Location: Hamilton SPCA
Volunteering at the S.P.C.A for 7 years has taught me a lot of things, patience and unconditional love to name but a few. It has also taught me that the cute puppy that everyone wants grows up to become the senior dog that gets passed by. July 8th, 2009 changed my perspective on humanity and not for the better. Even now as I write this with tears in my eyes I can’t help but wonder how a 15 yr. old dog winds up at the S.P.C.A, once a loyal companion, now a throw away pet. Have we come to a point in society where our senior dogs can just be tossed aside for the newer cuter puppy? Have we forgotten all the loving times, the memories of being greeted at the door when we come home, going for long walks and playing fetch in the yard. The walks may get shorter and fetch may no longer be possible do to arthritis, but they still greet you at the door and their love for you hasn’t changed since that first day you brought them home.
That 15 yr old dog I saw on July 8th is sleeping beside me right now, his head resting on my lap. I love him no less than if I’d had him since he was a puppy. I know our time together is borrowed, and soon he’ll be crossing Rainbow Bridge. I know I’ll cry and ask myself why I adopted an old dog that hasn’t much time left. But if this experience has taught me anything I know from this point on I will only rescue senior dogs. They have so much love to give, yet they are thrown into shelters and passed by for the younger ones, and why, because everyone knows how sad THEY will feel when the old dog dies. Maybe it’s time we change that thinking. Maybe instead we think how great it’s gonna feel to love them unconditionally until they pass. How great it will feel to give them the best life, until their time comes. Just something to think about next time you walk past that 10 yr. old dog staring at you from behind the glass in the shelter. Just remember we all get old and we all deserve some dignity in our final years. We all deserve a place to call home. No one deserves to die alone and unloved, especially one that gave you love so unconditionally.