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Age and adopting pets

 
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We just took in another foundling. A black kitten between 6 and 8 weeks.  I am 70. My wife is a few years younger.  That means we will be around 85 when it dies at the age of 15 or so (it just wrapped itself around my foot and began pedaling....it may die younger).

Is there an age when we should stop taking strays in ?   I hate the idea of it losing its caretaker. I also hate the idea of turning my back on an animal in need.  In this case. It would have died.  Opinions?  Are there options we haven't thought of?
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I don't have an answer...we have two recent stray kittens that overlapped with our fifteen year old cat briefly and being seventy also I see what you are thinking.  These kittens gave us no choice though

Our Vietnam vet neighbor has three dogs, two cats, some of them very recent rescues in addition to his old timers and his health is failing.  He is starting to ask around for someone to look out for them if something happens to him...quite a large group to need homes suddenly.
 
John F Dean
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With the two of us, we have agreed to stop having livestock when we reach 85 or one of us dies. Still, that leaves pets to deal with.
 
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This isn't the happiest of topics, but most definitely one I think needs to be considered, realistically. I'm 56, so I'm not quite there yet. On the other hand, we are both disabled, and bikers, and... well... we buried a couple friends, last month, who died together, on their bike. They were only a few years older than us. So, since life - and death - happens, it's something I think about, occasionally, and we have a lot of critters, now. The CCC (Current Critter Count) includes 8 goats, 11 chickens, 2 ducks, 2 guinea pigs, and 2 puppies. The oldest are the guinea pigs, at 4yrs old (which is at least half - 3/4 their normal life span), and next is our first goat buck, at a 'whopping' 3.5 yrs old. So, they're mostly all babies - and we're breeding the daiiry/fiber goats, starting this Wednesday. The general life expectancy of goats varies by breed between 10 and 19yrs, with the bucks outlive the does, sometimes by several years, and our younger bucks are only 6months old, so we could be looking at a 20yr commitment, there.

Anyway, what's weird is that two things popped into my email inbox, almost at the same time, this morning; notification of this thread, and my daily from Dr Becker, on this topic: https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/10/25/pet-care-after-death-of-owner.aspx
 
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I have this beautiful quote about horses, but it could be applicable to some other domesticated animals...

"If you are fond of a horse and wish to do him a real favour - train him well. Teach him good manners, good habits, both in the stable and under the saddle. You need never worry about the future of such a horse if for any reason you may have to part with him. You assure him of friends wherever he goes. Perhaps the greatest kindness you can do any horse is to educate him well." - Tom Roberts - The Young Horse

It's easier to do with more traineable animals, like horses and dogs, but you can raise a decent cat too (congratulations on your new kitty!).

Another way to look at it, is having pets that simply don't live very long. Of which, rats are maybe the most intelligent. Their life expectancy is rather short - usually 2-4 years, up to six.
They're fascinating, playful, affectionate, not very expensive.

It's always good to have a network of friends who will know what to do with your animals if you can't take care of them anymore.
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Something as simple as writing up a care sheet for your animals can be a big help to anyone who may take care of them later, whether that be a pet sitter or new owner. The two cats that used to belong to a family friend before she died suddenly have some... quirks that we had to figure out the hard way. One of them doesn't eat wet food or in the presence of other cats, so she needs a bowl of dry food in another room when the others are eating. The other has the perpetual zoomies and is terrified of thunderstorms. She is usually good at using a litter box, but sometimes during storms she will pee herself. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice to know that before she peed on me. I think the more information you make available about your pets, the more likely they are to find a good home, too. Just my thoughts on this.
 
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Maybe at some point, you don't adopt pets that others would love to have... Easily adoptable pets.  Don't keep letting your cats have kittens. Don't bring home a parrot because they live forever....

But what you're describing: rescuing animals from bad situations, especially where they would die anyway or are suffering, or being adopted by a stray that you spay/neuter... seems to me you are adding love, peace and a light in a life where there was none. Even if that animal ends up in a bad situation at some point in the future, after you are gone, you didn't create that, you delayed that.

Maybe if your health starts to fail, and you can't care for the animals you have as they deserve, you start rehoming. ..
 
John F Dean
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Hi Sonja,

Yes, there is a price to be paid for staying at my house ... a trip to the vet.  Annually, just after the new year, all go to the vet for rabies and a check up as well.
 
