The oldest dogs in Indiana with lessons for humans

I’m not certain when I became aware of it, or when it was revealed to me as a kid, but like most I never really thought much about the passing of our dogs. Sure, I missed them. But I never really understood, nor likely wanted to understand, the process of getting older on 4 legs. As I myself grow older and I realize there re more days behind me than in front of me, I spend more time seeking answers to life. 

Such as, what does happen as we get older? How do we face those remaining days? And what happens to those who are not very fortunate in those remaining years?

A news photographer for the Indianapolis Star recently embarked on a mission to find the oldest dog in Indiana, and she was surprised at the number of seniors she found. Sadly, a good number of them are in shelters, as most people want that lively young pup as part of their family. However, there does seem to be a growing push to adopt these seniors. They’re calm, well behaved, incredibly loving, and have an aura of “wisdom” about them that is inescapable. 

Senior dogs teach us one very important lesson, back to what I’ve learned over the years. Dogs and all animals have no concept of time. They don’t watch the clock, they don’t know Monday from Thursday, and they don’t look in mirrors to watch the passing of time on their faces. To them, sleep is just that, nothing more. To them, when they close their eyes for a final time, they may indeed understand the significance, but they are likely believing all they’re doing is going to sleep. 

These are the dogs that teach us more about life than we could ever hope to learn on our own. They teach us compassion and dignity. In those waning years, and in death, they teach us so much about life. 

One day, when we have room and time, we will adopt seniors. Until then, I can only pass on their stories in the hopes someone who reads this will consider the possibility and provide a safe, loving home for these “veteran puppies” in their final days. 

So that when they close their eyes for that final time, they will know they are loved. 

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