There are rescue kennels and pounds all over the world, full of dogs and cats needing a good home. Christmas is a popular time for giving a furry friend a home. The tragedy is that so few mature animals are given a second chance at life. Puppies and kittens are always in with a better chance, probably because of the 'cute' factor.
Having given a home to a handful of adult cats and dogs, I can honestly recommend adopting a grown up rather than a puppy or kitten. Our present dog is ten years old and we took him in when he was seven; tired, hungry, flea bitten and nervous. He has blossomed into a magnificent animal and draws comment wherever he goes. He is the joy of our lives; always ready to play, good with children, loyal and well behaved. What more could you ask for?
There are distinct advantages in not introducing a kitten or puppy into your home. Certainly if you are prepared to take in a new animal then you are ready to invest some time in training and care, but younger animals need house training, lead training, general obedience training, not to mention the costs of vaccination, spaying or neutering, and constant vigilance to make sure they are not chewing up Grandad's slippers or teething on the legs of the grand piano. Older pets have usually been house trained and vaccinated beforehand.
The only disadvantage in taking in an older pet is that their 'shelf life' is shorter. You will not have so many years with them as they have already lived half their lives and sometimes in less then healthy circumstances. However, the love and gratitude you will receive from these furry companions far outweighs any drawbacks.
Be a friend - give an old dog a second chance.
Jan Gamm writes reflections on life with an emphasis on world travel. She has lived in many countries and traveled extensively in the Far East, the Middle East, America, South America and throughout the South Pacific. She writes for fun and for money whenever she can manage it.
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