Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Joys of Being a Senior Pet

I am a senior citizen.  In dog years, I am older than my Baby Boomer Mom.  I admit, that's a bit weird at times.  But it's nice to know she's still young enough to take care of me!

Now that I am a bit older, I admit there are some things I cannot do as well as when I was a puppy.  Mom needs to help get up in my chair sometimes.  And I sleep more now than I used to.

Mom seems to enjoy my company more now too.  She laughs at Austin's antics and likes to play with him outside and take him for walks.  But in the evenings, she likes to sit in our chair and read or watch TV and I will curl up in her lap and just be with her.  She will scratch my ears or sometimes give me a belly rub.  It's pleasant to just spend quiet time together.  Austin is constantly jumping up and down and Mom finally gets tired of it and tells him to stay down.  But she seems to really enjoy having me laying quietly in her lap.

Now that it's getting colder at night, she often lets me sleep with her.  We lay quietly next to each other snuggled under the quilt.  Sometimes Dad's snoring wakes me up, but Mom will nudge him and he quiets right down.  And sometimes Austin will try to squirm his way in.  But he can't ever lay still long enough so Mom makes him sleep at the food of the bed or he would keep all of us (Mom, Dad, and me) awake all night.

I remember my puppy years.  There was so much to learn.  How to go outside so I didn't mess in the house.  What toys I could chew on and some things (like shoes) are not chew toys.  Mom was often stern with me while I struggled to learn the rules.  Now I watch Austin going through the same thing and I am glad that I am old enough to know all the rules.  I'm done teething so Mom and I don't have any differences of opinion over what makes an appropriate chew toy.  And while Austin needs to run and play ALOT, I'm content to walk quietly with Mom or just sit in the sun on the porch with her or in our comfy chair.  Being a older dog is much less stressful than being a puppy!

There are lots of senior pets in shelters all over the country that would welcome the chance to share their golden years with a special Mom and Dad.  And there are lots of advantages to owning a senior dog.  We are already grown so you know exactly how big we are going to be.  We are done teething so you don't have to worry about us chewing up your favorite slippers - or the rockers on your antique rocking chair (sorry Mom!).  Most of us have been housebroken already so once we know where we are supposed to go, there aren't the usual puppy messes to clean up.  Some of us have even been trained to do other things.  When Ginger came to live with us, she soon showed us that she had been trained to herd.  Now she uses that training to round up everything from grandkids to cats for Mom.  Our older cats have years of experience hunting.  So while neighbors complain of mice coming in their houses for the winter or finding snakes in their yard, Mom relaxes knowing that her four-legged mouse traps and snake deterrents are on the job.  (I don't have any special tricks or skills.  I guess it's a good thing I'm so cute!)

At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be put to sleep. When you save the life of one of us senior dogs, you will be rewarded with unconditional love and devotion every day.  If you don't believe we can know and express gratitude, just talk to someone who has adopted a senior pet.

Ready for some good senior pet companionship?  Check out these programs that specialize in senior pet adoption. 

 Berkeley East Bay Humane Society 
H.A.R.T. (Humane Animal Rescue Team),

Nike Animal Rescue Foundation
Peace of Mind Dog Rescue
Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF)
Pets for Seniors,
The Hinsdale Humane Society
Indiana Petite Paws Rescue Angels, Inc
St. Louis Senior Dogs Project
Senior Dogs 4 Seniors
Posh Pets Rescue
North Shore Animal League
Warwick Valley Humane Society
The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs (SSD)
Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon
South East Dallas Humane Society



Friday, November 4, 2011

Las Vegas, Baby!

Mom and Dad go to Las Vegas at least once or twice a year.  But they never take me with them!  I heard them last night discussing another trip and this time I am determined not to be left behind.  So, I did a little research on where I can stay and what I can do.  Before I share it with mom, I'm going to pass on what I found with you!

There are several hotels in Las Vegas that allow pets.  My choice is the Four Seasons Las Vegas.  The Hotel welcomes dogs weighing up to 25 pounds each (additional fee applies). Mom and I have stayed in other Four Seasons hotels and they are simply the best.  They are located at the end of the strip by Mandalay Bay, so while they do not have a casino (Yeah!), there is one very close by.  The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows so I can have a good view of what's going on, big comfortable beds, and large flat-screen TVs so I can sit in mom's lap and watch my favorite shows with her, just like we do at home.

If the Four Seasons doesn't interest you, other options include Staybridge Suites Las Vegas or The Platinum Hotel and Spa

I won't be bored while we are there.  Mom is not a big fan of the casinos.  But I found plenty of places that she and I can go while Dad tries his luck on the slot machines.  Red Rock Canyon is less than a half-hour drive from the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are lots of hiking trails for me and mom to check out.  Pets are allowed on trails in Red Rock Canyon as well as the campgrounds and visitor center, but we have to keep our owners on a leash.

There is also a great dog park, Desert Breeze Dog Park, where we can play.  It's divided into three large gated sections for small, medium, and large dogs. There are tables, benches and chairs for people to sit and relax while I burn off that energy. A hose and doggie bags available inside park.

I also found Las Vegas DockDogs.  It looks a bit challenging for an old dog like me, but it also looks like fun.  I think I'm a shoe-in for the Extreme Vertical!  I may be small but I can jump!

You know I love to eat and there are plenty of places for me to do just that in Las Vegas!  Mom loves coffee.  I'm not fond of it, but most places that sell coffee also sell snacks - which I am VERY fond of!  And I found the perfect coffee house in Las Vegas - It's a Grind.  It sells only the best coffee so I'm sure it has great snacks too.  I think I'll be very happy. 

I love burgers and I found the perfect spot to get one - Hougan's Racing Sandwich Shop! While I munch on my 1/2 pound burger Dad can have a Philly Cheesesteak and Mom can have a Tailgate.  Something for each of us.  It doesn't get any better than that!

Hamburgers may be my favorite, but I love just about any sandwich so another place for lunch might be Capriotti's Sandwich Shop.  The reviews I read said the sandwiches are so big, they will feed four people - or one little dog!  Mom and Dad eat subs fairly often when they are both busy and too tired to cook so this sounds like a perfect solution for all of us.

Places to stay, things to do, places to eat - and all of them dog-friendly!  It's Las Vegas, baby!  And this time I'm going too!  Now if I can just convince Mom and Dad....