As it has for many rescues and shelters, 2020 has been a year of challenges and surprises for Carolina Poodle Rescue (CPR). COVID and the changes it imposed on normal operations at our rescue is something that we would gladly have by passed. There is however, one surprise that has been a welcome blessing.
Most rescues have well-established programs to place senior dogs with senior adopters. Our sweet senior dogs generally enjoy a calmer lifestyle and someone who is likely to be home more than they are gone - a lifestyle that typically dovetails most closely with that of senior adopters. “Seniors for Seniors” campaigns are common in the world of rescue.
Enter 2020 – a year full of surprise. A year where very little has gone as any of us planned or expected. A year where we’ve all learned to adjust. A year full of hardships, but many blessings. At Carolina Poodle Rescue, one of our greatest blessings in 2020 has been a new generation opening their hearts to senior dogs. Many seniors have (rightfully) been nervous about travel, meet and greets, and all the other efforts that go into placing a dog into their home. But in the absence of this important rescue demographic a new hero has emerged for our senior dogs – young professionals!
In this year of changes, many young professionals have found themselves working from home and having their active social lives significantly curtailed. Seeking companionship, they are finding it in a senior dog to share their life. We are engaging with a generation that grew up with dogs in the home - that lived with and loved on these dogs through all the stages of their lives. A generation with warm memories of the dogs of their childhood. A generation passionate about the #adoptdontshop movement. A generation recognizing that age is just a number and older dogs have so much life and love to give.
Kristen J. is one young adopter who grew up with dogs. The first dog she adopted on her own was her heart dog, living and being loved until he was 20. When he passed, she vowed to adopt seniors in his honor. Kristen chooses to adopt seniors because although many people do not think that seniors have much life left in them, she knows better. She believes that seniors should live out their last days in a life of luxury knowing and giving love until their time to cross the bridge. Kristen came to Carolina Poodle Rescue to adopt Buddy, a 20-year-old toy poodle surrendered to rescue when the health of his owner made caring for her beloved companion impossible.
A Day in the Life of 21-year-old Buddy
Another such adopter is a vet technician with a passion for old dogs. Having already adopted two sweet senior dogs from Carolina Poodle Rescue earlier in 2020 and enduring the heartbreak of losing one all too soon, Deneige found herself with an open spot in her senior pack for a quiet dog that would enjoy being a go-everywhere companion. She found that match in a Grey Muzzle dog found as a stray and misnamed Hazel as he was such a matted mess the shelter thought he…was a she. The first order of business was a new name – Waldorf!
Welcome Home Waldorf!
Waldorf is a true inspiration. Every day that passes that I’ve had Waldorf, I wish I’ve had him since he was a puppy. He may be old and blind but you’d never know. He loves: long walks, sunbathing, rolling around in the grass, nesting in big blankets, stealing food even if it’s a struggle to chew up, ice cream, getting the bouncies, dressing up, kayaking with mom, car rides with the windows down, cuddling with my mom and siblings and cleaning his face on carpets.”
Senior dogs are a perfect match for someone that wants a companion who will love to spend time with them and who is content to enjoy a warm spot next to them. Someone who does not require constant attention to burn off energy or stay entertained. In a non-traditional year, we’re making less traditional matches. And it’s working out beautifully!