The Joys of Older Dogs
Sandy was ten when I rescued her, so when tell people that Dolly was already eight, they ask why I always have such old dogs.
Old? Dolly? She's not old, are you, precious? No... No-one with such a taste for waf-woof-wigs (sausages!) could really be described as old. Anyway, little breeds like Bichons live longer than large ones like Dulux Dogs.
But I do know what they mean. They wonder why I didn't get a sweet little puppy. Well, I'll tell you. Apart from chewing things, dashing all over the house, and pulling on their leads, puppies leak. Everywhere, all the time. When you come home they leak all over the kitchen floor; they leak when visitors arrive, when they're happy, when they're full, when they're bored. They leak. And they go on doing it for years.
Older dogs have out-grown all that. They walk to heel, they sleep all night, they know that children are to be humoured, they know there's no point in demanding walkies at 9am on Sunday morning.
Within days of taking on a more mature canine, she'll have understood your house routines. She'll be telling you when it's time to go to bed, she'll be wagging at the postman and bringing you her lead when she's thinking about walkies.
If you take on a puppy, it could take years to achieve this. Puppies need constant attention, they have to be trained from scratch - and I'm not just talking collar and lead here - and if you leave a puppy in the house alone, it'll probably tear the place to shreds.
Adult dogs however, are already socialised, already
house-trained and know at least a few commands. Yes,
I admit that you may have to accept some pre-conceived
ideas, like Dolly and her sausages, but honestly this
is a small price to pay for having a dog which already
knows the ropes.
Now I know what you're going to say - you never
really know with a rescue dog. Not true. You just
have to chose your woofer carefully. Don't just chose
the first pathetic thing you see, or something merely
Go for a breed which suits your lifestyle and
accommodation and then, unless you're a total dog
expert, chose a calm dog which sits still and looks you
in the eye. Chose one which will allow you to touch it
all over (round the tail, in the ears, inside the
mouth). Chose a dog which doesn't shrink away or offer
to bite. And don't hesitate about choosing an older
dog. You won't regret it.
Sorry, Dolly. What did you say? Oh! Time for
biccies, is it? Okay, I'm coming!
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