Puppies are cute, but a senior dog may be a better fit

Monday, August 26, 2019

Lorie Prestes has seen a lot of sad things in her years at the McCook Humane Society, but one of the saddest is when visitors pass the cage of an older dog.

“‘Oh, that poor boy!’ the visitors say, but then, they’re ‘Oh, look at this puppy!’,” Lorie says. “Puppies go quick.”

The older dog has probably spent his whole life loving his “human,” but now finds himself alone in strange surroundings.

Older dogs are treated as well as possible at the shelter, of course, and our community is blessed with some people who will adopt older animals, she said.

But more might do so if they realized the advantages of an older dog, especially when compared to a puppy, she said.

National Dog Day is a good day to point out the advantages of giving an older dog a home:

-- Puppies are cute, but they can be a lot of work. They require near-constant attention, which many families cannot provide. Older dogs may be the answer.

-- Just because an older dog is in a shelter, that doesn’t mean it’s a problem dog. Usually, they’re there because an owner can no longer care for them, and adopting them can bring joy to both you and them.

-- Older dogs tend to be calmer and settle easy.

-- Older dogs are generally easier to get along with, since they have more experience with humans.

-- Older dogs are nearly always housebroken and may even know tricks like fetch, how to take a walk and do tricks. They often also know commands like Sit, Stay and Down.

-- Despite the saying, older dogs CAN learn new tricks given the right amount of time and attention.

-- Senior pets are less destructive; you probably won’t find your favorite pair of shoes or furniture leg chewed up with an older dog.

-- Senior dogs are already full grown; no surprises as to how big they’ll be.

-- You might find a purebred senior dog to adopt, if that’s what you really want.

-- Senior dogs are grateful for attention, and are great companions for older people who need companionship themselves.

Many of the same advantages exist for senior cats, of course, taking into account the natural canine and feline differences.

And you won’t find a much better bargain than adopting a pet from the McCook Humane Society; while there is a small fee, you can be assured your new “fur kid” is healthy, spayed or neutered and vaccinated, ready for your home.

Homes are needed for animals of all ages, Lorie said, with a number of cats and 2- or 3-year-old dogs ready for adopting, a senior stray soon to be available, and litters of kittens soon expected to arrive.

Food, kitty litter, paper towels, volunteers and, of course, cash donations are always needed and welcome at the McCook Humane Society.

Consider sharing your home with an animal from the shelter; more than likely, you’ll find a grateful companion who will add joy to your life.

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