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I'm in my late 50's.  I try not to live my life worrying about how much time I have left.  Who knows what will happen in 10, 15, 20, 25 years?  My own view is, keep adopting, do your absolute best to give them the best life possible, and let the cards fall as they may.  Maybe, probably, as you said, that one would have died.  If you can only give it 6 good months, is that not better than letting it die miserably, sad and alone, right now?  Maybe a kitten you save gets leukemia (hopefully not) and the year you gave it when you were 94 years old was a wonderful year for you both, and maybe the last year either of you had?

Not at all trying to invalidate your question, because it's an important one.  I just think there are too many variables to consider, and each person can only do their best, and hope it's good enough.  And I'm glad you adopted the kitten.
 
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I don't want pets full-time and also don't want outdoor cats. But I would like to have a cat sometimes. So, I thought I could foster old cats from the shelter that are on their last leg.
 
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Haven't read all replies, so sorry if this is repetitive.

I think the answer to when to stop taking in new animals is more a matter of whether you have someone willing to take them on after you pass than anything else.  Of course, there's the possibility of them suffering if you pass without anyone realizing it for some time, so that is another factor to consider.  If you consistently have other people around you that is a small risk.  

I'd seriously consider asking your kids, neighbors and friends to find people willing to take your pets in the event they out-live you.  If you can't find anyone (or enough people) then perhaps you should consider not accepting any more new pets at some point.  That point will be a matter of your health, your spouse's health, and the likely remaining life expectancy of the animal being considered.  

And keep in mind that if you wind up in a nursing home it is unlikely you will be able to bring your pet(s) with you.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Andrew,

You raise some interesting points.  To kick it up a notch, what happens when a person living alone dies. How many days will it be before someone discovers?
 
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Carla Burke wrote:
Anyway, what's weird is that two things popped into my email inbox, almost at the same time, this morning; notification of this thread, and my daily from Dr Becker, on this topic: https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/10/25/pet-care-after-death-of-owner.aspx



Nice article, Thanks for it
 
Andrew Mayflower
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John F Dean wrote:Hi Andrew,

You raise some interesting points.  To kick it up a notch, what happens when a person living alone dies. How many days will it be before someone discovers?



Depends on where they are.  Sometimes it's a matter of hours.  But there have been cases of someone dying in a busy apartment complex with many neighbors who still weren't found for weeks or even months.  Often it's not until someone complains of the horrible stench of a body decomposing.  If you are rural, or even just in a detached single family suburban home it's quite possible to not be noticed for years, until the county comes around for tax delinquency.  A lot depends on how social you are.  If you keep to yourself it will take longer to get noticed than if you're a social butterfly.  

If I were living alone, and at an age that I felt my own mortality creeping up on me, I'd probably try to find a friend, neighbor, or relative that would be willing to call me at least every few days and swing by to check up, or have the sheriff do a welfare check if I don't answer.  Ideally you'd want someone coming by daily and making sure you are still able to continue to care for the animals, but the logistics of that can be quite challenging.  Not to mention some people just simply aren't interested in being that social.  And folks that live out in the country are usually there because they don't want to interact with other people constantly.  

My wife is also a few years younger than me, and I expect I'll go before her.  But, either way, we have 4 kids and with any luck we'll have at least a half dozen, and perhaps a dozen or more, grandkids, so there's a good chance we'll have enough family surrounding us by the time we're in our 70's and 80's that we won't have to worry about pets suffering when the second one dies.  I'm 43 and she's turning 40 in January, so that's also several decades away for us.  Heck, by then we should have a number of great-grandkids.  But still something to be aware of.
 
Carla Burke
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I think if it gets down to just me, and I'm not moving around as well, I'll be selling off (or eating) the majority of the livestock. Pets are a different story. I know that 2 of my kids will step up, for the dogs - but again, that assumes I'm found quickly. A viable option is the 'help I've fallen and can't get up' lanyards. If you don't respond, they send first responders and call the designated people, at the same time. There are also tags for keychainss, so that if something happens while you're not at home, it alerts others that you have critters at home.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Carla,

I know this may be twisted, but I am far more accepting of my death than I am of the suffering and death of pets and livestock.
 
Carla Burke
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Yup. So am I.
 
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None of us know when we are going to die.  Death comes even to young people.  But it's true that as we get older, we do need to be thinking about this.  

