In Praise of Older Dogs

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In Praise of Older Dogs

by Holly Kimball

I saw his picture on my computer way before I had thoughts of adopting him. He was cute. An ordinary black lab mix, , but cute. You see, I receive the ICARE emails and every time I get an email, I tell myself that I will not look at it as my home was filled already with two dogs (Eddie and Roxie - Eddie was a rescue just skin and bones and Roxie an ICARE adoptee.) And three cats not to mention six horses and two goldfish. But every time I get those emails they are the first that I open, hoping that I might know someone that might want to adopt one of the companion animals in the photos on the email.

The first few emails that I received with his picture, they indicated that he had been at the shelter since February and this was May. My heart went out to him.

Shelter life is not the same as a home with a family, not to mention the trauma involved with being discarded AND SINCE FEBRUARY! And then, I received the ‘911” email that said that the shelter was overcrowded and there were only two ways that this could be alleviated - one to have the dogs adopted and two to put them down.

Well that did it for me. I called Julie at the shelter to inquire and found that he was to be put down the following day. I asked that they hold him, as I wanted to meet him. Julie was thrilled that someone was interested in seeing him and agreed to hold him.

The next day, I met him. He really didn’t look like the picture I had seen and he was so excited to just to be outdoors that I didn’t really have a chance to get to know him as I had hoped. But I felt that I was already committed to this big black dog and with Julie’s reassurance that if it didn’t work out, I could return him, so, I brought him home.

Sonny (aka Jackson) was so thrilled to be outside in a yard and he got along with my Eddie and Roxie right from the beginning. And within the first two days he bonded to me and I to him. I find him to be smart and very responsive. He is housebroken and seems to appreciate every pat on the head, every kind word and of course every cookie he is offered. (To enlarge the photo of Sonny, click on the photo or link)

I am told that when an older dog is adopted they are very grateful. It is like they know just how lucky they really are. He is a gentleman in every way. When I stand, he stands. When I sit down, he sits down. Of course, we have things to sort out like walking on a leash etc. But already, I have had people come up to me when I am with him and complement him. I smile, thank them and thank my lucky stars for my Jackson (5 1/2 years old and nearly 80 pounds of love!), Lisa Schade at ICARE for her emails and dedication to homeless dogs/cats and Julie at the Big Pine Animal Shelter for her excellent care and the concern she has for our unwanted companion animals that are just looking for a home and someone to love.