Should I get another dog or cat now that I am getting older? by francy Dickinson
Should Seniors Get Another Dog or Cat when they are Aging?
One of the things I hear so often is that seniors feel they are too old to get a dog or cat…so they suffer alone without anyone visiting them for days on end….NO WAY!
There are senior anipals at all shelters and shelter staff to help to match your senior to a senior dog or cat. This is just the best mix…an older dog is already potty trained and quieted down a bit. A smaller dog will keep the senior busy and sit on their lap on a full time basis. An older cat will bring hugs and loves on a non-stop basis.
A larger dog will be a good “Senior Setter” They will hover over, guide and care for the senior. The stories of dogs that have never been formally trained in care/service –helping–their senior owners as their own pack family keeping them safe…those stories are numerous.
The dogs also “alert”. For seniors that have hearing problems it is very reassuring to have their anipal bark out to the door if someone is coming close. Or their cat acts up and may turn around or run to hide. This behavior not only keeps the senior’s day busy with noise and activity but it helps with the feeling of safety for the senior.
Anipals get excited in the middle of night with unknown noise or fire. Many a dog and cat have fussed and fussed until the senior wakes and has the knowledge of something that is wrong within their home or apartment.They have saved their seniors from fire and intruders with their attentions. Not to mention how many anipals have alerted neighbors that something was wrong with the senior with their incessant nervous barking.
What if the senior has to go into a care center?
- More and more senior housing is accommodating small anipals. Small dogs or cats are welcomed as part of the regular running of the assisted living apartments. You only have to look and ask…it is now understood that our anipals are an extension of our families.
- After the terrible storm Katrina; when the local rescue workers would not allow anipals into the emergency shelters and it caused deaths and injuries to those who stayed in their homes-ideas changed. All those folks who decided that they would not go into a shelter because they could not leave their beloved dog or cat behind shouted out and FEMA actually heard them. The rescue system learned a big lesson. They now have changed emergency shelters to allow anipals and the families can stay “safe” together.
- What if the family will not promise to take the anipal -in the event of the senior’s passing? That is not a problem. You simply call a local shelter and tell them ahead of time that you are a senior / or care giver of a senior and you have a beloved dog or cat that will not have a home if the senior gets very ill or passes. They take note of the information and you leave the connection information on the refrigerator so loved ones know who to call and how to transfer the anipal to a safe shelter that will find a new home for them. I personally; only adopt senior dogs and all of them are from seniors that have gotten too ill to care for them or have passed…because of those seniors caring – I have wonderful little bundles of joy in my home to love for the rest of their lives!
How do I find older anipals?
You call your local shelters first. Tell them what you are looking for and they will assist you in finding a anipal just for you or your senior. It may take a while, small dogs are not always available and you have to wait for them —but the wait is so worth while.
You also want to always ask…is there a discount for senior anipal adoption if I am a senior too? Usually there is a discount and many times there is a “free” adoption for senior to senior dog or cat adoption. Online information is available too, I always check out Petfinder a locator tool that will match my needs with a senior dog. Here is there information.
Petfinder has come together with Maddie’s Fund to match senior to senior adoption, the information is here and you will find more when you call your local pet shelters in your area. Just click on Petfinder in blue type and you will go to their site and read about their work. Don’t put it off…call or visit your local shelter today and start the process of bringing a new senior anipal home with you. Those little ones need someone to love and your senior needs them. What makes a senior anipal? Usually, they are age eight or above, but some times they are younger with a small disability. That makes the senior adoption so special…you/or your senior saves their lives and give them a “forever” home and “forever love”.
The shelter will talk to you /or your senior about the anipal and how you can afford the food and medical attention that the anipal may need in the future. There is always a way for a senior to enjoy the love and kindness of little ones around them. I can not stress enough what a difference a dog or cat can make in the quality of your senior’s lifestyle. Its really a gift from the family and caregiver to bring an anipal into the senior’s home. It relaxes and brings the senior out of their own problems. Gives them something to do each day by putting their dog out to potty or cleaning the cat potty box or feeding them treats and meals. It gets the senior up in the morning and walking around in the afternoon.It will often remind them to eat as they feed the anipal. The senior anipal and senior will be on a program that brings enjoyment and happiness to the home.
When your senior is happy and busy….you are happy, as their care giver…please take a chance…get a senior sweetie in the home and enjoy the “change for good” that the anipal brings with it.
PLEASE GIVE ANIPALS A CHANCE….National Dog Day is a perfect day to begin to “think” about a new member of the household! Blessings, Francy