About 10 years ago, my father took me to a shelter to adopt a dog. It was a shelter in Phoenix which had a lot of dogs to choose from. That day he told me something that stuck with me for a long time. He said: “Son. When you go to a shelter to adopt, you don’t look for a puppy or the youngest dog you can see, look for the one that needs the most saving.”
I heard what he had to say but it took me a few minutes to get it. You see, at the shelter, the first dogs to get adopted are usually the puppies. Everyone likes puppies, right? But what about the older dogs? The dogs that have been there for a long time. Those dogs are usually scheduled to be euthanized after a certain time.
When you adopt a senior dog, you are giving him or her the chance to live their last years with dignity. You would be surprised how many senior dogs are abandoned, especially after they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or a severe problem. Sadly, if a home is not found in a certain period, the dogs will be euthanized to free up space at the shelter.
That day, we adopted a Terrier, he was a senior. We were told he was about 13 years old. Many of his hairs were gray and he was very fearful at the beginning. Apparently, that dog had been mistreated growing up. This made him scared of most males around him. We were told that we needed to take it easy around him, try not to be very noisy, so he would adapt to our household.
It took the dog about 6 months to open up to us. We named the dog ‘Pops’ because of his age. After the dog opened to us, we found out that he enjoyed our company a lot. He loved lying down on the lawn and listening to country music. He was also a huge fan of tummy rubs and back scratches. He lived with us for a good 5 years, he had a very happy life with us and I felt very good.
A family decided to do something similar, but with a cat. They adopted a senior cat, 20 years old. This kitty still had a lot of love to give as this family would find out. He is a living testimony that age is just a number when you have a big heart. This is their story!