From my years of working and volunteering at animal shelters and rescue groups, I’ve seen way too many older pets surrendered for various reasons – can’t afford to care for them, no time for them, we’re moving, the kids moved out, blah, blah, blah…  Many times, the real reason is that the people have grown tired of the old pet because it’s no longer “fun” and not playful anymore.  They may have fallen in love with with a puppy or kitten and exchanged their affections.

It reminds me of teenagers going steady.  At that age, you’re madly in love and even fantasize about marrying your steady.  But then someone new swoops in and catches your romantic fancy, and it’s bye-bye steady.  As we mature, we’re expected to  keep our relationship commitments, and the commitment to a long-time pet should be no different.  The way we treat our pets can show us so much about how we relate to people.  For me, I recently fell in love with Buddy, an old homeless dog. I’m completely smitten with his adorable face and feisty demeanor.  So I introduced him to my dog, Gizzy, hoping that they would be friends and I could adopt Buddy.  Gizzy was not so smitten with Buddy, in fact, he tried to attack him when Buddy barked at him to play. I was devastated and honestly a little resentful pf Gizzy, that he was keeping me from my new love.  But instead of ignoring my first commitment, Gizzy, I stuck by him and accepted that Buddy was not meant to be mine.  It’s been a struggle to fall out of love with Buddy, especially since he’s still waiting for someone to adopt him.  Every day, I look at Gizzy, shake my head at him and jokingly say, “Why are you such a bad boy?” (because he is!) and do my very best to appreciate everything good about Gizzy. He’s my long-term commitment and I will keep that promise.

How about taking a look at a great article on Love Lessons from Dogs?