Old dogs for old people is a hard no.
Who in the heck decided old people and old dogs would be a perfect fit? What were they thinking? I have right now two extremely senior dogs. One is 21. She’s blind, takes more meds than most octogenarians, and gets lost, stuck in corners, and falls down. It isn’t too bad because she’s tiny. Last December, I buried my 19-year-old cattle dog. When he was young and healthy, he weighed sixty-five pounds. At the end of his life, he weighed about forty pounds. He’d lost the use of his back legs, was incontinent, but still wanted to eat. I had to put him on a blanket and drag him from one room to another. I had to wash his bedding and him every day. I had to clean up a lot of bad messes. But I did it because I loved him. You don’t throw a dog you’ve had for nineteen years away just because he’s inconvenient. How could a senior take care of a dog with these kinds of problems? The answer is, they couldn’t.
When it was finally time to send him over the rainbow bridge, I had to lift him into my car, and drive him to the vet. It cost me $450 to put Bulldog to sleep. Anyone on a fixed income would find the vet bills associated with older dogs hard to budget. I decided to bring him home, so I had to dig a big hole in my garden. When little Trixie’s time comes, I won’t have to dig quite as big a hole, but I will probably still have to pay her vet bills.
I think seniors should have dogs. They are great company, and many seniors are alone. They should think carefully before choosing a dog. I think small or midsize would be best. Adopt one from a local shelter that is already house broken and who is lonely, too. Don’t adopt a puppy, get a dog that is in its midlife, between three and six. You can grow old together and become fast friends. A dog will keep you active and get you out of bed every morning.