In honor of Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month this October, Susie's Senior Dogs has helped us feature a different pooch each week in need of adoption. Susie herself has selected a few pups that have been overlooked and are in need of a loving home. We chatted with Susie's owner Erin to hear more about their mission to increase senior dog adoptions.
How did the idea of Susie's Senior Dogs come about?
Erin: During the course of having Susie in our lives, I started noticing how surprised people were when they learned she was adopted at 11 years old. It then started to dawn on me this wasn't a regular occurrence, that older dogs must not be getting adopted. What started as a "just for fun" adoption page for old dogs last January has now grown into a full blown senior dog adoption awareness initiative. The more older dogs I was posting the more who were finding their home through the page. Once this started happening I realized people just needed to be made aware of the benefits of adopting an older and the difficulty they had being adopted simply because of their age. SSD is an awareness page just as much as it's an adoption page.
Do you have an estimation of how many older dogs remain without family?
Unfortunately, I have no idea of this number. I also encourage SSD followers not to focus on that number as that can often bring feelings of helplessness and thoughts of defeat. But if you can focus on the number of dogs you CAN adopt or volunteer your time to walk at shelters, that is much more beneficial. SSD has helped over 150 senior dogs find their homes directly through the page, and this doesn't include the number of old dogs who have been adopted because someone was inspired to look for one because of the page. So those positive numbers are what I focus on. :)
Why people are afraid of adopting an older dog and why are they wrong?
People are most often afraid of death and high vet bills. However, neither of these fears are completely avoided when adopting a puppy, they are simply delayed. (But to be clear, not all old dogs have medical issues. Like humans, so do and some don't). Adopting an older dog takes a lot of selflessness, as it is true you will have less time with them than you would adopting a younger pet. But the benefits of adopting an appreciative older dog far outweighs these fears and the "what ifs" people often get themselves hung up on.
How did you meet Susie?
Three years ago, Susie was sitting outside with her previous human in Brooklyn when my boyfriend walked by and thought she was the greatest and most unique looking dog he has ever seen. He asked to take her picture and then left. A week later he was walking by again and her then human asked my boyfriend if he could adopt Susie from him because his new wife said they could no longer keep her. Susie's previous human raised a good dog, he was just in a bad situation and heartbroken to give her up. With absolutely no money and no dog experience, my boyfriend took her home. The rest is history and we can't remember life before Susie!