I would say that having pets helps people to live longer in better condition, so don't give up your animals, just make plans for what happens to them when you die or can't take care of them anymore.  I'm thinking of my dad here, who was given a rescued Pomeranian a few years before he died, and I think she helped him a lot.  My mother and step-father have a small dog who is almost ten years old now; Mom is 85 and my step-father is a few years younger (although his health is worse than Mom's).  I don't know if they'll replace Kiwi when she dies; Mom's mother lived to be 97 in pretty good shape, and Mom could potentially do the same.  I'm 64 and have a little Rat Terrier who will be eight years old this year -- Rat Terriers have a longer average lifespan than most dog breeds, so I hope she'll be around for another ten years or so.  By then I'll be in my mid-seventies.  I don't know if I'll get another house dog (she's outside a lot, her choice).  At that point, I may be giving up having chickens and goats so won't need a livestock guardian dog anymore, and that's probably about the end of my current LGD's natural lifespan as she's only about a year old now.  I worry more about not being able to take care of the animals, as I have a bad back, and don't usually know until I get up in the morning how much it's going to be hurting that day.  Some days it's all I can do to shuffle around the house a little bit.  So I've tried to set the outdoor animals up to be okay for a day or two if I can't get out there. At least I won't have to feel guilty when the time comes to get rid of the livestock, as they don't get attached to their humans as much as dogs, and possibly cats, do.

 
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denise ra wrote:I don't want pets full-time and also don't want outdoor cats. But I would like to have a cat sometimes. So, I thought I could foster old cats from the shelter that are on their last leg.



This is so important! Shelters and rescues can help more animals with more fosters. My local shelters are always looking for people to foster.
 
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Might I share the story of my great grandpa? His experience might give some insight.

His wife of 60 years died when he was in his 80s. He fell into a deep depression. Thankfully, his friend convinced him to leave New Jersey and move in with him on his land to help on the horse ranch in Florida. (His friend trained race horses.) My grandpa, knowing that staying in New Jersey in the house that only had memories of his dearly departed wife, agreed to make the move to Florida.

My grandpa, who'd only ever raised and kept cocker spaniels, suddenly became responsible for a ranch full of horses. But it gave him a reason to get up each morning. He had a responsibility to his friend, and those animals. As he settled in to his new environment, he took in a boat load of stray dogs and cats who seemed to know he needed them as much as they needed him.

He had a cat named Smokey that often got stuck on the roof. So Grandpa made a ramp of wood that went from the crotch of a nearby tree to the roof. Then he realized Smokey slipped on the wood in the rain. So he covered the wood with carpet for Smokey to grip onto. I swear it was only a miracle of God's Grace that Grandpa didn't break his own neck trying to fix that contraption for his cat. But it was a project he was proud of.

He made it 99 years old. I firmly believe it was because he had animals that were counting on him. He HAD to get up each morning.

Watching my Grandpa, I have come to realize that keeping pets in old age is a blessing. Companionship and keeping busy with their care makes for a more satisfying and healthy life. We make arrangements for our final estate via wills and inheritance, so adding in arrangements for our animals' care just seems like an extension of that, I feel.
 
Stacie Kim
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John F Dean wrote:Hi Andrew,

You raise some interesting points.  To kick it up a notch, what happens when a person living alone dies. How many days will it be before someone discovers?



Police and first responders OFTEN get asked to do "welfare checks" on people who can't get in touch with their family members and are worried for their safety. Generally, it's wise for someone to regularly keep in touch with friends and family who have been told that if you don't call after a certain amount of time, to please check in on them or have an authority who can come by.

It happens a LOT.

Edited to add: Kind neighbors will generally notify family members if their loved one hasn't been seen in a while. We had an arrangement with an elderly neighbor that if he didn't pick up his daily newspaper by 5:00pm, we'd knock on his door. If he didn't come to the door, we would call his house. If he didn't answer the phone, we phoned his daughter who lived 30 minutes away.
 
