyed and tail just wagging furiously because she wanted me to go downstairs and snuggle her on the couch. For a split second when she woke me up I was annoyed, it was Sunday and it was 6am and she was waaay to enthusiastic. And then I thought about Susie and her humans who didn’t get the chance to snuggle her anymore so I scooped her up and wrapped up in a blanket on the couch with her and we dozed off to Law & Order. I decided it was better to soak up the love than to be cranky over a doggy wanting to love me. If you are considering getting a dog, please consider adopting and definitely consider a senior dog. They might just change your life like Susie and Cher.
10 Replies to “Senior Dogs Rock”
This couldn’t have come at a better time! I just forwarded an Instagram post about a senior dog (named Bear – too cute) available for adoption through my local rescue (shout out to Ladybird Animal Sanctuary) to a friend (I’m an enabler). I hope she sees the signs and brings Bear home to her family.
YAY! I hope your friend adopts Bear 🙂 we call Cher – Cher Bear. Adopting her was the best thing we did, I love her to pieces.
I’ll keep you posted. I’m feeling like I’m going to campaign hard for this!
I do it all the time to friends. Don’t you want to give this loving face a home?! LOL
Susie inspired me to adopt my older dog too! Luna was only 6 when we got her so she was barely a senior, but she was the oldest dog at the shelter. I love reading about Cher, she’s so adorable 🙂
I was so sad about Susie. Cher will be 12 this summer and I just get so sad thinking about the day I will inevitably lose her but I try not to think about it and just enjoy what I’ve got with her now.
Aww. My little family can’t have any indoor pets beyond fish, but your story reminded me of Bart, a pugnacious Norfolk terrier my parents adopted when I was in college. My mom has adopted dogs, regardless of their age, since she was a teenager. Bart’s most recent owner was no longer able to care for him properly, and had been feeding him things like sticks of butter. Needless to say, he found his new diet of measured quantities of dog food rather restrictive, and whenever we forgot to pick up the cats’ food promptly, we’d suddenly hear Bart scarfing down the remainders as quickly as he could, after sneaking over to the dish slowly and quietly. He’d also escape the house and go for a swim in the nearby pond–after he’d had enough, he would start baying mournfully and we’d get out the canoe and retrieve him. For some reason he particularly attached himself to me–I was never the obvious animal person in my family–and when his heart finally gave out after a few years with our family, he was in my arms.
Awwww. But sticks of butter?! Although Cher always wants more I’m sure she’d eat butter too.
Ohhhh! It’s so good to see someone talking about Susie. Her passing has made me so sad I can hardly stand it. It helps knowing what a wonderful life she had in her later years and knowing how much GOOD she inspired, but it’s still so hard. And like you, I didn’t even know her personally.
I absolutely love that you wrote this post and spoke out so eloquently about how there are so many wonderful things about adopting a senior dog. I agree 100% with every single word.
And Cher. ❤ Keeping up with her is my very favorite part of your blog. Please give her an extra hug today from me.
Yeah you’re not alone. I adored Susan (and Simon – he’s the cutest) and they made me so proud to be a mama to a senior pup. I wish I could save all the dogs but we’re giving at least one special girl the best life she could imagine 🙂