Friday, October 14, 2011

You’re Never Too Old......................By Kathryn A. Gainard

Ahhh, the sweet smell of puppy breath. The awkward pitter-patter of oversized tootsies on the floor—paws still a little too big to fit the body. The huge, innocent eyes looking up to you amidst a lake of happy accidents and drenched newspaper. The tenacious destruction of every cute pair of shoes in the house. The relentless, mournful whimpering during crate training that seems to pass from hour to ungodly hour. Ahhh, yes. Puppies. Not to say that the joys of puppy-dom aren’t immense. If you could bottle up the cuteness and sell it you’d be a millionaire. But why the fascination with baby animals? Especially at shelters and rescues. Dogs older than two years have an incredibly difficult time finding homes… and sadly, it gets harder with every year. But why?
When you consider the day-to-day rush people go through between work and family and school and yada yada, it’s a wonder more older dogs aren’t adopted first. With an older pup, and I’m only talking two years old and up here, they’re more mellow. They’ve come into their own and have their personality figured out. Shelters will know if the dog likes children or other pets. If it’s a lap baby or an at-your-feet napper. These are lovely things to know for someone who wants to jump right into the loving, and bypass the puppy nuttiness.
Another big bonus is that nearly 100 percent of the older dogs are house trained. Ready to be left alone in your house… trusted with your new carpet and couch. A nice trait for someone who has a lack of patience or time to be able to properly train a wiggly-butt puppy.

They’ve sewn their wild oats and are ready for laid back lovin’…many of them have already had owners and have excellent manners. Some know tricks, if you’re into the Rin Tin Tin thing, and many are already crate and leash trained. Just add love and you’re set.

The simple fact of the matter is that we have pets for companionship and friendship. A loving face to start that day with. A friendly embrace to greet us home. A couch buddy to snuggle with. An unconditional friend that will always be there, ‘til the end. And because of this, I wonder how age makes a difference. I’ve never seen a dog in a shelter, of any age, that’s not hopefully searching for that glimmer of recognition on the face of the adopters. For the chance that they may have found a home of their own. The chance to know a warm bed and kind hand. The chance to give their heart and dedication to their human.
And I know that there isn’t an age that exists in any species where love isn’t something we’re all striving to give and receive.

Submitted by Kate of A Dying Art Co. on ArtFire where you can find many of her creative projects for people and pets, as well as her website: Kate is a very active volunteer with the Crafting for Animals Guild and uses her talents generously to help the guild in every way she possibly can.

She is one of many members participating in the coupon week from 10/23 through 10/29 to help raise funds for the Close to Home Animal Rescue group in Ohio/Pennsylvania, the spotlight charity for CFA Guild during October in honor of National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Read all about the promotion HERE, and get the coupon code so you can shop with Kate and the other guild artisans during that week.

Use coupon code 10CTH-CFA at participating stores to help Close to Home Animal Rescue


Scotti Cohn said...

Excellent article! The same applies to cats, of course. We adopted two (more or less) adult cats from a shelter. One was a year old, the other was a year and a half. The staff was able to tell us so much about their personalities and whether they got along with other cats (important, as we had a cat at home).

Creative Critters said...

There are certainly many reasons to adopt an older pet. I've had several animals come into my life as full grown dogs and cats, and they were just wonderful pets. And an older dog is certainly a better option for the busy family, since training a puppy can be pretty time consuming (and definitely requires a lot of patience!). And it is nice to know as much as possible about the animal's personality so you can be sure they'll be a good fit in your home.

Debra at Sleepy Cat Designs said...

I love adopting an older pet! They seem even more appreciative! Anyway, the older ones are often overlooked more than younger ones, and so it makes me feel better to help an older animal who desperately needs love too. I'd take them all, of all ages, if I were able, but since I am not, when I do have a choice, I choose to adopt an older animal in need of a home. Of course, I've had my share of young ones and kittens too over the years, but when I have a choice, I pick older! Thanks for the excellent reminders about how all animals of all ages need love, just like humans!