Older Dogs in Rescue

Older Dogs in Rescue

I wanted to highlight here how difficult it is for older dogs in rescue. Through personal experience,  I wanted to demonstrate just how fulfilling the senior rescues can be.

I completely agree that a puppy comes with no emotional baggage, can be trained easily and after all who doesn’t love a puppy?

Having said that, choosing to adopt a rescue puppy is so much better than going to a breeder so highly commendable, but in some instances, an older rescue dog might actually be a better decision.


I fostered Mickey an eight-year-old Yorkshire Terrier who had been handed into rescue because family priorities had changed. Mickey had never been abused, he had never known hunger or felt cold. However, he did know what it was like to go from being the star of the show to practically invisible once the children came along.

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A lovely, newly retired couple adopted Mickey. They had hit a void in their lives when their previous dog died and they had time on their hands. It’s hard going from a busy working life, routine and structure to suddenly having endless hours to fill. Adopting Mickey gave their lives a focus, they gained from the exercise of dog walks, made new doggy friends and felt a great sense of satisfaction that this little dog had regained a loving home.

They had rehomed a dog who was house trained, fully grown and extremely unlikely to start eating the furniture. Mickey was happy to be the main attraction once again and flourished in his twilight years. Six years later and Mickey and his adopted parents are still really happy, Mickey is a sprightly fourteen-year-old and still in good health.

This is a prime example of how older dogs in rescue can be the perfect solution.

I know the main concern of adopting an older dog is;

‘Why did he end up in rescue?’.

Well, in lots of circumstances it is absolutely no fault of their own.

When you buy or adopt a dog you have to make a fifteen-year commitment and it’s a long time; things change, families evolve, relationships fail and sometimes people have no choice but to surrender a much-loved pet

To be more certain of dogs needs, go to one of the many rescues who keep their dogs in a home environment with a fosterer. This way any problems come to light whilst the dog is under assessment and will be tested with children, cats, other dogs etc and any medical conditions will come to light.

This is a poem I wrote to highlight the plight of older dogs in rescue.

The kennels were quiet

Now the gates were closed

The puppies had left for forever homes

Old Patch and Old Billy remained in their pen

Not surprised to be staying again

Their eyes were cloudy

Their muzzles grey

The people would stop then just walk away

For Old Patch and Old Billy, there was no surprise

They didn’t want oldies, loyal and wise

They wanted the young ones

Eager and small

But the years weren’t always kind to them all

So, next time you visit with a new home in sight

Consider the oldies and their sorry plight

For Old Patch and Old Billy deserve a break

Their eyesight is failing

Their muscles ache

Next time you visit there is your match

Look no further

Than Old Billy and Old Patch

Taken from Muddy Paws by Kate Hanford a collection of dog poems.


3 thoughts on “Older Dogs in Rescue

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    1. Thank you for all the support here and on Twitter I really appreciate it and try to do the same for you. Lovely to ‘meet’ you and hope you have a great day too, x

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