Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In the next couple of years, when I'm out of school and buy a house I was thinking about adopting an older dog and wanted to get some thoughts/opinions from those of you that have done so in the past.

I was just looking at a list of adoptions from our local SPCA because I was curious as to what the ages of the dogs were that were up for adoption and I saw this one girl that was listed as 11 years, 2 months. and her little profile said that her owner of 11 years got a new dog and the new dog didn't like the old dog, so they took her to the SPCA. :eek: I feel so bad for her.

I can't really do anything about it now because I don't have a place of my own, but it got me thinking that once I do, I might like to adopt an older dog but then I would be concerned that it would be too sad of an experience because they would be closer to passing age. (I know this is very selfish but I already have bad anxiety about my dog passing and he's healthy and only 3 1/2. So if I already have anxiety about that, i would feel my possible anxiety that might come along with an older dog would just be worse.)

I know the whole thing about well even if you get a puppy it's not guaranteed that they will live for 12+ years beacuse something may happen, but it's just the thought of knowing that at the most, the older dog only has a few years left to me is just sad. But then again I'm sure it would be better for them to pass in a loving home rather than in a shelter. You know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
823 Posts
I have never adopted an older dog, but I plan to. I think those dogs need people the most. My BF and I both have a thing for animals no one else would want... we will probably end up with an old, one eyed, 3 legged, BBD lol. I am sure it will be very hard because you will have just enough time to get insanely attached and then you will have to let go. You will just have to think about how you gave him an amazing last couple months, years, whatever. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,975 Posts
hmm... don't look at the "death" thing, just think about how you gave the dog love and everything, making him/her happy. That should be a reward in itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
When I saw the ad for Brutus it basically said, "Senior dog seeks dog bed to spend his retirement years." He had been owned by an older gentleman who let him do his own thing. (I should point out this is not the right way to handle an independent breed.) The older guy died and, sadly, no one in his family wanted the dog so they turned him over to a rescue where I got him. They did care enough to pay the adoption fee up front so the rescue could offer him free.

I'll admit we have had a rocky relationship at first. He basically did his own thing his entire life and now he was in a place with an owner who wasn't going to let him counter cruise, drink from the toilet, get into the dog food or tip over the trash can. (I'm such a hardass.) I have to constantly supervise him inside because unlike Zero he refuses to abide by the rules unless I'm there and even then only reluctantly. Old dogs and new tricks I guess.

He had some issues settling in and had horrible diarrhea for 2-3 days that we had to go to the vet for. Later he had the opposite problem that we also had to go to the vet for. I was told that this is normal for a dog his age (10 yrs old). Zero on the other hand is a year and a half. We went to the vet for a checkup right after I got him which is pretty standard and have had no reason to back. Older dogs are going to have more health issues than younger dogs.

Brutus is an absolute pleasure to walk with. I love going on walks with him. He's old and can't move very quickly so he really can't pull if he wanted to. I can easily keep up with him just walking at a normal pace. He walks right next to me in more or less of a heel position. If I release the flexi, he will wander off to the side, but rarely in front of me. Then he quickly catches up to me. He just doesn't have the speed to get in front of me for very long.

Dog aggression and people aggression issues are non-existent. Part of this is probably Brutus's personality, but part of it is his age. He simply doesn't have the energy to deal with people or dogs. Dogs come up to us and Brutus expresses mild interest. He waits for the dog to come up to us though. They sniff each other, then the other dog wants to play, but Brutus is done with him. Same thing with people. He will willingly approach people and let them pet him, but couldn't care less if they don't. Zero can't figure out why people don't love him. Brutus doesn't care one way or the other. Part of this is his personality for sure, but part of this is him being old.

The only really bad thing about Brutus is that due to his age, he's developed a fatty tumor in his mouth. The vet says this is not unusual in old hounds. The tumor has grown lately and bleeds so I have to deal with bloody drool and a visible bloody tumor in his mouth. This precludes taking him a lot of places as people are horrified by a tumor hanging out of a dogs mouth. The vet tells me that sooner or later this tumor may grow and obstruct his breathing and/or his ability to eat. Right now it doesn't affect either. She also told me that she really can't remove it because a) it will likely grow right back and b) because of his age he may not survive the anesthesia. These are things that have to be dealt with with old dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
These are things that have to be dealt with with old dogs.
I know that an older dog will most likely either come with some health problems or develop some health problems, that is not something I'm worried about that I think I couldn't handle.

I don't know if this will make any sense...but to me if I have to rush an animal to the e-vet for an emergency and the animal passes while being worked on (like a bad car accident or something) that is a lot different than scheduling an appointment to have the animal PTS. That is what would be REALLY hard for me to deal with.

I think all of this would just be much easier if the animal could pass in it's sleep like an old human.

How do you feel about your decision to adopt Brutus? Are you happy that you did it? Were you looking for an older dog when you found him or did you just run by his ad by chance?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
I know that an older dog will most likely either come with some health problems or develop some health problems, that is not something I'm worried about that I think I couldn't handle.

I don't know if this will make any sense...but to me if I have to rush an animal to the e-vet for an emergency and the animal passes while being worked on (like a bad car accident or something) that is a lot different than scheduling an appointment to have the animal PTS. That is what would be REALLY hard for me to deal with.

I think all of this would just be much easier if the animal could pass in it's sleep like an old human.

How do you feel about your decision to adopt Brutus? Are you happy that you did it? Were you looking for an older dog when you found him or did you just run by his ad by chance?
I had Zero at the time for about a week or two and still kind of wanted a basset hound. That's what I was looking for when I stumbled across his ad. I have moments when I wish I'd never got the dog and moments when I'm glad he's there which I think is par for the course with a dog.

I'm dreading having to have him PTS and I'm hoping he passes naturally before that happens, but you never know. I know sooner or later the tumor is going to grow to where it does obstruct his throat and some serious and hard decisions will have to be made there. Do you have an expensive surgery that the dog may not survive and even if he does the problem will likely recur forcing you to put him through the expensive surgery again? Do you have a dog who is otherwise healthy and able bodied (for his age anyway) PTS? I'm really, really, really not wanting to make these decisions, but I know it's a strong possibility at some point.

The thing is I'm going to have to make these decisions about Zero too at some point as well it's just another 8-10 yrs or more down the road. Even if you get a puppy at some point that pup will be a senior dog (providing he doesn't perish in some sort of an accident or something) and decisions about his quality of life have to be made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Even if you get a puppy at some point that pup will be a senior dog (providing he doesn't perish in some sort of an accident or something) and decisions about his quality of life have to be made.
Well that I know. ;) I already have a dog. He's 3 1/2 and I've had him for 3 yrs. I'm hoping that he'll be with me for another 10+ years.



Well forever would be nice, but that's not realistic.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top