Senior Dogs Rule!

August 5, 2011  

For the month of August, we are celebrating senior dogs. So we asked our Facebook fans, “If you have a senior dog, we’d love to know: Were they seniors when you adopted them or have you had them since they were youngsters? If you adopted them as seniors, what made you choose an older dog?”

The consensus was that older dogs are mellow, easily fit into a household, wise, grateful, sweet and loving. So adopters out there, please don’t pass by an older dog, you don’t know what you are missing. Thanks everyone for sharing!

(Photos by Melissa Lipani)

I have two seniors. One I have had since a puppy; she is now 11. The other (a pittie) is 12 and we adopted her in February from a kill shelter. She was a cruelty case with a lopsided face, a bad skin infection, emaciated, and 12 year old. She stood no chance. We adopted her and have never looked back! She learned to swim two months ago and now retrieves tennis balls from the bay. We have two other adopted dogs too, both we adopted when they were 5 years old.

~ Alex De Campi

My Elderbull is 12 years old. I adopted her when she was 2 years old from a municipal kill shelter. I adore her, but even more so now that she’s a senior. From now on I think I’ll have one youngster and one senior in the household. I’ll always adopt a senior when I can or at least foster them.

~ Siobhan Healy

I have a senior. He was dropped off in my back yard in Baltimore when he was 8 weeks old and was too cute to let go of. He’s now 10!

~ Kate Rowan Williams

I always have at least one senior dog in my house. I have adopted and fostered many seniors. I may not have them for long, but I try to pack many years of love and pampering into the short time I have them. I choose senior dogs because nobody else wants them and they deserve a warm bed, a gentle stroke and peanut butter sandwiches!

~ Yolanda Gonzalez Hanna

I had a senior. He was 10 when I adopted him. He was the most beautiful dog, sitting quietly in his kennel with his gray muzzle raised. There was a dignity about him, something that called to me. He was an absolute perfect fit for my already senior blue heeler. He was housebroken and trained in basic commands. He died two short years after I brought him home, but those two years were probably the best he had ever known. I would have adopted another one, but my town passed BSL shortly after his death.

~ Krista Dotter

We have four seniors: a 12-year-old Dalmatian adopted at age 5, a 12-year-old Beagle mix adopted at age 9, and two Beagle sisters ages 12 and 13 adopted at ages 8 and 9. I love old dogs! They’re calmer and just want to be loved (and fed and time for naps!). I have a huge soft spot for old dogs in shelters as they are typically overlooked and the first ones to be euthanized. Three of our dogs weren’t even going to be made available to the public for adoption because the shelters saw them as “unadoptable” due to their ages and some minor medical conditions. The time we have with them might be shorter, but is certainly no less valuable – they seem to have an unending supply of love to give and receive.

~ Janel Greenland

We’ve had Rocky and Ginger since they were 1 year old [an estimate since we found them on the streets of the Bronx, NY]. Rocky will be 15 in January, and Ginger will be 11 years old in October. They say Pitties live until 10-12 years. Well, these pups have proven that wrong, along with the other ‘sayings’ such as pit bulls are aggressive or are mean around children. I have too many photos to prove that one totally wrong! Even though we can’t take long walks in temps above 85 degrees anymore, we still cook together (they help with the clean up!), watch TV and take strolls on the beach in the early mornings.

~ Rocky and Ginger – Pit Bulls of the Bronx


I adopted mine at 2.5 and 3.5. They are now 6 and 8. (photo above) I love adopting adult dogs – they are already potty trained and done with chewing up everything! Our dogs are awesome. Puppies are cute, but give me an older dog any day.

~ Micaela Myers

Our pit is an almost senior, she’s 8. We adopted her at 5 years old. I wanted to adopt an older dog because older pits have the least chance of getting adopted. Also, older dogs are, in my opinion, easier and you have a good idea about their activity level and temperament. She was a good fit for our family: active couch potatoes!

~ Tanaya Burnham-Delorey

I rescued my 7-year-old darling when she was 9 months old and she has only gotten better with age! We were on a boat the other day and received nonstop compliments on her quiet, sweet, mellow demeanor. When I am in the position to rescue another I’d definitely like one over the age of 5, when they are settled into themselves and we can just focus on the good times and love.

