I love Mandy and Rascal! They are both sweet in that special way that only seasoned seniors can be … but still full of spunk whenever opportunity knocks! Indeed, any casual visitors could hardly be faulted for thinking these little ones had lived their whole lives here. When my two little buddies are always first in line to greet me at the door, who could possibly imagine they were both over ten years of age when I adopted them?
Now I will be the first to admit that adopting a senior pet is not for everyone. Flyball people know that their next star will not be found in the #needanothernap crowd. Marathon runners usually prefer to push their personal envelope instead of a dog stroller. Parents of young children can be concerned about the simple fact that senior pets may not have fifteen or twenty years of love to offer.
Then there is the elephant in the room. The big fat elephant that nobody wants to bring up for fear of sounding cheap … er I mean practical. For many folks, fear of big vet bills is the stumbling block!
So, is this true? To be perfectly honest, sometimes yes it is. Older pets are more likely to need dental work. When something is wrong, blood tests and x-rays can often be needed to get to the root of the problem. Here in this house, Rascal is on heart meds and Mandy had to have big surgery last spring for a worrisome lump.
So .. is it reasonable to worry about the cost of caring for a senior? Of course it is! Really it is only sensible! Very few people have bottomless bank accounts. Even worse, with the rising cost of everything, most folks do not have a lot of wiggle room in their budget. In a world where saving for retirement is often out of reach, it is not a bad thing to know one’s limitations, eh?
But here is the thing that wakes rescuers up in the middle of the night …. younger pets can have big vet bills too. Here in the real world, there are never any guarantees when it comes to living breathing sentient beings. Truth be told, some of the biggest vet bills I have seen rescues fundraising for have been for younger pets. Not to be mean, but those who shy away from older pets out of worry for the cost might want to rethink the whole can we really afford a pet at this time at all thing, eh?
But I am wandering afield as I am often wont to do in my meandering way. The point I am trying to make today is that adopting a senior pet from a reputable rescue is a very, very rewarding experience. Why do I keep harping on that darned reputable rescue thing?
That answer is so simple a stump could understand. Reputable rescues do not rush pets out the gate without being properly assessed. When one adopts a pet of any age from a reputable rescue there are no hidden health issues. Training is done in a positive way that will not create a ticking time bomb for the adopter. And if the worst happens and things do not work out, the rescue will always take the pet back! In other words, there is a security for adopters that simply cannot be found in the free online ad sites and Facebook swap groups.
What time is it? It is always time to remember that pets are never, ever too old to be loved. Really, it is just frosting on the cake that adopting a senior pet is like giving yourself a very precious present. It is the gift that just keeps on giving love and devotion long after the tree is taken down 🙂