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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My aunt and uncle (86 and 84) had to put their sweet little 19 year old beagle (Abby) down this past weekend. I'm just sitting here thinking about how our lives change and evolve. They had just retired and setting out on adventures when they got her, camping, hunting enjoying life. She was there through it all with them in sickness and health. A loving loyal companion, just wish there was something I could do for the emptiness in their home.
 
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My aunt and uncle (86 and 84) had to put their sweet little 19 year old beagle (Abby) down this past weekend. I'm just sitting here thinking about how our lives change and evolve. They had just retired and setting out on adventures when they got her, camping, hunting enjoying life. She was there through it all with them in sickness and health. A loving loyal companion, just wish there was something I could do for the emptiness in their home.
So sorry for your/their loss! Maybe consider getting a senior dog from a shelter or even a senior cat? Would be a good companion to age alongside and would help fill the void!
 

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Sorry for their loss (and for you as well!)! I agree suggesting, once they've had a chance to process it all, that an older rescue might be great fit for them! Healing thoughts for you and them...it's a tough time....
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, she was the best little dog. Seems so long ago but they brought her to my daughter's graduation party in 2002. They used to hunt rabbits together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They are worried about their age and what would happen to another dog or cat when they pass. We had discussed it this summer. Sometimes life isn't fun.
 

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I am so sorry. What a long and wonderful loving life your aunt and uncle gave Abby. Maybe once the worst of the grief period subsides a little, they could become a foster for a senior. In this way, if something were to happen, the rescue would probably step in to find another foster home.

I don't know this for certain but it may be an option worth looking into.

I remember my uncle's rescue beagle, She was as sweet as they come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fostering might work. They love my girls but visits won't fill the emptyness in the house.
 

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If they adopt from a pound/shelter they will be giving the animal a chance at life that it may not have had otherwise. Consider the number of companion animals euthanized every year and recognize that they are providing however many years of good life for that animal that they can. So "what will happen to the animal now" if we don't give it a home vs "what will happen to the animal when we die". If they want further reassurance, could you or other family members agree to taking the new pet when these folks can no longer care for it?
 

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If they are in good health, a smaller older dog may work. My inlaws found a young stray working line English Setter when they were just in their 80s. It was an over the top idiot (not trained at all) but they stuck it out and had him for 14 years. The dog brightened their lives and gave them something to talk about. They are now in their 90s and are dogless for the first time.
 

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I would give them some time, and if you can spend a little more time with them. If they are open to it, after some time, bring one of your dogs over with you.



A senior dog from a shelter sounds great, but folks don't like the pain of losing a critter, and that is just a fact. It doesn't matter if it is 3 years or 3 weeks, when they lose the dog it will be really hard. You can never guarantee anything, but if and when they are ready, I would suggest a young adult, a pup through the puppy stage, that they can polish up the obedience on, or that you can place the dog with a trainer for so many weeks or months and then give it to them, as they may not be able to spend a lot of time training.



Of course then you have to consider the disposition of the dog if your aunt and uncle become unable to care for the dog. Maybe a cat would be better. It could seriously reduce that empty feeling of a home without a critter, and will be easy to care for, and still give the folks a reason to get up and love a creature with a distinct personality of its own.
 
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I'm so sorry about your families' loss. I know how difficult it can be. Our pets are a family member.

If they adopt from a pound/shelter they will be giving the animal a chance at life that it may not have had otherwise. If they want further reassurance, could you or other family members agree to taking the new pet when these folks can no longer care for it?

They are worried about their age and what would happen to another dog or cat when they pass.
I think the important thing is that animals can provide humans a lot of comfort and companionship. I know my parents received a lot of comfort and entertainment from their cats and dogs throughout their life, and especially during their last years. People who have dogs and/or cats are generally healthier and pets can help people deal with health struggles better.

My parents passed a couple of years ago. We dealt with the same situation with them prior to getting their last 2 dogs. With one dog, my niece just brought it over to their home, and they couldn't refuse. With their last dog & using the logic previously stated, (saving a shelter animal),my mom, sister and I took a trip to a local animal shelter and adopted a dog (after resistance on their part).

When my parents passed, my sister adopted their last dog and cat. I think it helps to present a plan for when they are unable to care for the dog, or just need assistance. The best situation is if a family member will agree to adopt the dog if needed and/or assist with care and vet visits if needed. I think many rescue groups want you to return a pet you obtained from them, when an owner passes. Perhaps with adopting a shelter pet, some rescue groups might still assist when someone passes. I'm thinking that some rescue groups might support their loyal donors, with re-homing after an owner passes.

What options are possible to assist seniors with their pets, depends on where you live and available money. One option could be to perhaps pay someone (or seek volunteers) to assist with periodic walks, vet visits, etc. Just thinking if you can present you parents with a plan for possible re-homing & pet care issues, it would help.

Perhaps you could be on the lookout at local shelters/rescues for a suitable pet for them. Most of them have online profiles and pictures. Perhaps if you bring them a photo and a heart-catching story about a suitable pet needing a home, they might change their mind.


It can take some time to convince them to get a new pet. My parents were tough to buy gifts for in their latter years, my mom would say, "we don't need anything, we won't be here much longer". So, it did take a few months to get them to change their mind. A new pet and the new pet parents can make each other's life better.




 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the ideas, for now we'll just have to take it slow wait and see. We moved about 20 minutes closer to them last summer, and they love this property. We'll continue to have them visit as often as they like, and enjoy our girls. Sometimes reality slaps you upside the face.
 

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I know a woman who is 90 and has a dog. If the woman passes, her daughter will take the dog. Rescue groups may give older people a senior dog knowing it may come back to them if the person can’t keep it or passes away. One benefit of being an ongoing foster home is that the rescue pays medical bills. My friend does long term fostering of very sick dogs. She pays for food, the rescue group pays all vet bills.
 

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There are soooo many beagles and beagle mixes in shelters. Often, there is a bonded pair. You can find everything from puppies to seniors. Those dogs have a very hard time getting adopted.

I am 60. My dogs are 4 and 6. By the time they are gone, I expect to be in my 70s. I would definitely get a middle aged to senior dog and would not be opposed to a senior bonded pair.

Nothing heals the heart faster than a wet nose. I hope when your aunt and uncle are ready, they will be able to find the perfect match. I am so sorry for their loss. It is so hard. Bless them.
 

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Several years ago, I helped my dad adopt a sweet senior GSD in his late-80s. She was stuck in a shelter and had been there a long time, unwanted. He lost his wife that year and had always owned GSDs until his last one passed. He was terribly lonely, but he didn’t want to move.

The dog gave him back his sparkle. It’s the best home this dog ever had, and they adore each other. She often lies on the couch with her head in his lap while they watch TV. She kept him living independently just by giving him companionship.

Whatever the breed, I think senior dogs can be exactly the right match for elderly people!

She’s chipped to me and will come to me if she outlives him. I help him with vet trips and grooming issues. Mobile vets and groomers can also make it easier for seniors.
 
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