Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Top 10 Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

From ASPCA, here is a great list of the top 10 reasons to adopt an older dog:

  1. What You See Is What You Get
    Older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you’re not so into surprises, an older dog is for you!
  2. Easy to Train
    Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hogwash! Older dogs are great at focusing on you—and on the task at hand—because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.
  3. Seniors are Super-Loving
    The stories you submitted about your senior dogs were wonderfully varied, but they all contained beautiful, heartfelt descriptions of the love your dogs give you—and those of you who adopted older dogs told us how devoted and grateful they are. It's an instant bond that cannot be topped!
  4. They’re Not a 24-7 Job
    Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.
  5. They Settle in Quickly
    Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll be part of the family in no time!
  6. Fewer Messes
    Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.
  7. You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
    There are those who yearn for a doggie friend of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so—a puppy or young dog can be anywhere from an eight- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a dog in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.
  8. They Enjoy Easy Livin’
    Couch potato, know thyself! Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don’t require any exercise—they do—but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.
  9. Save a Life, Be a Hero
    Older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized at shelters. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together. There’s nothing like that twinkling in an older dog’s eyes when he finally gets adopted and realizes that after a lifetime of searching, he’s home.
  10. They’re CUTE!
    Need we say more? For proof, check out our new photo feature In Praise of Older Dogs!

I have dedicated a page to the senior dogs I've rescued on my website. Please stop by to check it out:

I Am Your Dog

This beautiful story has been passed around for a long time. The author is unknown.

I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life. Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? Theyare slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle.

You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time? That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me. So many times you have B een saddened by the words you read on that screen,of other of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in adistant land.

I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just "One more day" with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me. We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as "alpha" or as "trainer" or even "Mom or Dad," come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes, and talk.

I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general. You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a "Dog on two feet" -- I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Outcome of Trial Could Effect Right to Rescue Strays

This is a press release from my friend Barbara McGrady of the Society for the Protection of Animals...

S.P.A. Member Personally Sued for Rescuing Stray Dog!

The appeal will be argued to a panel of 3 judges of the appellate court on November 10th, 2008.

If S.P.A. loses this case, no one may be able to help stray animals without running the risk of being sued, even if acting on behalf of a non-profit organization. Please, if you are involved with rescue, take the time to read this. It is a very important court case.

For Immediate Release...


~This hearing will be heard in the 6th District Court of Appeals~ Its outcome will affect ALL animal rescuers in Ohio and most likely all rescuers across the U.S! If SPA does not win the appeal, it may be necessary to take the case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The outcome will set precedence for those who rescue stray dogs and cats!

Terry McGrady, an S.P.A. member, was sued for rescuing a stray dog and ordered to pay $500 to the man claiming to have lost the dog. This dog had been missing one week before he began to look for him and the dog was not licensed to him at that time.

Again, S.P.A. is appealing this decision because they feel they made every effort to locate the owner. This man who claimed that the dog got away from him A WEEK BEFORE called the number listed in the Found Ad in the local paper and accused McGrady of stealing his dog, and said that he needed to give him back.

When McGrady asked why he hadn't looked earlier for the dog he was missing, he said he was too busy farming to look for the dog earlier in the week. He said he was "trying the dog out" and that it actually belonged to a guy he worked with.

Mr. Terry Lodge, a top notch Toledo attorney (and an animal advocate) felt that Terry McGrady should appeal the ruling that Judge Adams made in the small, village court of Woodville, Ohio. He prepared the attached brief and will appeal this case soon before 6th District Court of Appeals.

Read the complete press release at:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests people who are looking for "man's best friend" to check out the millions of dogs at local shelters across the country. However, responsible pet ownership requires more than simply agreeing to take an animal into your life; the potential adopter should be ready to make a commitment that will enhance the lives of both the human and the animal.

With nearly 10 million animals entering local shelters across the country each year the Adopt a Shelter Dog Month helps focus attention on the pet population problem we face in this country.

Renowned dog trainer Joel Silverman also says that shelter animals make good pets, and that proper training is the key. Silverman's many canine pupils have starred in commercials, television shows, and feature films and often come from shelters. According to Silverman, pet owners that train their dogs have better relationships with their pets and less problems in the home.

"Most people don't realize that training is not as difficult as they think," says Silverman. "Training should be fun for both the pet owner and the dog and, in fact, usually strengthens the bond between them."

In a recent study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, researchers surveyed people turning animals in to 12 various shelters around the country to try to find our exactly why animals end up there. The study was published in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, and can be seen at The ASPCA's Web site ( The study's researchers reviewed reasons why people gave up their dogs up for adoption, and found the following frequency of answers:

  • 29 percent surrendered their dogs due to behavior problems
  • 29 percent surrendered their dogs because of the family's housing situation
  • 25 percent surrendered their dogs citing incompatibility with the family's lifestyle
  • 15 percent surrendering their dogs due to the family's preparation and/or expectations.

According to The ASPCA, people bringing a companion animal into their lives need to thoroughly review their lifestyle and their readiness to take responsibility for the animal's care. The ASPCA advises people to consider the five questions below before they adopt a dog:

  1. Am I ready to make a long-term commitment? Adopting a pet means being responsible for it's health and happiness for the rest of his or her life, which could be up to 15 years for dogs.
  2. Is the animal right for my household? A strong, active pet may be too much for a young child or elderly person to handle. Small pets may be too delicate for rough play with children. Always make sure that everyone in the household agrees to adopt an animal.
  3. Who will be the primary caretaker for the animal? One adult in the home should be designated as the primary caretaker so that the pet's needs do not become lost in the shuffle of busy schedules.
  4. Can I afford the animal? The cost of a pet is more than just the purchase price or adoption fee; remember to include the cost of food, pet supplies, veterinarian bills and training.
  5. Am I ready to commit to making this dog a good canine citizen? A well-trained dog is a pleasure and is welcome in public parks, on walks, and as a visitor. Research shows that people who take the time to train their dogs are more likely to keep them longer than people who don't.

Looking for a dog to add to your family? Consider adopting a shelter dog!

Article from