We believe that the answer is best given by someone who did just that. This is Maggie's story:
You may be asking yourself, "Why should I take in an older dog"?
... as told by Catherine, Maggie's new owner (2009)
My life with Maggie began when a friend emailed me a flyer about the need for emergency foster care for a senior Springer Spaniel. My two had died within the past 15 months, and I was feeling ready to have another furry friend. I actually considered another breed and then I saw her picture and read her story. This little girl needed help and I could give it! I needed a dog and there she was!
I called the Senior Spaniel Rescue group and, because it was a housing emergency, I had Maggie in less than 24 hours. She is awesome and wonderful! She is obviously well bred and must have been loved by her first owner who died at age 50 when Maggie was just 10. Maggie is well-mannered, loving and still fun at the age of 13. She smiles and wags that wee tail freely, dances for joy when the leash comes out and sets a merry pace when we walk.
In two weeks time, I signed the adoption papers to make Maggie truly mine. She seems to know the difference and is even more full of energy and affection. She loves her yard and her new pink collar and leash. She and I are grateful to the rescue group and other foster care givers who kept her safe until I came along. God bless you all! And thank God for Maggie - my furry little angel.
.... about a year later....
I am writing to let you know that Maggie died last night. She would have been 14 years old this month. She had lost weight over the past six weeks, and after I brought her to the vet, we found out that she had liver cancer. Dr. Anast called me at 6:10 pm to tell me that she was declining rapidly and would not survive the night. We decided to prevent any further suffering and sent her gently into the night.
The past eight months with her have been wonderful. She is truly one of the smartest, sweetest, most beautiful beings I have ever known. My adult children were very concerned when I adopted her because of her age and the fact that I had so recently lost my other two Springers. I reassured them that I would be abundantly blessed if I had her even six months. Maggie was truly special. I discovered that she was profoundly deaf, perhaps even from birth, and that she could read a person's energy and intention. She was loving and affectionate and a blessing to all who met her. To those who might hesitate to adopt a senior dog let me say this: there is no greater gift than to provide love and safety to an animal left alone late in life.There is no greater gift received than that animal's trust and devotion for however long you are together. Thank you, Maggie, for coming to me and for loving me.
Thank you for entrusting this precious soul to my care. I am honored to have known her.
"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love".