Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pooches: On The Secrets of Elderbulls

 Having foster dog Bessie-Belle in our house has let us in on a secret: Elderbulls are basically move-in ready dogs. And after paying our dues with crazy Miss M, it's nice to know there are options to be able to enjoy dogs with less of the craziness and excitement.
I really wish I had started this blog when I had first adopted Miss M, because people don't realize how much work I put into her. When I wasn't taking her on one of many, many long walks a day or tackling her when she tried to take the leash from my hand, she may have been home chewing one of my heels, or even her own bed. But we all expect that from a younger pup.
 For some reason, when we were looking for our second dog, we automatically looked younger. For a time we were even in a foster-to-adopt with a pooch Miss M's same age and energy level. We would awaken to them playing. Need to go on even more walks a day. And put up with dogs leaping over our furniture (yes, that really did happen). We realized we really weren't up for going through all of that again. So we thought we needed to put our search on hold. Until we realized...we should just adopt an older dog.
Mr. B was 5 years old when we adopted him. We did find that, unfortunately, it is often harder to find the older dogs. Our search for Mr. B took us all the way to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Maybe that's part of the secret? We didn't have to go through training class again.We didn't have to deal with endless energy. He didn't chew things he shouldn't. And he fit in with our lifestyle; even going skateboarding with E.
Now we've realized just how move-in ready foster Sweet Bessie-Belle is. She hasn't destroyed anything. Hasn't had a single accident in the house. Doesn't need to go on countless long walks each day. Basically perfect! And the perfect anecdote to being able to adopt a second dog without starting over with the craziness again.
Plus we really appreciate how easy our life is now that our dogs are a bit older. I sometimes wonder if I would trade in all the years of agony working with Miss M if I could have just adopted her as she is now?

22 comments:

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

Amazing posts on Elderbulls and Bessies adoptability!

van said...

Older dogs RULE!

HP said...

All very true. You just have to make the most of your time with an older dog :) We got Ben at the perfect age - around 3 or 4. However, based on his very chill, laid back persona from the get go, I don't think he's ever been mischievous or energetic :)

HoundDogMom said...

We have to say after adopting 2 at 18 months old it was a good way to go. Still young to play but mostly out of the chewing stages and potty trained all ready. Bessie is so sweet looking. Sniffs, The HoundDogs

jet said...

She is adorable. My dogs are now 4 and 6 and starting to settle down now - I think any future dogs will be at least 4 years old, and we will probably foster until we buy so to speak ;)

Lindsay said...

Nearly six months in with Dean we're slowly starting to look around and see if we might like to adopt a second dog. The vet certainly thinks it would help with Dean's separation anxiety and we're very open to filling our home with more doggy love. That being said, I certainly think if we adopt a second dog he/she will be older. Dean came to us at 2 years (very young for a retired racing greyhound) and we love his two-year old enthusiasm buuut we're thinking an older fellow or gal might be able to help him chill out a bit.

Kate said...

I love older dogs! Heidi and Nemo were both older when we adopted them and they were by far easier to integrate into our home than Melanie was when we got her. We went through a lot of the same things with her that you went through with Ms. M!

In Black and White said...

I adore my Billy and I wouldn't want to trade these crazy extra years with him, but I have to admit, when it comes to adopting future dogs I'll definitely be looking at 5 and up!

Two French Bulldogs said...

It's true, mom looked for young dogs too. Maybe next time it will be a senior
Benny & Lily

Skinny Fat Kid said...

We got Izzy at 6 months. She never chewed and only had 3 or 4 accidents. But we're dealing with the endless energy now! We didn't want a puppy, but it was love at first sight!

The Heartbeats said...

I rescued my Lucy at 8 months and she has got some issues from her previous life. That is really the only downside. Correcting other people's ignorance can be difficult but YES I love the older dogs. Calhoun is now pretty much happy curled up on the couch sleeping. Of course, he get a wild hair every now and then!

Mamma Heartbeat

Corbin said...

We adopted Corbin at 6 months, and while he was house and crate trained... that was just about it. I realized I will most likely never get a puppy and always adopt older.
-Corbin

TheQueerBird said...

I love this post!

Fae is my first puppy, and I got Daph when she was 10 months, so neither was really an "adult" when I got them. Now that Daph is 4... can I say that I LOVE having an older dog? But I am also grateful for all the shaping and growing that we get to do with Faegan. I enjoy being forced out of the house on daily hikes (or else going crazy).

I also find it frustrating when people say things like, "You're so lucky! Look how well behaved your dogs are!" Okay, it's a nice pat on the back and some good recognition, but I always want to say, "Luck had NOTHING to do with it! Lots of stress, money, and learning went into having good dogs."

Here's to good dogs, early on and later in life, and to providing homes to the best of them (whether they're the best before, after, or hopefully sometime in the distant future :)).

harrispen said...

Our Nina is almost 14 and a very no-hassle dog to live with. She is always the last one out of bed in the morning and doesn't require much entertainment (other than watching out the front door all day). Some day we will have to get another dog (after Nina has passed) and I'm sure life will be very different then. We cherish every moment with Nina.

Cindy

Stephani said...

We adopted our pit Schultz when he was 5 years old from the animal shelter. He is so well behaved in the house and didn't need hardly any training. However, his previous owner severely neglected (and we think maybe abused) him so I am working very hard to socialize him, but its hard working against 5 years of bad and scary experiences. There are good and bad sides to everything I guess...

A&A Friese said...

Love this! How old is sweet Bessie anyways? With most the shelters I visit being overrun with out of control, adolescent dogs with no manners it seems everyone doesn't want to endure the more challenging years to get to the end result of a sweet laid back elderbull. I don't think you would be able to appreciate how awesome Miss M and Mr. B are in there golden years if you hadn't had crazy Miss M as a teen :)

brooke said...

Love that picture of Mr B! Such a happy face. Im surprised Bessie hasn't found her perfect home yet! She sounds like an ideal pooch!

Emily said...

I've been wanting to add an "old man" to my pack for awhile. I am thinking sometime in the next year it will happen, we just have a lot going on right now with our current foster as far as training so it would be a tough time to do it. I've felt strongly about it for awhile and I have Jay on board now so I think it's just a matter of time.

Weiner Mom said...

love your blog and wanted to drop in to say....i TOTALLY agree! i have an older weiner dog...adopted last year out of the Kalamazoo area in Michigan too. and, although he has past abuse issues, he fit right in...like a pea in a pod :) and, now lives a quiet life coming to work with me daily and enjoying life sleeping with the heater on! gotta love it!

Tucker The Crestie said...

Great post! If I were going to adopt another dog, I would try for one between the ages of about four and nine years old - not old, by any means, but more mature. I love puppies, though, but give me a more mature pup any day.

Mary said...

I must be on crack, because I think you should just pack her up and ship her to me! I could totally hide her from Jason and he would never know that a third dog lives with us. I could definitely handle three dogs and a baby! And two birds!

Sometimes I wonder if Neptune is older than three, which is what they estimate him to be now. He is just SO mellow. Honestly, I don't even think he wants to go on walks. He just wants to hang out and play at home and cuddle. We joke that he thinks that walking business is crazy and wonders why we drag him along to do it every day.

thegirlandherdog.com said...

Old dogs are the best dogs. Hands down.

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