“Top 10” Reasons to Adopt a Senior Golden
- “Wash and wear” factor. Older dogs generally have had some training, both in obedience and house manners. They have learned how to leave the furniture, carpets, shoes and other “chewables” alone.
- Clean floors. Unless there is an underlying medical cause, 99 percent of senior dogs are potty trained. And an adult dog has a larger bladder and can go for longer periods of time without relief.
- Tolerance. Most older dogs know what it takes to be part of a “pack” and get along with others – including cats.
- Appreciation. Older dogs, especially those who have once known it, appreciate love and attention and quickly learn what’s expected of them to gain and keep that love and attention.
- Companionship. Older dogs know how to let you finish the newspaper, sitting calmly next to you while your workday stress flows away and your blood pressure lowers. They’re happy to be a “couch potato” or, if the mood strikes you, are also instantly ready for a car ride, an evening walk or a game of fetch.
- Dignity. Senior goldens are generally calmer than young dogs; they won’t scare small children or the elderly by jumping up to greet them or bouncing around like a ping-pong ball.
- Adaptability. An adult dog will adapt more easily to changes in your household, such as a new baby, relatives or guests visiting or being left alone during the day when you’re at work.
- WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). A senior dog is fully grown, and most of her health history is known (hereditary diseases, arthritis, hip dysplasia, etc.). There are no guesses about how big she’ll get, whether she’ll bark a lot or what her energy level will be.
- Doing your part. Just about everyone who enters a shelter is looking for a puppy or a young dog. Others choose to go to breeders or pet stores for puppies. By adopting an older dog, you can make a statement about compassion and the value of life at all ages, as well as register a protest against the indiscriminate and inhumane breeding of dogs, whether it is for profit or to “teach the children about birth.” And, of course, just as a puppy has his whole life ahead of him, so does an older dog. You can give that older dog the best years of his life while at the same time bringing a wonderful addition into your family.
- Memories. Even if you have a senior golden as part of your life for only a few years, the days and the adventures you share are precious. The love you receive will more than compensate for the sadness of eventually losing such a wonderful companion.
And reason No. 11, if we could go that far: There is nothing in the world like smooching the white face of a senior golden retriever!