Today I want to pay tribute to the older hounds who share our world. Their silver haired faces and wet noses always fill me with love.
They will know their humans so well and do their best to make them laugh when they need cheering up. They show them understanding when they feel misunderstood. Some people will share feelings with their trusted friend they have not been able to share with others.
Many old dogs end up in a shelter in the autumn of their lives. Sometimes their companions have taken ill and can no longer care for them. Other times their companion wants to get a new puppy and is no longer interested in the older dog. This makes me very sad.
Thankfully, there are many kind people who stay committed and loyal to their older dogs and will not abandon them no matter what. There are people who have lost their homes and will not accept offers of housing unless their loyal friend can come with them. Some of the strongest bonds between dogs and their human companions are found on the street.
I wish more shelters for homeless humans would allow people to bring their pets with them.
I will never forget my own rehoming day when I met Seamus and Ruby for the first time. Two beautiful silver-haired hounds who welcomed me into their pack with an open heart. Their wisdom and love made me feel safe and welcome.
Seamus has so much to teach me and so many stories to tell. He told me that, when he was a lot younger, our companions visited a shelter to adopt another dog. He said he would love to help another dog for the highest good.
The dog he connected with and wanted to help the most was a much older saluki-greyhound cross called Fergal. Seamus loved his beautiful soul. He could see that Fergal was weak energetically and physically and took on the role of pack leader himself.
Fergal suffered from epilepsy and Seamus would give our companions a certain look when he was about to have a grand-mal seizure so they could help him land softly.
When Fergal’s health deteriorated further, a stray brindle greyhound had been brought to the shelter where our companion was volunteering. Fergal and Seamus came to meet Ruby at the shelter and they instantly wanted to help each other.
Ruby could see that Fergal was weakening physically and that Seamus was already grieving the loss of his pal before he had left his body. She took over as pack leader to keep them all safe.
The silver hairs on Seamus’ face are now turning white and his breathing is getting slower. His heart beams with love and his eyes shine brightly.
I am going to enjoy every minute in his company and am so grateful we are walking part of our journey together.
I send my love to all the ‘oldies’ who are currently in shelters and to all the staff and volunteers who look after our older friends.
If any of you want to foster or adopt an older dog and understand about an older dog’s needs, please get in touch with a rehoming charity near you.
I am sending you all so much love,