A Dog in Our Life

by John Chase
(Washington)


Having a dog in the house is something we considered, but didn’t finally look into, until retirement.

Living in a 55 and over community is good but there are policies governing noise that would be problematic if we both worked. Should the dog, left alone, start barking, he could conceivably annoy the neighbors and create issues. This would mean having to leave work in the mid-day, an inconvenience at best, to run home and quiet our pet. Of course many of the people around us are hard of hearing, so problem probably solved.

However, there are rules and there are rules, so we waited for retirement to search for a dog. Looking for a smaller, older animal was at the top of our search list. We approached several pet rescue organizations and were surprised at the inquiries they made about us, our lifestyle, our home environment, etc. I understand that they want to find a good home for their animals and not have them end up in a dog fighting ring or some such thing.

We finally landed on an older, Maltese mix who weighs about nine pounds. I say older as he will be ten years old this spring (about 70 in human years, so we’re a good match).

He’s relatively housebroken and does bark at strangers occasionally. But I believe he does this to gain attention and certainly thinks anyone he comes across is potentially the bearer of dog treats. He also does it to assert his manhood but it’s comical because his bark is a bit raspy and sort of sounds like an ex-smoker.

His name is Murphy, and if anyone reading this happens to be his previous owner, rest assured that Murphy is well and enjoying his new home life, sitting on my lap!

Enjoy the retirement life!

Comments for A Dog in Our Life

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A dog is good for you.
by: Sherry/NC

Love, love, love those dogs. They are good for you. They love you unconditionally! They never ask for anything and always there for you.

During my lifetime I have had several dogs. They were all members of the family and lived in the house and slept with me. They have their own personality too. I had a wired hair terrier who could say "mama". All I did was offer him a treat and he would say it and I would give him the treat, funny. Everybody loved that he could say
that word. There is a chihuahua name Paso on YouTube that can say I love you! Yes he can look it up! Too cute.

The saddest time comes when you have to let them pass on. You will know when it is time. Some dogs pass on, on their own time and some you have to take to the vet have put to sleep. You will know.

They just don't live as long as we do.
Enjoy your pet everyday.

An Old dog for me!
by: Donna/TexasAndLouisiana

Ahhh..you are people after my heart. It makes sense for older people to adopt an older dog from the pound or a rescue service. The older dogs are not what most people want, and people our age might find it challenging running after a young dog.

Then there's the problem of a young dog outliving her owners. What happens then?

I have a 13 year old Jack Russell mix that I found when she was 6 mos.old. We have aged together. I can understand her stiffness and sleeping a lot. When she goes, I plan on adopting an older dog, like you did. I don't have a spouse, and have had dogs for decades. So I think I'll be too lonely without a pet.

I think I'd be perfect to adopt an older dog, so we can age together, and I can dote on him/her and try to make his last years happy ones. Good food, treats, daily walks, hugs and kisses...

In the meantime, I have my elderly Rosie. I love her dearly. She's my best friend. We do things together and enjoy life.

Thanks for Rescuing!
by: Laurie G. Carbondale, ILr Name/Location

Good for you for rescuing an older dog! I’m 69, retired two years ago, and started volunteering at a no kill dog shelter. I’m also on their Board or directors.

I wish more retired folks would do this. The older dogs are the hardest to adopt out, and they are the most appreciative when they find a forever home. They make wonderful companions. Not to mention it’s good for one’s health!

As a rescuer, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Opening conversations
by: Eleanor

One thing I enjoy is walking, but not alone, so I thought a little dog would be good company to walk with after I was retired.

My first dog was a little chihuahua/pug rescue dog. What I didn't realize was, what a door to conversation that opened as we would walk, when people would stop to chat about him and ask questions.

We went everywhere we could go together and he was the best dog anyone could have.

Conversation continued at home where I talked to him all the time and enjoyed his loving companionship.

After 10 years, I lost him to congestive heart disease. Cried my eyes out, I felt so empty, lasted two weeks, went to the Humane Society and found another little rescue dog.

She is a very energetic little corgie/miniature
pinscher mix (DNA test says so) and looks like a little fox. Once again I have people stop and ask about her when we are walking because many think she is a Shiba Inu.
Once again, lots of conversations at home when I talk to her and play with her.

A dog may not be for everyone but it certainly changed my life plus the walks are good for us both.

DOG LOVER WITH A SUGGESTION
by: Joy/Katy Texas

I've loved dogs all my life - to me they are one of the most wonderful creatures on this earth. I do have a suggestion - especially for those of us who are retired and want/own a dog.

With our previous Golden, we bought health insurance and we were reimbursed over $9K for his cancer treatment at the end.

When we retired and moved to the Houston area, we got another dog - as a puppy and also bought insurance for him. It turns out that he has Inflammatory Bowel Disease (diagnosed at 8 months old). It's such a relief to know that we don't need to worry about the vet bills to provide his ongoing treatment. Reimbursement is 90% of most costs and the cost of the insurance is @ $50 per month - we've been reimbursed MUCH more than we paid in insurance.

Just a suggestion, but it does provide peace of mind when you know that you can give your best friend the treatment he/she needs without breaking the bank.

Old Dogs
by: Wee-zer

I am glad for those who are able to bring an old dog into your life. I happen to have one old Poodle who is 16 years old and has some little health issues.

We also have an approx. 12 year old Pomeranian who has major health issues with cancer. He has had two very serious surgeries (one this month), chemo and takes so many drugs it would make your head spin. We have probably spent $8,000 on this one dog alone on surgery, chemo and pills. He is the sweetest thing.

However, most people cannot afford to do this for their animals. This is the drawback of adopting old dogs. My Poodle was just a baby when we got him and the Pom was about 1 1/2 years old when we got him.

Wishing you the best of luck and much good health with you fur babies.

We succumbed too!
by: Lindy Texas

John-

We too,put off the pet issue until one of us retired! The house was way too quiet!

A visit to the pound (late in the day so we wouldn't get in trouble!) didn't work! We did!

Netted us the sweetest, most mellow young man that is an utter delight! Fun and funny he is so glad to have us he won't let us out of his sight! The feeling is mutual.

There is a trade off In time and expense but the companionship makes it worth it!

Enjoy your pup!

Dogs in Retirement
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

Just had to comment here...

We had a long-haired Chihuahua named ChiChi before we retired and she died a few years ago after a long, long, seizure.

We were surprised how silent our home suddenly was.

Much of our conversations come from the dog. .. and no, she didn't speak! :) We take it in and out, we talk to it all day long, and we talk about it. Our dogs are a big part of our world at home!

We got another one within a month -- yes, only a month!

Now, it's Mia this and Mia that! :) She is quite a character -- knows many words and my speech patterns and does (or does not do when she chooses to misbehave on purpose) what I tell her to do. She is definitely my lap dog too! She definitely is a big topic of conversation here at home.. and rules the roost!

When I spend a night at moms condo, she snuggles with Terry -- though she is not happy with that! :)

Love my dog and so happy to read about yours!

Kudos!

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