November is National Adopt-a-Senior-Dog Month. It’s during this time I think about all the sweet senior dogs that have left me and are now waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. Even though it’s fun to be surrounded by young, boisterous canine beasts, I miss those old dogs’ graceful, graying presence — not to mention their sweet low-maintenance attitude. If you’re thinking of bringing a dog into your life, consider welcoming home an elder statesdog.
Prolific author David Tabatsky just completed his latest book, Beautiful Old Dogs. It’s a lovely anthology of essays by boldface names including Marlo Thomas, Anna Quindlen, and Dean Koontz’s dog Trixie, and its pages are illustrated with gorgeous photographs by the late Garry Gross. The tome will be published by St. Martin’s Press this time next year.
“I didn’t become a dog person until I encountered Garry’s exquisite photography, specifically his soulful portraits of senior dogs,” Tabatsky says. The late photographer’s motto in seeking out canine models was, “The older the better — dogs with soul in their eyes.” And, Tabatsky adds, “I’ve been converted to this sentiment.”
Here are seven senior-dog adoption incentives. So bring a gray-muzzle home today and enjoy instant membership in AARP, or rather, AARF (the American Association of Retired Furpersons).
Also from Dogster Magazine: “Fiona Apple Cancels Tour to Care for Her Dying Dog”
1. They’re economic stimulus hounds
Because seniors are among the last to be adopted at animal shelters, adoption fees are often significantly reduced. Talk about an adopter’s incentive: With the money you save, you can spring for, say, premium dog food or a couple of fun toys.
If, like me, you work at home, a senior canine (or a couple) makes the best company, lowering your stress so you can get the most out of a day’s work. Dozing patiently by your desk, they’ll help you remain calm — and that’s great for productivity.
2. They cure empty-nester blues
What better distraction for a lonely parent whose child just left for college than a sweet senior dog? Tabatsky is counting on it when his time comes: “As soon as my daughter graduates high school next year and joins her brother in that elite club of 18-year-olds leaving home, I plan to adopt a houseful of dogs, preferably older and wiser, who will understand my empty space and enjoy filling it as lovingly as possible.”