Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Senior Moment

You would think that senior citizens might want senior dogs. You would be wrong.
For some reason, senior citizens want puppies. I am in my fifties and I sure don't want a puppy. I can't imagine why someone in their sixties, seventies, eighties, and yes, nineties would want a pup. But they do. When we try to talk them into a dog that is six years old or older they tell us right quick that those dogs are too old.
Our animal intake officer, Norita, has an interesting outlook on this, though. She says that at least when they take a puppy and return it two years later, it is adoptable. But when they get a seven year old dog and return it two years later, we have trouble placing a nine year old. In fact, we often don't place dogs that are older than eight.
I have a foster dog now named Tootsie. She is a schnoodle and she has been a faithful companion to two older ladies. The first lady surrendered Tootsie to us two years ago when she entered a nursing home. I browbeat a lady in her seventies to adopt Tootsie, even though she was looking for a one or two year old dog. I figured Tootsie was about all she would be able to manage and I was right! Two years later and Toots is back in the ARF program and my home. Now she has congestive heart failure and is on heart medicine. She is a sweetheart and no trouble at all, but I figure she is here to stay this time. I won't be allowing another older person to adopt her. She has done her bit for the seniors. Not that senior citizens would even think of wanting her! No, that want a puppy that will tear up their slippers, chew through their extension cords criss-crossing their living rooms and bedrooms, pee on their newspapers and magazines that are piled here and there, and run and hide from them under the bed.
We show our dogs to the public at PetSmart stores on Fridays and Saturdays. This Saturday I volunteered for a shift and a little lady who probably is past eighty had put in an application for a toy poodle puppy, but she changed her mind and decided she might want a four year old poodle instead. That means we would get the four year old back when it is six or seven. Maybe her grown children will take the poodle when she can no longer care for it. Yeah. I'm dreaming. Dogs would have to be considered part of the family for that to happen.
Dogs ARE part of my family and I am making provisions for them in case I have to go into the hospital or can no longer care for them. Some people thought Leona Helmsley was crazy for leaving her money to her dog so that the little furry cutie would be taken care of. Personally, she grew in my esteem. She might have been a mean boss, perhaps she was a disagreeable old bag, but she did right by her dog. Bless her.

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