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Anyone adopt a puppy after 60?
Old 10-31-2015, 08:18 AM   #1
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Anyone adopt a puppy after 60?

A year after the death of the most recent of the two dogs we've had (first lived to 16, the last to 14, both around 30 pounds), DW and I started looking for our next shelter puppy to adopt. We found one that we both liked, but a the shelter folks reminded us that since this was a stray of unknown breed, there was no telling exactly how big she might become. When the kids were home and we knew we would be staying put in our SFH, that wouldn't be an issue. Now, we wonder if we should stick with with a smaller one because
a) big ones limit options for any future moves and,
b) 10 years from now a big dog might be more than we want to handle.

If anyone adopted a puppy after 60, how'd it work out 10 years later?
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:55 AM   #2
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I understand your concerns about a big dog. You don't know what you'll be like 10 years from now, and a big dog might need more than you're able to give. As my dad got older, he became increasingly unable to care for his big dog, and the dog suffered from neglect. Also, as you say, a big dog might limit your housing options. I prefer smaller dogs myself. They are easier to manage, require less care, are easier to walk, and easier to hang out with on the couch.

Another alternative is to adopt a grown dog, rather than a puppy. The grown ones have lower adoption rates. They have a number of advantages -- they are socialized, potty-trained, and you know exactly what size dog you're getting.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:04 AM   #3
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My Aunt got a dog at age 60 after retiring. It wasn't a puppy but after about 8-9 years it was still active enough that it caused my Aunt to fall multiple times when it ran after a rabbit while on the leash. If you're not strong enough to hold back a large dog then you shouldn't have a large dog. Not just for your health but the health of any bystanders as well. If your dog gets a way from you and bites someone it could cost you a lot of money and the dogs life.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:19 AM   #4
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After 60 if I get another dog it will not be a puppy. I plan to adopt "Senior" dogs. A younger dog could live another 10 or 12 years but I, alas, might not. Then one of my problems would be to find a home for what will then be an older dog nobody would want.

I can, however, more than likely vouch for myself to last another 3 or 4 years which would cover any older dog I might get.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:53 AM   #5
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We adopted a border collie puppy. On one side, I will say it was the best thing we ever did. He is smart, easy to train, and just provided comfort to both of us. On top of that, he has forced us into daily walks.

Now on the down side, it like my SIL once said. 'True freedom is not when the kids leave but when the dog dies'. Having a pet cramps travel and spur of the moment plans. We have neighbors that also have dogs, so we trade off on dog setting. It works, but it still something to consider.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:59 AM   #6
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We decided that after our current dog dies we won't get another. He is 10. We are currently 69 and 66. If we change our minds I know it will be an older dog that weighs less than 15lb because that is the weight limit for pets at the independent/assisted living facilities near us. Life is so uncertain after age 60.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:38 AM   #7
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We have friends in their 70s who always had golden retrievers, but when the last one died they decided a small dog was more practical for them and adopted a 5-year old miniature poodle (about 15 pounds).

Other friends in their 70s just got a puppy, but it's also a small dog.

We (63 & 58) recently got our first dog, a 2-year old maltese-poodle mix. At 8 pounds, he's just the right size to jump on our laps.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:04 PM   #8
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I've always preferred a dog that I can pick up if need be. Also one that doesn't shed so options have been limited. Not too crazy about tiny lap dogs, so have a 33 lb Kerry Blue Terrier. I'm 64 but my partner is only 48 so we shouldn't have a problem handling him for the dog's life.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:04 PM   #9
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I am 67 and had a bazillion pets before my divorce at age 50, but haven't had any since.

Right now, I am not really ready for the responsibility of owning a puppy and having to feed it and keep it happy and healthy. Besides, I spend a lot of time with Frank and just don't have the time for a puppy. He feels the same way; we both love dogs and cats but neither of us is ready for the responsibility of having one of our own.

But anyway, if I wanted a puppy and was ready for one, I'd get a toy poodle puppy. I love that breed and so does Frank, and we have both had one in the past. They are intelligent, extremely emotionally aware and empathetic, loving, and often only weigh 7-8 pounds. I might get one some day. Who can't lift 7-8 pounds? The day I can't lift that much I'll be ready for eternity I think.

If I had a puppy I'd arrange for it to be cared for if I should expire before the puppy did.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:03 PM   #10
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My parents are 85 and 79 and have a seven year old Irish setter. My mom is healthy and fit with good bone density, but my father has osteopenia and an inability to control the dog who is not well-trained on a leash. It worries me, but so far no incidents. Of course, if he outlives my parents, he's always got a home.

