Happy New Year! Somehow I suspect that wasn't why November was chosen as Adopt a Senior Pet Month .... still I can't think of a more meaningful time for it. Senior pets should be celebrated because they bring some very special gifts to the table.
When Andy came here, just as Scamp did years ago, he settled in right away. He was old enough and wise enough to get the hang of our routine on the first day. At his age, he was quick to appreciate what a blessing it was to have a second chance at domestic bliss. Best of all, in spite of having been let down by his human(s?) in the past, he is still willing to open his heart and take a chance at love again.
After having lost my sweet senior McG, I knew that it would be too much of a jolt to go back to square one with a puppy. I like sleeping through the night and am getting a little long in the tooth to want to get back into to the housetraining routine again.
Not to mention that, for me personally, I felt that the best way to repay the (all too short) years of love that McG gave me would be to give another senior a safe berth.
I've been looking around the rescue sites and there doesn't seem to be anything special going on for the senior animals for this month .... but I AM happy to report that in at least a couple of branches, the society has reduced and in some cases completely dropped the adoption fee for the seniors in its care.
CAPS also has a very special program going on that they call PAWS ... Pairing Animals With Seniors. How that program works is that seniors can apply to be long term fosters for the more mature pets in CAPS' care. They work very closely with the RCMP liaison for Seniors on this one. Because it is foster, not adopting, CAPS retains responsibility for the food and vet costs ... allowing many seniors who might not be able to afford a pet to benefit from the companionship of a pet. There is also a measure of security for the senior, because in the process of checking on the pet, volunteers are aware of whether or not all is well with the senior human.
Then there are the Georgia Four .... three of whom are seniors. I think that this story, the Rescue Without Borders thread, really highlights how much love and compassion there is in the Nova Scotia Rescue community for senior pets. And before the keyboards catch on fire, this is not the first time that homeless pets have been "imported' in from away. The very fact that there is enough love for the animals here in NS that good pets have been able come here from Nfld, NB, PEI and beyond is one of the big reasons that I truly believe it is possible to get to No Kill Nova Scotia.
Closer to home, the story of Adara and her buddy Desi, is just one more example of how rescue is willing to go the distance. Even though they know it might be a challenge to find someone with a big enough heart to adopt this pair, the LA Animal Shelter is determined to find these lifelong companions a home together.
I've lost track of how many seniors have waltzed through NS Breed Rescues ... lovely Labradors ... great German Shepherd Dogs .... not to mention the many lovely little elderdogs.
There was a time when it was usually a death sentence for a senior pet to become homeless ... when no one understand that they could be placed if they were presented and promoted properly.
There is a whole "market" of adopters that is ideally suited to adopt senior pets.... the Baby Boomers. I'm at the young end of the group and believe I am fairly typical. I've retained the social conscience that carried me through the sixties. With my busy life, I really don't have the time to properly train a youngster. While I do not think of myself as an old lady, I must confess that I have reached the age where I'm never my best self if I don't get a good night's sleep.
Baby Boomers like to do things a little different and (hopefully) a little better than their parents. So campaigning to their conscience with campaigns to adopt a Senior pet is about so much more than saving lives .... its a great way to engage Baby Boomer support for animal rescue.
What time is it? Its always time to remember that animal rescue of all kinds should never shine its light under a bushel if they expect to save lives. To that end, there is a special section on the homeless pet site this month for the wonderful elderpets in need of a home - Andy's Friends