Happily Over the Hill

by Kimberly Wade

As an owner of three senior pets myself (two dogs and a cat), my husband and I know firsthand that many senior pets are comfortable with who they are. Our chocolate lab, Gilda, and our Italian Greyhound Tito, both are thirteen. Though they have the occasional senior moment, they refuse to give in to age. Gilda jumps and runs in circles each time her meal is prepared. Tito will burrow into his bed six times searching for just the right spot to curl up. Yet they both offer a look of appreciation when we scratch behind their ears, or offer them the spot on the couch next to us—a look that the younger generation hasn’t mastered. The seniors play the senior card often, milking us for all they can get (or maybe that’s just my household). Either way, senior pets bring something special to the table.

Many adopters from Nevada Humane Society tell us they choose to adopt senior pets over any other pet simply because they can’t stand to see a senior pet in a shelter. They know these cats and dogs came from a comfortable home and now they reside in a lonely kennel. Thank goodness for these amazing adopters—they know the advantages of having a senior pet and they help get senior cats and dogs out of the shelter quickly and back into a loving home.

The trouble is there are still senior pets arriving at Nevada Humane Society every day. That’s why we created a new take on the Golden Years with our latest adoption promotion, waiving adoption fees for senior pets who are aged to perfection. Yes, that means if a cat or a dog is over the age of six and matured like a fine wine they can join your family today for free! Standard adoption policies still apply, because we want to match people and pets to the best of our ability, but we want to spotlight these pet that are happily over the hill because they deserve second chances just like everyone else.

The advantages of adopting an oldie but a goodie are immense. They have mellowed and are much easier to handle. Dogs tend to be house-trained, generally know basic commands, are content to lie by your side (more or less), and don’t seem to require as much exercise as a teenage dog. Cats understand the value of a cozy bed and some serious R&R compared to their younger counterparts who enjoy climbing the curtains, knocking things off your shelves, and getting into everything. All seniors, no matter what age, have every bit as much (maybe even more) unconditional love to give.

As I walk through the shelter to snuggle up on the seniors, I happily talk to a guest next to me who is commenting on the smiling face of the dog. They can see her personality is blissful, and I know the age question is next. When they hear she’s a senior, lucky for us, they don’t run away. Instead, they take the time to get to know her. They’re open to trying it, and as any adopter of senior pet will tell you, in a very short time after adopting an older dog (or cat), you too won’t be able to imagine life without him or her by your side.

Nevada Humane Society’s senior pet adoption promotion runs November 5 through November 16. All dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Adoption fees are waived on all dogs and cats over the age of six, at both the Reno and Carson City shelter. Will you open your heart and home to a senior pet?

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