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IN PRAISE OF OLDER DOGS

For many people having an older dog is a surprising advantage. We adopted our dog when she was ten. She’s right here at my feet, looking forward to her 14th birthday next month. After we adopted her, people would say “Oh that was so nice of you” or “so generous,” as if we did some big favor to her. What most people don’t know is what an advantage having an older dog is. Unless you have relatively young children who are going to play with the dog a lot, a dog who is not too young has a lot of pluses. For one thing, they’re usually housebroken, so that whole ordeal is eliminated. The second thing, is that they don’t have to kept busy or active most of the time, which you really have to do with puppies or very young dogs. And then there’s the time table – a young dog is, approximately, a fifteen year commitment. Think of where you’ll be in fifteen years. Your children might be off in college or out of the house. If you got the dog principally for them, they’ve long since lost interest, which usually happens sometime during their teenage years, if not before. Then the dog is solely yours.

For older people, an older dog is a great advantage. You have the companionship and love without the necessary huge commitment. And you don’t have to worry about making arrangements for someone to take the dog and care for it after you’re gone or too sick to do what’s necessary. I love older dogs – they’re mellow, know the ropes and understand older people. And doctors will tell you, a dog is great because they force you to get out of the house and walk. If you walk slowly, an older dog does too. It’s a great deal all around. More later.


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