Older dogs are often a challenge to rehome. Families are easily drawn to a cute, fluffy, mischievous puppy and often don’t give consideration to the benefits and the rewards of homing an older dog. For many of the older dogs, this will be their last home before they cross over the rainbow bridge and what a great honour to make the last years of that dog’s life unforgettable!

It’s hard to understand why families are able to part with their canine counterparts after caring for them for six, eight or even ten years but this is a common occurrence. These dogs come to the haven and then live in the runs for years before someone considers taking them home.

People forget about the challenges that come with puppies – house training, chewing, the issue of leaving the puppy alone during the day unattended…With an older dog, for the most part; they are house-trained and they are past the high-energy stage. They no longer have the incessant need to chew things and require less exercise than a younger husky. They’re content to be your companion and usually fit into the family with little disruption.

It is also true that some older dogs who have endured less than happy puppy-hoods will come with their set of challenges like aversion to touch, mistrust, resource guarding etc but if you’re brave enough to take on this challenge – the rewards are huge.

We have two older rescues and when we’re snuggled up on the couch together and I think about how far they have come from the unsure, meek creatures they were when they came to us, I can’t help but wonder who wouldn’t want these sweet souls and who was crazy enough to let them go. We only have two rescues and there are so many beautiful older rescue dogs out there looking for a home. It’s hard to think about but when I look at our two the old saying comes to mind, “Saving one dog won’t change the world but it will change the world for that one dog”. I encourage families to think about changing the world of that oldie staring back at them from the run – they’ll be so glad they did!

  • Dominique Strydom

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