by Kimberly Wade
Senioritis. Many people remember this as a term used in high school and college, for those seniors who were just done and ready to move on in life. Others think of it in relation to older people—in fact, I actually asked one of our awesome volunteers who loves to pull the “I’m older than you” card how she defines the word. She said, “stupid things older people do or forget.” It made me laugh, and I promise I’m not judging because I’m quoting her (though let’s be honest, as I’m in my thirties and I’m guilty of this).
Urban Dictionary defines Senioritis as a crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, over-excessive wearing of track pants, a lack of studying and a generally dismissive attitude, with the only cure being Graduation.
I think we can all relate but it got me thinking… what about senior pets? Do they reach a point where they get lazy and just don’t care? I think the answer… is yes.
Right now we have lots of senior pets at Nevada Humane Society. Some are a little gray around the muzzle, others just lay around on oversized beds and some have lost all desire to pick and choose—they just want someone, anyone, to love them—they’re no longer picky about a family. We know senior pets as those that are typically established in a routine, have basic manners and are content to lounge around on your couch watching Ellen or the Food Network. They have less energy and prefer to either spend more time cuddling with you, or just lay at your feet. Fetch? No thank you! Many times they’ll look at you like you’re crazy and make you go get it!
This time of year, because of the high volume of young or baby animals coming into the shelter, the seniors (even middle-aged adults) tend to get overlooked. But we know seniors are the best. They just want to enjoy companionship, and so often, this can be lifesaving for both people and pets. We actually have a program called Seniors for Seniors, where senior humans (age 55 and up) can adopt a senior pet (age 10 and up) for free. In addition, most of our senior pets are fee-waived anyway—all cats over the age of five are free, and those cats over the age of ten are part of a program called Social Se-CAT-ary, where we offer four vouchers to our veterinary clinic just in case something happens in their older years—kind of like social security for humans.
The point is, our seniors are experiencing senioritis. They’re done. They don’t care what they look like, they’re not working hard to get your attention, and they can be lazy. Their goal is to “graduate” from Nevada Humane Society to a home, and we’re really hoping this will motivate people like you to adopt! We’ve got senior dogs and cats, some totally healthy and some with typical old-age challenges, but those are the ones who also receive medical care in our clinic—and we’ll teach you and provide supplies in order to care for them. They just need to be adopted, in a home, sunbathing in the window, as opposed to here. Yes, we provide great care and plenty of love and affection while they’re under our roof, but as I mentioned above, the only cure for senioritis is Graduation, so let’s work to move these guys and gals along into their next journey in life—a new home. #SeniorClass2017