Let me begin by saying, if you are a regular reader of our blog, you already know that Dakota was NOT adopted. Dakota joined our family in 2007 at the tender age of 8 months old. At that time I was not a blogger. I had my heart set on fulfilling my childhood wish of having my own Shetland Sheepdog, and to me a breeder was the way to go. I had NO CLUE that just because there might not be Shetland Sheepdogs at my local shelter, there WERE Shetland Sheepdog rescues that would have many Shetland Sheepdogs in need of a loving home, and many of them would TRANSPORT the dog to ME! I knew NOTHING about that!
Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE Dakota and could not have a more sensitive, loving, yes and often CRAZY dog. He was purchased from a responsible breeder (who was also a Veterinarian), so I totally lucked out. Had I known more about the reasons I should adopt a Shelter dog, I am sure I still would have had a wonderful dog!
I also believed some myths about Shelter dogs that many others STILL WRONGLY believe:
- shelter dogs have behavioral issues
- shelter dogs are in a shelter due to the fault of the DOG and NOT the owner.
- I should have a YOUNG dog
Thank goodness I began blogging a few years later and became hip to the fact that my assumptions could not have been MORE WRONG!
“When you KNOW better,
You DO better!!”
As is the case with humans, there isn’t an animal alive that doesn’t have some sort of behavioral issue! Most issues can be corrected with love, patience and proper training.
In the vast majority of cases, dogs end up in shelters for a host of reasons, the majority of which have NOTHING to do with the reasons being the dog’s fault.
Some valid reasons that dogs are in a Shelter include:
- owner surrender (unable to afford the dog)
- the death of an owner
- the owner not having done sufficient research of a breed before getting the dog, to make sure that the breed is a good fit for them and their lifestyle.
In February of 2016 Dakota will be turning 9 years old. According to PetPlace, a Shetland Sheepdog is considered a Senior when they are 9 to 10.5 years of age. Does that mean because many believe that puppies/young dogs are better, that I should relinquish my silly, active and loving dog? NOT ON YOUR LIFE!
When I remember back to house-training Dakota when he was 8 months old, and the zillions of times I was running up and down the stairs in our apartment building, (because my husband was at work and I was home after having recently lost my job due to down-sizing, making me solely responsible for Dakota’s daytime potty training). Dakota would bark and ACT as if he had to pee, when in reality, he wanted to sniff every blade of grass known to man. I would NOT want to go through much of that again! When you adopt a Senior dog, while you may still have to teach them potty rules for YOUR home, they can hold their bladder much longer than puppies or young dogs, and will learn the lay of the land of your home much faster than a puppy or young dog will!
MORE REASONS TO ADOPT AN OLDER DOG/SHELTER DOG:
- Shelter Pets are more grateful, They KNOW that they have been saved/rescued!
- YOU will feel GOOD about YOU for giving a deserving older dog/Senior dog a loving secure home.
- Worried about training a puppy? Older dogs/Senior dogs have more focus, tend to be calmer and as a result, are easier to train than puppies or young, rambunctious teen-age dogs!
- When you Adopt an Older or Senior Dog there are no surprises as to what size your dog will be, they are already full-grown!
Need yet another reason to adopt an older or Senior dog from a Shelter? They are less likely to engage in incessant PUPPY CHEWING! (yes, an occasional older dog may have chewing issues, but it is far more prevalent with puppies/young dogs.) If you have read my blog for a while you will remember the story of Dakota practically eating my cellphone, (he stopped right BEFORE he chewed through to the battery), as well as how he decimated the wood panel along our front door, trying to tear down the door to get at the dog who lived across the hall at the time.
Now, while he is STILL obsessed with a NEW dog that moved in across the hall, he is less likely to add our door to his dietary fiber intake!
Speaking of diet, when I began feeding Dakota Nutrish back in 2008, (way before he ever had a blog), there were many reasons behind my decision, and here are a few! Rachael Ray cares about the well-being of her dog and the dogs and cats of others. She believes in GIVING BACK!
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
- Rachael’s Rescue was created for all of the forgotten pets — the ones that might not have someone who loves them as much as you love your pet?
- 100% of Rachael’s personal proceeds from sales of Nutrish have gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for animals in need?
- For Rachael food equals love — whether she’s cooking a meal for friends or working with pet nutrition experts to create delicious recipes for your family’s furry companions?
- Every Rachael Ray Nutrish food and treat recipe is made with simple ingredients like real meat and wholesome veggies, so they’re naturally delicious?
- You can find every Nutrish recipe — including our specialty recipes with zero grains, glutens and fillers — where you currently shop for your family’s groceries?
YOU DO NOW!!
Dakota and I hope you will encourage your family and friends to consider adopting a senior shelter dog when they want to add a new pet to their home. I cannot imagine my life without Dakota, and I pray that he is with our family for many more years! A Senior Shelter Dog will give you just as much love and happiness as Dakota has unselfishly given to me. In summation, remember THESE reasons that YOU should adopt an older/Senior Shelter Dog: