Why do I love old dogs so much? This is a fair question given how popular puppies always are. While I have nothing against puppies they are just not for me. Their high energy and constant need for education and monitoring is exhausting. I love all dogs very much which is why puppies keep me in a constant state of worry over their development and care. By the very fact they are in this stage of growth, any mistakes or bad habits they develop thanks to me, are mine to deal with at a later date.
Given all that described potential stress, you might guess that I have never had children or been a school teacher. I’m also the youngest amongst my siblings so my supervision skills are strictly based on managing a few people, or the occasional project at work, not the best skill set for taking on the responsibility of a puppy. However, older dogs are a whole different beast. To begin with, there is my absolute love for the oldsters.
Having experienced my own dog going through her golden years, the affection I feel for seniors is deep. Spending weekly volunteer shifts at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue has confirmed my love for the sugar faces is not limited to my own dog. Big ones, little ones, blind ones, deaf ones, three-legged ones, terminal ones, I absolutely love all these old dogs, and I am here to tell you why!
Because you’re old too, is probably the easiest and most relatable reason you should love an old dog.
There is nothing like having a partner and animal companion who is just like you. Together you can grouse about taking meds, pooping out fast, wanting to take an afternoon nap, and feeling particular about what you want to eat. I mean, I look at an old dog’s knobby knees and see mine! Fuzzy hair? Me too! Weird spots on my skins? Same!
We share that surprised look of accomplishment in any given moment.
I love how old dogs know what they like or need, but also that satisfied expression when they tackle something you can tell they didn’t really know they could still do, like get up onto a bed or learn how to use a ramp to get up on that same bed. Being on the bed was their goal and that satisfied look on their face after making that happen as they settle in for a nap or snuggle with me is the absolute best! I’ve watched this time and again, then found myself acknowledging them with a nod and a “nice job” or “nicely done” applause. I’ve had more than one respond with a shared knowing look and light smacking of the lips as they tuck in.
At my speed.
Without judgement, old dogs match your lifestyle and activity level, and I love this. They don’t try and make you change. You are embraced for being you, the you that you are, right now. Old dogs are just glad for your companionship and compassion. If you feel for them, like they no doubt feel for you, how wonderful is that? I think old dogs are perfect for so many us. Don’t think that just because you prefer an old dog to a puppy that there is anything wrong with you. Loving old dogs is like wine, you are able to appreciate the vintage and more subtle notes that an older dog has developed with age.
Rather than find fault, that is a skill and place to be in life we should aspire to be, in my book, because that takes time and life experiences. And that is why old dogs are magic, they share my sense of time and life experiences in a way that puppies cannot.
How about you? Where do you find yourself with dogs? Is there an age you find yourself pulled towards?