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All of our pets are throw aways. Either drug home from the vet clinic I work at one day a week to save from euthanasia or dumped at the end of my drive way or just appeared when picking up hay. We take what God brings us and are blessed by all of them.
I believe that rescue pets are better because they truly do appreciate their home more. We once adopted a great Dane from the pound that was in such bad shape they only changed 5 dollars and said not to neuter because he would survive surgery. He lived for 5 months. At first you couldn't touch him because it hurt but after a couple months he healed and was a happy dog that loved attention and petting. He died happy and content and very peaceful
When people lose a pet at the clinic and said "I'm never going to have a dog again " I always say until God brings you one.
If people would just adopt instead of going to breeders the shelters would be empty. I could go on but I won't. I will step down from my soap box now
 
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We take them as they come. With three barns along a rural road.. cats just seem to appear ( dogs too)! Kittens, pregnant females, injured and just old, unwanted and dumped eventually they come our way.... Case in point...Rocky. He limped up our driveway one afternoon....starving ( so thin you could see every bone in his body ), his eyes crusted over and with a bad respiratory infection. We tried giving him some soft food and fresh water...he ate, drank and then he screamed....threw himself around having a fit. At first we thought elliptic ...but no. On closer examination we could see he was hurt, his face didn't look right. We have a very good relationship with our vet ( being frequent visitors ). Off we went. We knew whatever the outcome, if he survived, we'd need to keep him isolated from the other animals until we figured out what was going on. At the vet it was determined...he was at least 10-12 years old ( and a neutered male...no chip )...he was sick ( running a temperature, respiratory problems, half starved and he'd been injured. His jaw was fractured ( along with some facial bones )  some of his teeth were missing, others broken. He had terrible dental issues and stomatitis lesions so bad it was a miracle he could swallow at all. The vet thought his scream/fit was from the pain the lesions caused when he tried to eat.He was terrified of food. Other than his face the x-rays revealed no further damage. AND...his Snap test was negative, blood work looked good. No one claimed him...they never do. So, a little over a year and three surgeries later, with all his teeth removed "Rocky", named because he was so beat up but fought his way back...is living the house cat life style. We've taken in others...but Rocky was among the saddest cases. I could write a book....(who knows I just might someday ) plus we belong to a local TNR/rescue group ...so we get to see them all. All you can do is work with the resources you have....it's good Karma to help them. Compassion is a virtue that seems in short supply. I should have mentioned I'm 69...also at the point we need to consider what to do should they eventually outlive us. We have been looking into setting up a trust for them...just in case. Working with a TNR/rescue group we see quite a few who have lost their caretakers ( occasionally large groups that need help/relocation )...so with it in mind...you can keep rescuing as you age..if you have something in place for when you're gone or unable to continue.
rocky-1.jpg
His favorite spot ( aside from my lap ) by an open window in the parlor.
His favorite spot ( aside from my lap ) by an open window in the parlor.
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Waiting for me on my workbench...he likes to be there for the first light.
Waiting for me on my workbench...he likes to be there for the first light.
 
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What ever your age keep a note somewhere in plain sight that has information on who to contact to come care for your animals JUST IN CASE.  Try to have at least 2 different people on it so if one can't be reached hopefully the second can.  Instructions for who gets which animal is also important.  

DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR WILL!
 Wills go to probate and it can be months before they are finished and can then say oh by the way such and such animals were to go to XYZ.  By that time who knows what will have happened to your pets.

This is actually a conversation that comes up in my dog show and breeders groups quite frequently.  How old is too old everything else is perfect.  The most common answer is never if they can handle puppy energy or if it is an older dog that is being rehomed.  Just insure that things are set up so the dog goes back to the breeder OR that the breeder is involved in the decision about who it goes to if the original owner dies.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Dorothy,

You raise some good points.  To expand a little, we also have descriptions of our pets including their personalities and quirks.  Hopefully, the description will assist in making a better match.
 
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A great question, and some great ideas here! Who will care for our animals if we're too ill or have died is an important issue that responsible animal carers need to consider. I don't think it's an age thing necessarily. It's something we probably should prepare for when we're younger, too, as Carla's friends who died together on their bike tell us. Just as we'd make provision for who our property should go to, livestock and pets need the same - but also need to pass into someone else's care as soon as possible after we die. A will definitely isn't enough provision!

Here in the UK, some animal charities like Cats' Protection offer pet guardian schemes, where they will take in and care for the pets if someone is unable to care for them. We've signed up for that for our two cats. The problem I see is who would notify the charity! We have no family or friends nearby so it comes down to having good relationships with our neighbours. There's always enough dry food down that the cats would do fine for a couple of days, but longer than that, no. Where we live now it's unlikely we'd go longer than a couple of days without someone becoming aware, but if we moved to the country and lived a more isolated and reclusive life, if would be an issue.

