When a pet ends up at a shelter at the ripe age of ten or eleven years old, we have to ask ourselves, “Where has this dog been?” Obviously someone loved this pet and kept it for ten years or more. Why now have they lost their home and their family?
Senior pets are the most difficult pets to adopt out. Potential adopters are concerned about impending health problems and fewer years left with a pet they will come to love. These issues seem a moot point, however, when you realize that all pets AGE, and all pets eventually cross the Rainbow Bridge.
What it doesn’t change is that these pets still deserve a loving home to spend their final years. Someone to believe in them, cuddle with them and make their final memories happy, to erase and soothe the memories of being abandoned after ten years or more of giving what every dog gives, LOVE, to a family.
For those senior pets waiting for their forever home, many end up in foster homes because they cannot handle the stress of a shelter environment for extended periods of time with as much ease as younger dogs.
One such senior pup is Gizmo, “Gizzy,” a purebred Papillion that was surrendered at well past ten years of age. Because of Gizzy’s advanced age, he was placed into a foster home. And because of his advanced age, he shows us how amazing adopting an older pet can be!
This is a note his foster mom wrote to us to share Gizzy’s point of view:
Guess what happened yesterday? My foster mom and I were walking down the street and I saw my old dad from a distance! My heart was pounding, I’m crying and jumping up and down because I have missed him so, so much. I couldn’t control myself, but then I realized that it wasn’t him after all. My heart broke all over again.
I’m Gizmo, “Gizzy,” to those that love me. My mom and dad of many years “discarded” my sister and me more than five months ago. We wondered why they didn’t want us anymore, and we sure didn’t see it coming. Geez, we really thought we were a family. So, just as we were getting used to our “cozy run” and missing our old sofa….my baby sister got adopted. I guess they took one look at me and decided they only wanted a younger, prettier version. She also had the straight teeth. I have good teeth too, but have you heard of an “under-bite???”
Would you believe that NO ONE has even come to look at me? My foster mom (FM) is bewildered because she says I’m so low maintenance and gentle. I never demand anything, I just squeal with affection, and appreciate any old dog bed. I am a little alpha myself, so I’d be best without other dogs. I don’t have any separation anxiety, so I have the run of the house and quietly wait for my FM to return.
If you have any retired parents that would be interested in an extremely loyal and loving companion, I’m your man!
My typical day involves waking up and going for a walk or just exploring in the back yard. Then I enjoy breakfast of regular dry food, no special diets for me! I spend my morning lounging and gazing out the window, another potty break at lunch, enjoy a treat when I come right back in, and before I know it, it’s time for dinner. I go out one more time before bed and I don’t snore either. Please give me a chance. I’ll steal your heart.
Doesn’t Gizzy sound like the most laid back pet you could ever want? He may be old, but that means he is house-trained, confident (no separation anxiety), calm, and most of all, understands commands. The benefits of adopting a senior pet FAR outweigh any issues you might be scared of.
But as you can see, Gizzy has been waiting for his new home for a very long time and people don’t even want to consider him. Senior pets hardly ever find a forever home, and most are euthanized as soon as they are surrendered at the local municipal shelters. When you dedicate yourself to your pet, do it for the duration of their life, be that two years or twenty years. They deserve that for what they give to you.
To see more about Gizzy, Click Here!
To learn more about Fostering, Click Here!