|Barked: Mon May 17, '10 12:54pm PST |
|We've adopted two seniors...
--How do you deal with the heartbreak of possibly losing a dog within 1 or 2 years?
I think when you know that the dog is coming into your home to spend his "golden years", you just kinda accept that and know in the back of your mind that it can happen. I think it makes you appreciate every day with them a little bit more. And knowing that they lived the last days of their lives in comfort, with love and dignity...that makes up for anything else they might have experienced. We expected Rufus to only last 6 months. It's been two years and he's still going strong. Peaches is a bit younger but still a senior and she's not showing ANY signs of slowing down anytime soon. So you might have them for longer than you think.
--Can you bring a dog of that age into a household of multiple pets and at least have acceptance between all of them?
Just like with any other age, it depends on the dog but yes, you can. Rufus doesn't really care if the other dogs are around or not. He will let Sam cuddle with him if he's cold but if Sam and Jax start playing in the bed, he gets snippy and barks until we make them get out and leave him in peace. Peaches. on the other hand, wants to be the queen bee and tries to make the other dogs behave. She doesn't want them barking or playing and snaps at them if they bother her. Luckily she doesn't have any teeth left to hurt them with or we'd have a problem. We'd still keep her, we'd just keep her more separated from the others. Each of our dogs have their own crate so they can be alone if they want and away from the others, so when Peach gets snippy, she goes off by herself for a while. Most of the time, its peaceful though.
--How would you truly know before hand if they get along with other dogs, cats, grandkids?
Again, it would just depend on the dog and would be the same as a dog of any other age...you'd just have to visit with them and try and see. Many rescues will at least try and experiement with them and see how they do in various situations if they can.
--Can a dog really learn to love a new person after spending 10-12 years with another?n
Yes, they can. Rufus isn't a great example of this. As long as his food and water bowls are full and his bedding is clean, he really doesn't much care if we're here or not but he does show some bonding with my husband more than with me...I'm the evil lady who bathes him and takes him to the vet while my husband is the one to give him treats and scratch is back. Peaches, however, was TERRIFIED of men when we got her - she was apparently abused by someone in her previous life. Not only did she learn to accept my husband, she LOVES him now. He is her favorite person in the whole world.
--And last but on a practical note, how expensive did you find it healthwise when you adopted this age of a dog?
Peaches had been in rescue and was fairly healthy at first except for her teeth. We had to spend a healthy amount to get her dental cleaning done and have some teeth removed. But that was mostly due to her jaw having been broken and not healed correctly. Since then, the only thing she's needed that the other dogs don't is arthritis medication, a bit extra blood work when she goes in (not much add'l cost) and maybe an x-ray or two as a precaution. Since she does have arthritis, they did an x-ray on her when she had some unidentified pain. They thought it might be her back, turns out it was gas. We spent $300 to find out she just needed to fart. BOL
Rufus was a mess but didn't really cost us more than any other dog would have to get him fixed up. He has flea allergies so he was bald when we got him. He was also emaciated and wormy. But that got fixed up pretty quickly. He is borderline incontinent so we have to keep him supplied with potty pads and he leaks urine on himself so we have to use diaper rash cream on his tummy. He had some bad teeth and had to have most of them removed so he's on a strictly soft food diet. But other than that, he's just like the others.
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