My uncle lived on an isolated farm, had infrequent contact with family and friends, and so wasn't found for weeks after he died. I hope it was peacefully in his sleep rather than in pain after a fall or some injury.  He was found in his armchair, so it's probable he passed peacefully. An SOS call button is only possible for those who live in areas with cellphone coverage, his place was too isolated for that. Thankfully he had no pets, and at that time of year the livestock needed little care and survived. If I lived somewhere similar though, working out some sort of check-in system that could alert others there was a problem would be a must. Chances are I wouldn't move anywhere with no cellphone coverage,, for that reason as well as internet access. I'm not at all afraid of dying, but I am afraid of dying slowly and painfully without help. I don't want that for my critters, either.

Animals that come to us, I think we just have to accept as a gift from God and trust His timing. But as I age, I'll become less likely to go looking for animals to adopt, especially younger ones. Homestead livestock - ideally an arrangement with a friend or neighbour who keeps and understand the animals in question and would be willing to take on the extras. Assuming we gradually become less able as we age, this may solve itself anyway. We'll naturally reduce our stock numbers as caring for them becomes more difficult.
 
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Hi Jane,

I have taken a trip off of a second story roof when I was remote and alone. I can deal with it. My only fear regarding death is leaving dependent animals behind.   We have 4 outside cats and a dog that can take reasonable care of themselves.  Most likely the dog would let a neighbor know something was wrong.   We do have 3 cats that spend some time indoors. We have a dog that spends some of his time in a pen. And, there is the livestock.   The livestock wil go if either one of us dies.  But we are still left with all of the what if’s with the pets.
 
Jane Mulberry
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Hoping you can work out a way to feel a peace about the animal care after you're gone, John. Just having someone else say, "Don't worry, we'' look after them" and knowing they'll follow through can bring a big reassurance.

IMO, you did the right thing taking in the kitten. You're making a difference, and that matters. But please be careful on roofs! That kitten wants you alive and well for a bit longer!
 
Posts: 114
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My suggestion is to reach out to a shelter next time you find yourself with a stray kitten and say "Well, fate gave me a kitten to care for but I'm older. I try listening to fate, clearly I need another pet. Can I drop the kitten off with you to find a good home for and adopt an older animal?".

Lots of old dogs and cats need homes. Kittens and puppies are highly adoptable. If you believe something is throwing animals your way and adopting animals in need is your calling on some level, you can still take an animal in, just consider an older one that probably can't find a good home.
 
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I think it would help to start looking for a godfather today. In addition to having a home when you can't care for your pets, finding a surrogate parent would give you a pet sitter if needed and especially important is the idea of building a relationship between the pet and the godparent before the need to adopt full time and it makes it less likely to be interpreted as a burden.

When I was a kid there was an elderly neighbor who used to babysit me. She had an orange cat who decided he lived at my house and I became its surrogate parent. The cat passed away before my neighbor but my family would have adopted the cat if it were the other way around.

Its easier said than done but if you don't have someone ready to care for your pet, now is the time to start looking.
 
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Stacy, I agree about animals helping people to age well. My dad adopted a dog last year at 81. The dog makes him go for 2 to 3 walks a day no matter the weather.

And he knows if something happens that he can't care for his dog anymore, family (me, unless somebody else wants to) will step up.
 
John F Dean
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Probably worth mentioning. I am certainly a cat person.  I have taken on 2 cats their owners became unable to care for them.  In both cases the cats ran away at the first opportunity never to be seen again.  In both cases the cat was familiar with me. Yes, they were gradually introduced to the household.  It was just that they knew I was not their human.
 
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Of course whether or not you take in a pet depends on your own set of circumstances.at 79 I have been involved in animal rescue and sheltering for almost thirty years. Although I limit the number of pets I have to a manegable number I don't hesitate to take in pets that need help. I have freinds and family who would care for them if I were to be unable.

I recently took in a dog that had been surrendered to our shelter by an older person who could no longer care for him. He needed treatment for fleas, malnutrition, and his coat and teeth were in really bad shape. The vet eventually removed all of his teeth. Because he then had so little jaw bone left he fractured it. And he developed liver failure, perhaps because of the anesthesia. This resolved with treatment and his jaw has healed, and he is back to being the barky little ankle biter he was born to be. In gratitude he found and ate one of my hearing aids. (Good thing he had no teeth.) We later recovered it but it just isn't the same.