I have suggested to my spouse that when the inevitable happens, we really need to go down a size or two on our poodle, but he won't hear of it. Of course I'm the one with the bum knee from a poodle puppy induced injury.
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:10 PM   #11
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As with all dogs big or small it is necessary to train the dog in basic commands. Just remember the larger the dog the shorter the life span. While not always true mostly it is. If you have the money to spare I would suggest that you get the dog professionally trained to at least "stay, come, and lay down", If you like dogs the love of a dog is in my opinion almost , but not fully more important than the wifes love. The dogs love is always there, never ending, and is accepting of all your faults. With that said if I would ever see someone beating a dog or mistreating a dog the man better run for his life. There is no animal including a human that will give you more love than a dog.
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:17 PM   #12
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Tadpole - A little unhappy are we, life after 60 is not the end of the world. I know many people that at age 80 are still going strong and enjoying life. I met someone at the lake today that just adopted a 9 month old lab/mix that his grand daughter got for him. He told me it was his first dog. He was happy as peaches. Everyone needs someone or something to care for and received unconditional love.
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:28 PM   #13
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My husband was just under 60 when we adopted our dog. It was a mixed breed from the county animal shelter... but we chose to adopt a young adult (teen?) dog of about 1-2 years old. (We assume he was closer to 1 based on behavior and energy - vet agreed.) So we knew the size.

We did not want a large dog or a tiny dog - we ended up with the perfect size (IMO) - about 40 lbs. He's husky looking, but slightly shorter. He carries himself like a large dog... but isn't so big he'll knock us over and is surprisingly small when he curls up to sleep.
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:33 PM   #14
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At 68, DW and I are glad to be pet-free. Been there, done that. We'll consider a dog or other pet again when we're older and the lure of being away from home untethered subsides. But for now, we strongly prefer to be free.


Edit: We've even informed the kids to not automatically count on us for pet-sitting their menagerie. I love all the furry creatures living at their place but keep our obligations to stop by to feed and/or walk them to an absolute minimum and always secondary to our own plans.
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:49 PM   #15
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... If you like dogs the love of a dog is in my opinion almost , but not fully more important than the wifes love.
Exactly. If you put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour, which one will be happy to see you when you open the lid?
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:56 PM   #16
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I plan to get a kitten when I'm in my 60's, and cats live longer than dogs. I fully expect some sanctimonious so-and-so's to carp about "Oh, I would never do that, what if the cat outlives you?" This is the natural outgrowth of the national movement toward regarding animals as on an equal plane with children.

I will tell them it's none of their business. The cat, meanwhile, will be in my will, and a guardian will be named who will be well compensated for taking care of it.
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:58 PM   #17
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I can understand being hesitant to get a dog when you are 60. We got our fourth dog when I was 62, after being dog-free for three years, so we didn't rush into it. I really missed having a dog, who is right now sleeping on DH's lap while he naps. On paper it makes no sense for us to have a pet as we are traveling a lot, but she likes the accommodations she is in when we are away and we can handle the boarding cost.

No one ever said not to do this--maybe we don't know any sanctimonious people.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:41 PM   #18
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As I stated earlier, we have a Border Collie. It is the first time we have had one. Several other breeds before him. If we ever get another it will be a Border Collie. There intelligence is unbelievable! Example: When he was about two months old he had been watching DW going up the drive way to pick up the morning paper. After a couple of weeks we open the gate, he raced up got the paper and brought it to her. No training required. We walk him without a leash. We would tell him to sit when a car came. Now at the sound of a car, he goes to the side of the road and sits. There are other things, but for the most part it is like having a small child. He just seems to understand what we want and does it.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:49 PM   #19
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The cat, meanwhile, will be in my will, and a guardian will be named who will be well compensated for taking care of it.
Good idea to make sure your pets are taken care of in your will. My dog is in mine. She gets everything.

j/k. I specify who gets her and allocate enough to cover the costs plus a bit more for the trouble. I've already talked to that person about it. It gives me peace of mind, to know she'll be taken care of, if anything happens to me.
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Anyone adopt a puppy after 60?
Old 10-31-2015, 07:07 PM   #20
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Anyone adopt a puppy after 60?

In less than 2 months, DH - who was not really interested in getting a dog - has fallen head over heels in love with our little doggie. It has actually improved our relationship as well - we both have another living being to care about.

Also note that many rescue organizations will take a dog back to be rehomed if the original adopters can no longer care for the dog.


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