October 18, 2012

The 2nd Half of Life.....saving a senior pitbull

    Anyone that opens their hearts to a dog in    need knows that feeling of seeing something evolve. A puppy evolves into a trained eager to please teenage dog who doesn’t really know how close they came to not being “one of the lucky ones” a teenage dog seems to take the chance to say THANK YOU with energy and adaptability as they spring into life land on all four or three paws ready to take on the world one potential adopter at a time. A senior dog is cautious, they have seen to much they remember so much they take it slow watching and waiting to see what’s in store for them, they have a “jaded” view of what’s out there in the big bad world.  Most rescuers have that same “jaded” view of the world; at least I know I do.  Three years ago I had NO CLUE of what we have as nation, as humans have created in regards to the “pet” population.  Now I’m very proud to look into my “jaded” view of the world each day and know that I’m living that saying “Saving just one dog won’t change the world, but it will surely change the world of that one dog “Ginger is my 7th foster, and is the oldest dog I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know on a personal level.   Most people who say her and got to know her during her stay at the shelter would say I was wrong for calling her “jaded” at all, since she was a very sociable dog and enjoyed any and all human contact that had been offered to her, and seemed very indifferent to other creatures that passed her way.  What I saw was a dog that was just happy to have a second chance at a time that was her second half of life, at 9 she was almost more than half way thru her life span.  But she was none the less not all too sure about this “happy home” I was bringing her into, can’t really blame the poor gal given the condition she was in.  Ginger is now thriving, and showing me every single day that life is what you make of it, and when you are dealt a good hand…you better play the hell out of it.   The number one question asked to most fosters is “how can you let them leave once you fall in love with them”, after several people letting me know that bringing a dog with “limited” time left into their family would just be too hard on them I found myself saying this one might just be sticking around.  How do you put a time frame on love…. “isn’t it better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all “Yes a senior dog has probably less time left than what they have lived already…but they also have so much LOVE born of the gratefulness of someone believing that their life isn’t over just because they have some gray fur, or health issues, or whatever other reason made someone give up on them in the first place.  A senior dog wasn’t something I had given much thought to honestly before Ginger, but now I’m finding myself with this itch….an itch to help people look past this “limited” time mentality and see how amazing and gratifying loving a senior dog can be, even if you haven’t loved him/her since they were young.  To anyone that has opened their hearts and homes to a dog in their older years you have my thanks and appreciation of seeing what I now see!  Ginger and I are proud to join your ranks to help educated about the joys of the 2nd half of life.

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