A Dog is For Life
‘How old is your dog?!’ is something I am asked regularly when walking my snowy faced staffie. The answer… ‘hard to believe but she is 15 and a half! She’s full of beans and mischief’. Having adopted Jude when she was 11years old I’ve only ever known her as an older dog but what amazes me (and others) is how active she is and her enthusiasm for life! She certainly is making up for lost time 😊
Nowadays we stick to flat walks and discovered she loves to swim
Sadly Jude, like some many other senior dogs, found herself in kennels at 11 years old. Her previous owner gave her up as “she was too old and was going to die soon”. Thank goodness Jude is proving her previous owners so wrong and I get to share this time with and I do not take that for granted. We’ve had countless adventures, made lots of new doggie pals, even been to training classes but most importantly she knows that she is home and that she is safe. It breaks my heart to think of all the other senior dogs in rescues who are given up because ‘they are too old’. Their time is precious whether it’s only a short while or if like Jude years infact! This is why more than ever it is essential we teach as many pupils/future dogs owners as possible that ‘ A Dog is For Life’ and what that really means.
Pupils at Carmondean Primary in West Lothian have been exploring exactly that. Through our Responsible Dog Ownership workshops they have been learning about what dogs need to be happy and healthy. Consider why dogs are given up for rehoming and could in some the cases this have been prevented? Ultimately they concluded that having a dog is a BIG commitment; here is some of their advice.
'Dog can live for around 15 years which is a big commitment , are you sure you are ready?'
'Do you have enough time, money and space for a dog?'
'you have to spend time with your dog otherwise it will be lonely and sad'
'think about how active you are and what breed would suit you'
At Dogs Trust our call centre recieves approx 300 calls per day from owner wishing to give up their dogs. A lot of these calls could be prevented if owners asked themselves the above questions BEFORE getting the dog.
For more information on workshops available see here : https://www.learnwithdogstrust.org.uk/