There was the one that someone picked up at a busy intersection where she was directing traffic. And the one that crossed the road in front of me and jumped into the car the minute I opened the door. She delivered four beautiful puppies in my kitchen two weeks later. And the old one who was turned into the shelter by a mother who couldn't stand seeing it abused by her son any more. He couldn't stand and was pretty much beyond repair but we made his last hours comfortable and loved.

Long and short, sheltering is not for the faint of heart nor is taking in an animal that may outlive you. Do it anyway.
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Elmo
Elmo
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Abby and Burt
Abby and Burt
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Gizmo
Gizmo
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Big Horn (not pets)
Big Horn (not pets)
 
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Your problem is a bit of an inversion of my problem.

I/m middle aged and I recently lost some pets that were older than me, and the two remaining ones I worry one might pass away and leave the other alone.

Basset hounds and beagles are very social pets and need to not be alone.

If they are left alone they get depressed and often they run away.,,,,

That's how I ended up with five of them.

I took in the ones who ran away, their owners were afraid they'd get hit by cars....


They got old faster than I did and I lost two last year, I have two left.

When one of them dies, I either need to make the remaining one a car dog/ emotional support dog, or I need to adopt another one around the same age as he one who is left.

??

I have three options:

1)Either I find a companion for my oldest remaining dog that is about the same age(after the next death happens) or the survivor:

2)Needs to be with me all the time, which is not really an option(my job needs me not to have a dog with me)


or:

3)I keep trying to pair up old dogs until I'm in your situation.

Where they might outlive me.

What a conundrum!

Your and their lives are enriched by mutual love.

I don't have an answer.

I never let my dogs breed because I sidn't trust strangers with prospective puppies.

You need a WILLING friend to inherit your pets if you think they will outlive you.

If you don't have  friends like that go out and charm one. Sex somebody up.

LOL.










 
roberta mccanse
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Whoops. Lost Gismo.
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Burt
Burt
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Elmo
Elmo
 
roberta mccanse
Posts: 132
Location: Near Libby, MT
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I under the issue with "Velcro dogs". Hounds are known for this. Burt is a blue tick cross who was frightened by loud gun shots while he was alone. Now he sticks to me like glue. He will stay with my girlfriend sometimes in the summer while I go to the grocery store and it's too hot for him to stay in the car. In cooler weather he will wait in the car and sleep, but he goes where I go.  

Disadvantages are obvious but I am retired and usually don't have to go anywhere where Burt isn't welcome. Advantage is that many people in our small town know him. Once while we in a movie someone saw him in the car and took him for a walk! Traveling with the dogs, which I do, just takes planning.

As I approach eighty I am grateful for friends, family, and good health. All of this makes me comfortable about taking in pets in need.
 
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Dorothy Pohorelow wrote:What ever your age keep a note somewhere in plain sight that has information on who to contact to come care for your animals JUST IN CASE.  Try to have at least 2 different people on it so if one can't be reached hopefully the second can.  Instructions for who gets which animal is also important.  

DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR WILL!
 Wills go to probate and it can be months before they are finished and can then say oh by the way such and such animals were to go to XYZ.  By that time who knows what will have happened to your pets.

This is actually a conversation that comes up in my dog show and breeders groups quite frequently.  How old is too old everything else is perfect.  The most common answer is never if they can handle puppy energy or if it is an older dog that is being rehomed.  Just insure that things are set up so the dog goes back to the breeder OR that the breeder is involved in the decision about who it goes to if the original owner dies.



I would agree but only to the point IF a dog comes from a breeder because they always want "their" dogs back should anything happen. Not so if one adopts "a mutt" or if dog is a stray.
I am a dog person. The bigger the dog, the better (I just like to feel "something" while hugging her/him , and sharing my living quarters without worrying I'll step on a "mouse").
I don't think age matters as anything can happen anytime, any day to the owner or their pet. However, I strongly feel in having a pet fund and at least 2 people who are  as passionate and caring and as responsible, to care and adopt my dog if I die. And yes, the dog is in the will (over the years, only the names and sexes have changed), so perhaps the law differs depending where one lives?

On a side note; not meaning to sound cruel but we can't save the whole world. Be honest with yourself as what you can actually do, and make sure you can afford it while you're alive, and after you're gone. Pet healthcare is expensive.  Thank you :-)

 
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denise ra wrote:I don't want pets full-time and also don't want outdoor cats. But I would like to have a cat sometimes. So, I thought I could foster old cats from the shelter that are on their last leg.



If you can do this, I think it's a two way blessing.
 
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