The Love of a Senior Dog

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Senior dogs – those who have grown up past puppyhood, through their middle years, and may move a little slower or more deliberately than their younger friends – are a wonderful gift to those lucky enough to know them.  Senior dogs come in a variety of ages and speeds; they may be sedate 7 year olds or puppyish 15 year olds.  They may be peppy, tired, toy-crazy, walk-happy, cuddly, lonely, ball-obsessed, or glued to your side, reveling in your company, cuddled up on the couch.  They may be any or all of these things; they can be a joy to know.

Senior beagles who end up in rescue needing homes late in life may come from any of a number of situations.  They may have been excellent hunters, valuable members of a rabbit-hunting pack, who have grown too tired, too slow, or just not motivated to chase bunnies all day long anymore.  They may have been backyard dogs, whose person moved away or just got tired of feeding another mouth.  They may have found themselves homeless when their elderly caregiver was taken to the nursing home.  Or they may have been beloved family companions, chosen along with a first apartment and first job after college, who were put aside after a marriage, the arrival of a new baby, or the ultimate heartbreak – the arrival of a new baby who came with severe allergies to dogs.

Senior dogs can be ideal companions.  After all, they didn’t get to become old dogs because they were hard to live with!  They have all survived puppyhood and adolescence, grown out of their destructive/chewy/barky/impossible phases, learned at least basic obedience (or avoidance) techniques, and developed some degree of self-reliance.  Most of them have learned to love, to be someone’s trusted companion and friend, to cuddle with children, and to be part of a family.  The others – well, don’t they deserve to know love in their last years?

Many senior beagles who have never known love end up in shelters.  They are the sad, timid boys in the back corner, or the breeding moms whose bellies are all stretched out after having litter after litter, and then tossed away when their breeding years are over.  They aren’t cute little puppies, and they are rarely snatched up from the shelter, as there are so many adorable young ones begging for attention in the next cage.  And yet – they are the lucky ones.  Many of their friends were shot or abandoned when no longer useful.  These beagles have a second chance.  BREW rescues senior beagles from shelters in VA, DC, MD, WV, and surrounding states whenever possible.  The dogs are taken to the vet, fixed up, and restored to health.  They go to experienced foster homes and rehabilitated.  They are given premium food, fresh water, soft beds, and affection on their own terms whenever they are ready for it.  And the beagles are grateful.  The bond between one of these rescued seniors and their forever family can be strong, loving, and inspiring.  If you want to know more about adopting or fostering a senior beagle from BREW, please email us.  We always have homeless seniors available, and the love that you will receive in return is priceless.