If anybody has any doubt that we are living in an ageist society, just turn on the television or peruse a fashion or gossip magazine. Youth is glamorized. Youth is glorified. Unfortunately, this attitude also extends to our companion animals as people clamor for the puppies and kittens at shelters and rescue groups, mostly oblivious to the seniors in their midst. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with being entranced by a young one’s oversized paws or outsized energy. It’s just that the seniors end up languishing in shelters and boarding facilities, not being given a fair shake. Sure, maybe their fur is no longer thick and lustrous, but it still craves a warm caress. And yes, their eyes may be a little less clear and shiny, but they’re still capable of gazing at you with love. If you’re willing to give a senior animal that fair shake, you’ll soon find that your new pal isn’t the only one reaping benefits.
If, however, you’re seeking a more profound reason to adopt a senior animal, how about the likelihood that it will be transformative, for both you and them?
While adopting a senior animal will undoubtedly add much to your life, it’s important not to lose sight of the realities of living with a more “mature” being. Age-related maladies will start cropping up, possibly necessitating more frequent trips to the vet. Medications and/or supplements might now need to be dispensed more regularly. Your patience and flexibility are essential now, to ensure that these ripe years will go smoothly and happily, for everyone.
Each day, we have the opportunity to bring some meaning into our lives. Perhaps this will be the day you decide to bring a senior animal into yours.
This article originally appeared on "Out of the Cage" – the blog for the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.
Click here to view the original article.