November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month
November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month, and locals are encouraged to consider adopting older animals that might be getting on in years but are just as loving, loyal and cute as the young’uns.
Extolling the joys and virtues of adopting a senior pet is Silverthorne Mayor Ann-Marie Sandquist, who recently adopted a 12-year-old great Dane-Labrador mix named Buddy. Sandquist was looking to find a companion for her 4-year-old golden retriever, Rippy, who hasn’t had a friend since his sibling had passed.
Sandquist considered getting another puppy from a breeder, but got to thinking that there was a dog out there that needed her and her family.
“Then I thought, maybe we should be looking at older dogs,” Sandquist said. “Older dogs are harder to adopt, and everyone wants a puppy, and so we went around looking for one.”
Sandquist said she came across Buddy, and said he had a “great face” and seemed like he had a good personality. She took him for a walk outside the shelter, and noticed that he was a bit stressed out.
“We didn’t bond initially, and I think it’s because so many people had come to see him and had not adopted him, so he didn’t know what was going on,” Sandquist said.
But when they went back inside, he was happy to see the shelter staff he recognized and was really affectionate.
“That told me that he was OK, and just stressed out,” Sandquist said.
After meeting Rippy and hitting it off, Buddy got adopted and now the old boy has a new family, thanks to his owner’s willingness to take a chance. Even though the 80-pound pooch is considered “elderly,” Sandquist said he’s still very spry, wrestling and chasing his brother and living his best doggy life.
“One thing to understand about older dogs is that they’re wise,” Sandquist said. “For people who have never had a dog, they’re great since they’re already trained and understand what’s going on. I think it’s even better than getting a puppy.”
Based on her experience, Sandquist urged potential owners to be patient with senior dogs when they first meet, as they’ve probably been through the wringer and might take a little time to warm up.
“Don’t assume everything about an animal at the initial greeting,” Sandquist said. “Understand the situation they’re in and give them a break. See how they interact with staff. Remember that they’re scared, too.”
To find a new old friend, visit the Summit County Animal Shelter at 58 Nancy’s Place in Frisco or call the shelter at 970-668-3230 for more information.
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