~ Aiyana Sphere

We absolutely love seniors and choose them because, while a shelter is no place for any pet, we feel like it is especially hard on seniors. We do hospice foster care and also run sort of a “retirement” home over here. When a beloved “ancient one” finds him or herself at a shelter or otherwise unwanted, they come here to live in our home. Right now our most senior family members are Collin (who is probably 13-15) and might be a Yorkie-poodle mix. Then there’s Joe, our 15-year-old cat who is thriving and so very cool. They have been our greatest teachers in all things from animal health to Zen-like patience. Above all though: grace.

~ EnduraPet

I have two seniors adopted at age 12 months and 2 1/2. They are 6 and 8 now (young seniors!). After following so many dog rescuers on Facebook, I’ve decided in the future I will adopt seniors and special-needs dogs. I just breaks my heart to see how many senior and special-needs “owner surrenders” there are.

~ Lisa James

I have one senior baby named Dabos, age 12. I have had him since he was 8 weeks old. I have been able to see him grow, play, learn new tricks. He is my best friend, the love of my life, and he is a true pit bull with loyalty, kindness and a loving heart. When I cry, he licks my tears. When I laugh, he wants to play and laugh with me! I have had him since I was 16 years old, I just turned 28, so I’ve had my Dabos for almost half my life! He is the same puppy at heart he was the first day I brought him home. We have been through so much together, I even have a tattoo of him on my leg!!! Love you Dabos! My best buddy ever!

~ Elisa Gorenz

Riley will be 10 in a couple months. She is a Lab mix. We adopted her during a HUGE adoption event with many different organizations. In all of the chaos of barking dogs, she sat in her pen quietly watching everything around her. She is still a mellow girl and everyone is her friend. She was about 4 months old when we got her.

~ The Patrick Movement New Mexico


We adopted a 5-year-old bull mastiff/pit mix. He is one of the best dogs I have ever known. He is now 8, soon to be 9. I had always had puppies before him. It is nice to have a senior in the house. I think the puppies we foster benefit from his experience, and he loves playing with the young ones. You can almost see the joy in his face.

~ Gracie Worley

I have a senior Am Staff 10 and 1/2 years young. I’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old. Shhh, don’t tell her she’s a senior, she looks and acts like a puppy! I wouldn’t hesitate to adopt a senior, especially one who is young at heart!

~ Rose Mitman

I have a senior pit bull mix, 11 years old. Had him since he was 4 months old.

~ Cindy Tierney

We did adopt one of our dogs (that has passed) as a senior dog. He just looked at me with this sad face, so I took him back to the meet and greet room and it was instant love. I am so glad I was able to save him as that was his last day at the shelter. We were able to adopt him for $25.00 and after seeing the vet dentist and paying $350 to fix his poor mouth home he came. Honey was the perfect addition to our family, went everywhere we went and was the most well behaved doggie boy. I miss him every day!

~ Jenny Bronson

My oldest is officially a senior, she’ll be 10 next month. She’s been my baby since she was 6 weeks old. Her mama was the first pit bull I ever met and I was hooked. She’s amazing, not at all due to me (I had less than zero dog skills!), and thanks to her awesomeness, we have gone on to adopt a second pit bull. We even foster puppies for a local rescue. Her job, as part of the puppy-raising team, is to exercise, teach bite inhibition, and love on the puppies. Our other dog is in charge of discipline!

~ Juli Goodrich

I adopted a Border collie mix last year from the humane society that was 12 years old. I saw this sad face and wondered what she must have thought having a home one day and being in a loud unknown place the next day! She is the momma dog of our house. I love my Allie!

~ Arika Brown

I adopted a teeny tiny poodle at 6 years of age. He was walking into the vet to be euthanized and I was walking out. He left with me! That was 10 years ago. He’s very naughty in his forever home. But at 4.8 lbs. with four teeth, his bark is far worse than his bite. His name is: Tucker-Lee-Brown. The oldest dog I adopted was Moses. He was walking the middle of a busy road and a Mack truck, literally, was heading for him. I scooped him up and brought him to my vet. He was about 18, deaf, blind, rheumatoid with mange. His bark sounded exactly like a Loon. Living in Minnesota, I thought his croon was perfect. He lived out his life with me.

