Just look at that face. Who doesn’t like puppies? They’re warm, sweet, snuggly and fit right in the crook of your arm with their adoring eyes staring up at you, trusting you to feed them, keep them safe (and play, of course).
Obviously, I am a passionate dog lover. If you are a cat fanatic, that’s great. But please don’t send me emails or post comments suggesting I should love them, too. Cats are fine for you, but always make me feel like I am on their payroll.
Dogs, on the other hand, make me feel welcome in their world and seem grateful to be in mine. They like sitting at your feet while you’re working, show appreciation for the treats you purchase at some overpriced boutique pet store, and start wagging their tails when you do little more give them “the look.”
There are plenty of studies on what I refer to as the Canine Sixth Sense and the comfort dogs can provide simply by being around. They not only smell trouble before it presents itself, but instinctively know when their human companions are ill, sad or anxious.
Speaking of which, several of my recent posts have been about this crazy election cycle and many of my conversations with friends revolve around how they’re dealing with the insanity. Most said they needed to find some kind of silly distraction to get their minds off the constant news coverage and, surprisingly, the most common suggestions from my tribe were all the same: They search Google or Facebook for puppy videos.
If you’ve ever seen service animals with recovering veterans or disabled seniors, you know how canine instincts and intelligence can change lives.
But what happens to these dogs when they, themselves, become too old to do their jobs? Who steps in to take care of these aging animals when their owners pass away?
As a real estate agent, I meet seniors who are downsizing from large homes to smaller spaces, elderly widows and widowers who‘ve decided to move into an assisted living facility, and older couples who’ve been invited to live with their adult children. The packing and relocation services for these clients are usually arranged by family or agents like myself, but pets can propose unique challenges.
Most senior living centers do not allow animals and it’s not uncommon for an agent to be told their client’s pet cannot move with them due to a grandchild’s allergies or asthma.
Fortunately, I’ve recently learned about two organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area that specialize in saving senior animals that find themselves homeless (or about to become so).
Muttville rescues senior dogs and finds them new homes or gives them hospice. On a global level, Muttville also provides information about caring for your older dogs and support for the people who do.
The Senior Dog Project promotes adoption of older dogs and provides current information on the special care older dogs need o both they and their human companions can fully enjoy their golden years.
Both of these organizations also welcome volunteers to spend time with pets currently living at their locations. So, if you can’t commit to adopting a pet full-time, you can still become a part-time companion. Just like us, every dog appreciates an occasional hug or quiet time snuggled next to a loving person. And I know there must be other organizations just like these two wherever you happen to live.
Of course, the expense associated and lack of funding for such programs is always a threat to these organizations. So, once again, I urge you to consider the kind of programs that are important to you, the kind of world in which you want to live, the kind of impact you want to have on others – and then find the local, state and federal candidates who share your values.
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi