Adopting an Older Dog

This week Rascal is here hanging as one of the crew while his family is on vacation. And Rascal has a great story.

Rascal with his fuzzy terrier type face begging for some food

A few years back I met with a family who were considering getting a dog for an adoption counseling consult. In those sessions, I worked with families, couples and individuals who were considering the plunge into dog ownership on the realities of said lifestyle. Helping them assess considerations of their life, family dynamics, wants and needs and so on, so they could then make more informed decisions on dog ownership and what type of dog they might be most successful with.

During sessions with what is now Rascal’s family they realized mum and dad had totally different ideas on what type of dog they should consider. One was thinking large, active, puppy, the other small and not puppy. Which helped to then open the way for better communication, discussions about the realities of their daily lives, and the family looking at dogs they hadn’t previously considered: medium sized older dogs.

Enter Rascal. Who at age 8 was in the shelter having lived his entire life in 1 home, if I recall correctly his situation involved his owner either passing away or needing significant medical care and no one to care for Rascal. Being 8, he was considered an older dog and those can often be such a challenge to place as many people aren’t interested in adopting a middle aged fellow. They do often sit in the shelter system homeless. But for Rascal’s family who worked, had 2 soon to be teenage kids, who wanted a dog but would be in college in 4-5yrs, and enjoyed walking and being outdoors but weren’t wanting a super active dog, a middle age dog like Rascal would be a perfect fit. He was house broken, comfortable and used to being home alone for periods each day, enjoyed the company of people and going on walks, just what they were wanting!

Rascal has now been in his home for 4 years and is coming up on 12 this fall. A hound terrier type cross he’s still got plenty of spunk and energy, loves his daily walks, hunting for rouge snacks, and belting out the occasional Arooooooo! Aroooooo! Howl when the urge takes him. But he’s also a great laid back happy to snooze and hang out dignified old fellow. He loves his family and they love him.

Adopting an older dog can be a great fit for so many people and families. Don’t let the number of years scare you when you’re considering adding a new dog to your family. Fellas like Rascal have lots of loving and living still to do!

0 thoughts on “Adopting an Older Dog

    1. I’ve worked with some really awesome folks through adoption counseling. Generally I find if people are thinking and seeking out help before they’ve even picked out a dog, they are generally very receptive to the feedback, input and advice given. Which tends to end up win win, they end up with a dog that’s a great fit for their life and the dog ends up with a great, committed home. And sometimes the end result of adoption counseling is folks realize they aren’t in a place where they actually want a dog right now and that’s a good end result as well (my favorite was one person realizing, they didn’t want a dog at all, but actually wanted a cat! they got a cat and are last I heard very happy with their decision lol)

  1. What a cute pup! My goal when I retire is to adopt senior dogs from shelters and setup a senior sanctuary where they can live out their remaining years.

    1. I know a couple of folks who do that, only adopt seniors and also do hospice foster. I commend their actions, as they take on some really sad cases.

Leave a Reply