~ Mickey Short

My husband and I took in an APBT, Willy, as a foster when he was 10 years old. He was scheduled to be euthanized as he was heartworm positive, arthritic and emaciated. It didn’t affect his loving and sunny disposition though. He was a dog that loved life…especially if life involved tennis balls, plush toys and a sunny, 80 degree day! We instantly fell in love and quickly decided to adopt Willy into our family. We had one year and 11 days with our beautiful old man. While our time together was short, I wouldn’t trade it for a lifetime with another dog.

~ Melissa Smith

Nash is now 13 and was adopted from the Bergen County Animal Shelter in Teterboro, NJ when he was about a year old. He was a wild little thing in his younger years but at 5 he slowed down enough to become a therapy dog and earn his CGC badge. Even non-dog lovers like him! My husband and I would definitely consider adopting or fostering a senior when a space opens up in our home because we are slowing down ourselves!

~ Susan Bonard Bygrave


My husband and I just adopted an Elderbull and we couldn’t be more fortunate! Chaka (our senior) joins our family of Phoenix, our 11-year-old DSH, and Isabella, our 4 ½-year-old pretty pittie mix (both of whom we’ve had since they were itty bitty). I work in animal welfare and during an event at another shelter, I saw Chaka in the kennel and could not resist setting up a day to meet her. The following weekend my husband and I went to meet with her and fell in love. She is fitting in quite nicely and we just wouldn’t have it any other way.

~ Nan Marcinczyk

My husband and I have a senior pitty boy named Skeeter. He has been with us full time since the end of May. Skeeter spent one long year at the Bridgeport pound until his rescue angel was given the okay to bring him to PAWS. He spent four years at PAWS until he was finally adopted. We all thought this was it but after three years of being adopted he was brought back. No fault of his own. Happy to say he will have a home with us for the rest of his life. We think he is about 11-12 and weighs in at 87 pounds. We chose to help Skeeter because he deserved it! Despite all that he went through he is the most trusting and loving old guy I have ever met.

~ Carol Merritt

We adopted Simon at 6 years old. He is sweet, smart, and well trained. He also is very mellow. Our family has a policy to not adopt puppies – we prefer the ones with more experience. They are also more grateful, we think.

~ Elisabeth Jones Bergt

I adopted both my dogs as puppies and now they’re 8 years old and 11 years old. It was the right thing to do at the time, but going forward, I would love to take an Elderbull in. Their personalities have flourished as they have aged.

~ Tracy Lopez

I’ve adopted two seniors in the last three years. They were both my foster dogs and I love(d) them dearly. I adopted Radar because each day of his life was pure joy to him. He made me laugh all the time. Radar passed away in spring 2010, at which time Katie came into my life. She was sorely abused and bonded to my Dane mix puppy…so she stayed with us. Seniors are so grateful for everything you give them and all the hugs and kisses you can spare.

~ MacKenzie Case

I have two seniors. One I’ve had since a puppy and the other I adopted when he was 10. His first family dumped him at a kill shelter because he was old. I love seniors. They have so much to give and are full of wisdom.

~ Jamie Lee

I received my Raven at 6 months old and had her until she was 13 years old. She passed away in December of 2010, but her senior years were filled with love, loud snoring, and gas! I still have her two daughters who are both 9 now, starting to grey and are a bit slower but I wouldn’t trade them in for anything. Seniors are wise and mellow and a joy to be around. Love my bullys!

~ Renee Gainey

We adopted our Beagle/Bulldog/mystery mutt, Birdie, when she was 6 years old and got a special deal on her adoption fee because they considered her “over the hill.” Birdie had spent her entire life in an outdoor shelter and, after a brief stop in a terrific foster home, she came to live with us – a home to call her own for the first time in 6 years! Now she’s almost 10 years old and more of a senior, but still the perfect addition to our family of cats and our pit bull who is scared of other dogs. Older dogs are the best and we’ll always adopt them – many of them are calmer, housetrained, and really good napping buddies. Adopters don’t know what they’re missing when they skip the senior dogs!

