When you bring home a dog you make a commitment.
Actually, let me rephrase that.
When you bring home a dog, you are SUPPOSED to make a commitment.
That commitment means loving your dog and providing for them. It means catering to their basic needs and, if you’re truly a dog person, providing the luxuries as well.
As your dog grows older their commitment to you becomes more apparent and your commitment to them is put to the test.
After all of the puppy cuteness and the obedient adult years, there comes a time where you really must prove your love.
For many people, this is too much. The needs of their older dog are too inconvenient, the cost of healthcare is too high, or their dog’s declining health is “too painful to watch.”
I can’t begin to explain how much it hurts to see a senior dog on the bare concrete floor of a shelter.
Looking at those greying faces, aware that 99% of them won’t make it out alive.
And for what? Because a dog had the audacity to grow old.
There will be times – there are for every senior dog owner – when potty accidents cause an inconvenience, when medications become too expensive to shoulder, or when those arthritic grumbles become too painful to hear, but that’s life.
It’s a part of life that most of us will have the opportunity to experience for ourselves and when we do, we can only hope that we are not thrown away too.
Yes, senior dogs can be expensive. Yes, there will be times when you simply can’t afford the necessities. But the difference between a dog owner who truly honors their commitment and one who doesn’t is that the former will do whatever it takes because love always finds a way.