why older dogs are better than puppies
Our 3 dogs – Mr Budro (Buddy), Rudi Roo (Rudi), and Miss Millie Mouse (Millie) are aged 11, 4 and 5 respectively.
Actually, we don’t really know how old Millie is… she was adopted via Maine Lab Rescue from a high kill shelter in Georgia and the various vets (4 of them – the one in Georgia, the one in Maine who spayed her, our original vet, and the new one we’ve started using) all thought she was probably between 4-5 years old when she came to us a year ago, which would make her 5-6 years old now.
So our dogs are all grown up, and we know what to expect from each of them.
Puppies are cute… wicked cute. We both love the fat, fuzzy little critters, with their awkward gaits and sparkly eyes. There’s nothing more fun than a pile of round little pups climbing all over you, sticking their puppy faces in yours. And the smell of puppies… pure heaven. I could smoosh my nose up against a puppy for hours, just breathing in that baby dog scent.
But puppies rarely stop moving. They’re into everything – non-stop – until they suddenly just plop down and fall asleep. In the meantime, however, you’d better stay on your toes because you never know where you’ll find them.
And puppies pee and poop. A lot. Indiscriminately. On anything that happens to be on the floor when they have to go. It’s surprising how many things get left on the floor that one doesn’t even think about. Shoes. Books. Grocery bags (sometimes with groceries still in them). Tools. Dirty laundry. Clean laundry in baskets. The list is surprisingly endless.
And puppies chew. A lot. Indiscriminately. On anything that happens to be on or touching the floor. At an average of $60 a pair, I lost literally a thousand dollars or more worth of shoes to Rudi when he was a pup. My fault of course, but still…
Shoes, while apparently the preferred chew toy for puppies, aren’t the only things in one’s home that the little chew-monsters will target. We have pillow cases that are now rags because one foster puppy ate holes in them. Plants have been decimated. Stuffed animals have given up their lives to puppies. Two decades ago, my daughter’s border collie/black lab mix Buster practically ate through the legs of both a dining room chair AND the dining room table. In one afternoon.
More recently, a foster pup chewed the floor (huh? how did he do that?) in the man cave, and the bottom of the newell post in our front hall. We’ve heard horror stories of leather couches being decimated. The upholstery in a friend’s truck was destroyed by her Westhighland White Terrier when she left him alone for a few minutes.
To enable them to chew so very well, puppies have amazingly sharp little teeth. Sharp like needles, they HURT! When Rudi was a pup, he would jump up and sink his teeth into our hands, completely without warning sometimes. Yes indeed, we were quite pleased when we were finally able to get him to quit pulling that stunt (or maybe he just outgrew it).
So puppies, despite their complete, totally lovable plumpness, are not our preference.
We love love love adult dogs. And we love older dogs. We love their eyes, so full of wisdom and gratitude.
We love their sense of dignity, their rituals and habits, their desire to snooze and cuddle for hours on end.
We love them for their defined personalities, and who they’ve grown into as beings. We love them… and are so grateful for the way they love us.
Adopt an adult dog, an older dog, a senior dog. You’ll get back far more than you give.
For more reasons why adult dogs are the best, check out this blog: 10 Reasons Why You Should Adopt an Elderly Animal