~ Jessica Dolce

« « It’s Not Just How They Were Raised | Adopting Delta » »

Comments

11 Responses to “Senior Dogs Rule!”
  1. fayely10 says:

    Maybe there is some grey on my muzzle

    That does not mean I cannot nuzzle

    maybe my step has lost some spring

    but winter can be a beautiful thing

    maybe at times your voice I don’t hear

    but I feel you, loud and clear

    you are my reason

    your love keeps me going

    through every season

    it just keeps on growing

    don’t turn you back on me

    because I’m not young

    I have heart enough for twenty

    And a great sense of fun

    karen lyons kalmenson

  2. StubbyDog says:

    @fayely10 Wow, that’s just beautiful, thanks so much for sharing that with everyone.

  3. StubbyDog says:

    @fayely10 Wow, that’s just beautiful, thanks so much for sharing that with everyone.

  4. DeniseSaid says:

    My girl is almost 15 years old. I adopted her from a local shelter at the age of 6 weeks. Cookie is her name cause when I first saw her, she looked like a cookie, being a beige lab mix with her cute little eyes looking just like chocolate chips :-). At present she suffers from liver deficiency, is incontinent and is going deaf and blind. Being her mum has been a lifelong experience for me which I will treasure for ever. She is my life……… can’t imagine myself without her. LOVE YOU COOKIE ♥

  5. DeniseSaid says:

    My girl is almost 15 years old. I adopted her from a local shelter at the age of 6 weeks. Cookie is her name cause when I first saw her, she looked like a cookie, being a beige lab mix with her cute little eyes looking just like chocolate chips :-). At present she suffers from liver deficiency, is incontinent and is going deaf and blind. Being her mum has been a lifelong experience for me which I will treasure for ever. She is my life……… can’t imagine myself without her. LOVE YOU COOKIE ♥

  6. DeniseSaid says:

    My girl is almost 15 years old. I adopted her from a local shelter at the age of 6 weeks. Cookie is her name cause when I first saw her, she looked like a cookie, being a beige lab mix with her cute little eyes looking just like chocolate chips :-). At present she suffers from liver deficiency, is incontinent and is going deaf and blind. Being her mum has been a lifelong experience for me which I will treasure for ever. She is my life……… can’t imagine myself without her. LOVE YOU COOKIE ♥

  7. StubbyDog says:

    @DeniseSaid Thanks Denise, Cookie is very lucky to have you and I’m sure you feel lucky to have her too. 🙂

  8. brokenbarn says:

    I’ve had 4 dogs in my adult life- two greyhounds, a pit mix and my current one, Monster. I adopted every single one as adults. I just don’t have the temperament after having raised two human children, to take on the demands of a puppy. All of my dogs have been absolutely wonderful. The first, sadly, died less than two years after I rescued him. As difficult as that was, I wouldn’t trade my time with him for the world.

  9. StubbyDog says:

    @brokenbarn How wonderful that you saw the benefits in adopting adult dogs. We are sure all those dogs were grateful to have you in their lives.

  10. Pit Bull Mama says:

    My elderbull Sadie came to me from my first vet tech job 11 years ago. She was 5 months old and had been brought in by her “owners” after being hit by a car. Once they heard how much their bill was we never saw them again. Sadie became mine 🙂 I always say getting hit by that car was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to her!! throughout the years she’s been the best, most loyal, intelligent and playful dog I’ve ever met. At 11 years she still has more energy than our 2 year old Pittie on most days. I say they are the perfect couple. she’s hyper and he’s very calm and relaxed. Sadie has had some health concerns this year and we do change our plans and schedules to accomidate her needs. My husband even carries her up stairs to help with her arthritis. Our next plan is to buy a new house that is one level so she doesnt have to worry about the steps 🙂

  11. StubbyDog says:

    @Pit Bull Mama Aw thanks for sharing your story about Sadie, and for confirming the fact that Seniors rule!