When I turned 50, AARP tracked me down, just like the organization does for thousands of people. There are many benefits to becoming a member, not the least of which is travel discounts. So, becoming “mature” does have its benefits!
Similarly, there are many benefits to adopting and living with a “mature” dog. My husband and I adopted our cocker spaniel, Cody, from our local humane society when he was 10 years old. This sweet and spry little guy was used as a stud dog then tossed away after “services rendered”. Five years later, Cody continues to enjoy his “retirement” years with us, sleeping on warm blankets, taking walks in town, and visiting our cabin in the mountains... oh, yes and eating yummy treats (especially glucosomine!).
Greg and I have enjoyed sharing these years with him. Cody is now 15, and for the past few years he's declined in health. Yet, we are grateful for the time and thankful we didn't pass him up because of his age. Many people would... and do.
Mary, too, is somewhat older. This loving springer/cocker mix we adopted in February is seven years old... yet, outside, she still has the bounce that springers are known for, but she is quiet and mellow inside the home. Mary, too, has made a fine companion for us... and for Cody.
Through the years in both my professional and personal lives, I’ve heard the “oohs” and “ahhs” regarding puppies and kittens, and the toutings of human parents who say “I want a puppy to grow up with my kids.” However, in animal adoption, age makes little to no difference when it comes to humans and pets bonding – most senior pets know the joy of spending time in a family and miss that companionship when they are yanked from their situation and turned into a shelter or rescue; these older gents and ladies are eager to find that sense of camaraderie and security once again. Cody's devotion to my husband and I has been strong since he first came to live with us. In fact, I’m sure if he could talk, he would constantly tell us ‘thank you!’ – his wagging tail certainly does!
There are many benefits to adopting a mature dog. Here are just a few:
So the next time you have opportunity to provide a dog or cat with a home, please consider adopting an adult or senior pet. Like my husband and I, you, too, will know the joy of hanging out with an adoring, mature four-footed friend and giving that animal a special, loving retirement home!
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.