Very little. Likewise with our pets. Higgins was 15 when he starred in the
title role of the movie Benji. Pal, the rough collie born in 1940 and
star of the Lassie movies of the 1940s, also starred in the pilots for
the Lassie television series in 1954. Animal stars including Eddie from
the Frasier television series and Morris the Cat from the 9 Lives Cat
Food commercials were both older when adopted from shelters. All of these
“older” pets certainly defy the notion that age equals useless. My goldador, Abby,
was six before she settled enough to become a hospital visitation dog with the
HABIT program through the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital program.
She made a positive difference in so many lives, even as an older pet.
allergies to the dog. Economic crises have cut into some people’s budgets so
deeply, feeding a pet is no longer an option. These pets were loved and cared
for by their previous owners, they are pets who did not present any problems.
They are healthy and loving, only in need of someone with whom to share their
dog or cat will be when he grows up because he is already full grown! Older
pets have their personalities established. You’ll know if the pet will like
children/other animals/people. With young pets, there are destructive behaviors
which must be retrained. I think everyone who has encountered a puppy knows the
truth about those razor sharp little teeth used to shred not only prized
possessions, but human flesh as well. Older pets generally have “respect” for
your belongings. Younger dogs want to walk at a speed that would most likely
get you a ticket in a school zone. Older dogs are usually quite happy to stroll
and enjoy the ambience of smells left on the ground earlier in the day.
Snuggling on the couch has to be the ultimate achievement of the older pet.
Those youngsters just don’t seem to get the concept of relaxing the way the
more mature pet does.
possible supplements like arthritis medicines are to be expected. Walks may
need to be a little shorter and less intense. Older pets may sleep a little
more and getting out of bed might take some extra time. New tricks can still be
learned, you might just have to help the pet unlearn some previous behaviors
first. The tradeoff is a healthier you – lower blood pressure, better mental
state, more exercise, and increased social contacts.
at Courteous Canine, Inc. www.courteouscanine.com
and owner of Smiles and Wags Pet Services
www.smilesandwags.com. Mrs. Casey is a member of the Association of Animal
Behavior Professionals. Mrs. Casey is a columnist for the