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Getting a Dog at 82 Years Old


Linda is considering getting a new dog, but at age 82, she isn't sure if it's a good idea. Mary offers her some alternative ideas that may be a bit easier than a new puppy.

Download a transcript of this Mary Maxwell video (PDF)

Dogs and cats can be a wonderful therapy—mentally and physically—for many senior loved ones. Community Volunteers are key to helping seniors keep pets healthy and well maintained.

Getting a Dog at 82 Years Old

-Mary Maxwell, Posted December 30, 2011

From Toledo, Linda writes, "I have always had a dog for as long as I can remember. I can't think of a time when I didn't have one. I'm now 82 and have been widowed for 7 years. After my husband died, Charlie, my cocker spaniel was my only real companion. Sadly, Charlie passed away about 6 months ago. I'm very lonely and desperately want another dog. My son thinks it would be cruel to get another dog. He thinks I won't be able to care for it like I have all my other dogs. What do you think, Mary?"

You know what Linda? It strikes me that you also had a husband for almost as long as you can remember. Maybe you want to think about getting another one of those and care for him. A husband might be easier to take care of than a dog. Ordinarily, husbands don't require walking or "pooperscoopers" and usually, they don't have to turn around 3 times before they sit down. I think it's something you should consider. If this is not an option for you, how about a stuffed animal? I have had a toy German shepherd for 8 years and he is no trouble at all. He lies on the floor beside my reading chair and never makes rude comments about my fashion choices. It's easy to take him with me in the car, although, I have to put his seatbelt on for him; toy German shepherds are not nearly as smart as real ones. He's very good natured, hasn't bitten anyone ever and doesn't require a license. Think about it, Linda. Thanks for writing.

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Thoughts and stories from others
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