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.
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Our little Susie has passed away. It hurts the heart so much, but Susie's dad and I were so privileged to have her for the last five years of her nearly 17 year long life. Although she was already an old lady when she became ours, we certainly had many "firsts" together. We have a lot of special memories and this photo is of one of them from an adventure a few years back. Susie came with us anywhere and everywhere she could, she was a fantastic travel companion! Thank you to everyone who has regularly followed Susie's senior journey and cared so much about her. Most important, thank you to everyone who has been inspired by Susie to adopt an old dog of your own. She is the first of adopted senior dogs in our own personal lives and we would adopt her again 100 times over. Susie was a gift and she has certainly spurred a movement bigger than she'll ever know. SSD will keep spreading the word for all the "little old Susie's" out there. They are all one in a million. ❤️ #susiewenttoheaven
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.