Scarlett – racing name Water Orchid – is an 11-year-old red greyhound who lost an eye to glaucoma. She is sweet, calm and doesn’t act her age and was a SHUG available adoptee for about a nanosecond before she was snapped up!
Now some who saw Scarlett’s photo may have simply said she was “too old.” Most veterinarians consider a dog a “senior” around its seventh birthday. Some shelters may consider these dogs unadoptable – even when they are healthy and active – and they may be euthanized relatively quickly.
But here at SHUG, we don’t think a little silver on the muzzle or a little hitch in the giddy-up is a big deal. Many of us are proud owners of older dogs. Here are some good reasons to consider adopting a senior dog:
1. They have manners, most of the time. They’ve usually been in a home, at least at some point in their lives, and they don’t need a lot of time to adjust getting back onto one.
2. Generally speaking, they don’t chew on you, the furniture, the house (like puppies) or need to go out in the middle of the night to pee (like puppies) or just pee wherever they happen to be standing (like puppies).
3. What you see is what you get. As adults, they have grown into and developed who they are. They are a safe bet in terms of knowing what their personality will be when you get them home.
4. They are generally calmer than younger dogs and may need less exercise. So for a home situation where less energy is better, a senior dog can be a perfect fit!
5. They are still trainable! You can teach an old dog new tricks, and with their greater attention span and a few tricks probably already under their belt, teaching new ones isn’t as difficult as with younger dogs.
6. Greyhounds and other sighthounds, including galgos and salukis, are long-lived breeds. An eight or 10-year-old dog still has many years ahead!
7. They’re not as long a commitment as a puppy. If you are thinking of downsizing your family in the future, moving overseas at some point or you’re older yourself and don’t want a dog who will outlive you, a senior is a good option.
And, then, of course, they simply deserve it. Every dog needs to be loved and part of family. We owe it to our senior dogs to give them as much a chance to snooze on a soft couch as their younger companions. We may have them for a shorter time, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bring them into our families for what time they have left.
As for Scarlett, she’s getting acquainted to her chariot, courtesy of her new mom, Deanna Swartzfager. Scarlett’s hind end weakness was recently diagnosed as blood clots that are affecting her ability to walk or run more than short distances. Her body will hopefully eliminate the clots over many weeks. In the meantime, she’s getting used to riding in her cart so she can enjoy being outside.
We think she’s getting the hang of it. Thank you Deanna for taking such good care of her!
Update: It is with great sadness that we report lovely Miss Scarlett had to be escorted to the Bridge as her condition was not improving. It is so sad when we lose them before their time. We thank Deanna for giving Scarlett a chance to find a soft couch and a loving family before she passed over.