Senior Dog Adoptions

Oldies But Goodies

Couple adopt senior dog, and keep going back for more

PetSmart Charities senior dog adoptions

They’re always the last to be adopted at the shelter, though it makes no sense; they’re the best trained, the most polite and obedient. They’re the adult dogs, the so-called “seniors” generally falling into that classification if they’re over 5 years old, though dogs can live to be 12, 15, even 19 or more, depending on breed. But say “senior” and people think the dogs won’t be around for long, or have age-related health issues.


They don’t know what Drew and Erin Eastmead have discovered: The oldies are the goodies.




“We were really looking forward to having a yard and a dog,” says Drew about his and wife Erin’s move from a small apartment in New York to a house in Phoenix, Arizona. “Once we got settled, we immediately started looking for a rescue to adopt.”


PetSmart Charities senior dog adoptions 3Searching online, they found Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary, a rescue group focused on getting senior dogs and cats off euthanasia lists and into happy homes. Drew and Erin liked this idea: “Older dogs have already been trained; they know when to go out, when to sleep, and they’re not destructive. Many are good with other animals—we needed that, because we have two cats. Adult dogs are easy and just happy to have a home.”


Through Forever Loved, they met Caroline, an Australian Cattle mix. “She was sweet as could be, calm, and cute—she had a distinct ear pattern, one up, one down. She’d been there for a year; nobody wanted her, probably because she was 9 years old. But we just fell in love.”


The feeling was mutual as Caroline, a well-trained, people-friendly pooch, settled right in. “She’s everything we were hoping for,” says Drew. “We’ve taken her to baseball games and restaurants, on road trips and even where I work, at an online marketing agency. Caroline made our house a home.”


PetSmart Charities senior dog adoptions 2.Back for more

The Eastmeads were so thrilled with their senior adoption experience that they became Forever Loved volunteers, along with Erin’s mother Barbara Klein. Through working with the senior animals, the Eastmeads adopted Ranger, another Australian Cattle mix, who was 12. “He’d been abandoned and was in bad shape when they found him,” says Drew. “We knew Ranger didn’t have much time, but we didn’t want him to spend that time in a shelter. We took him home and had five great, healthy months with him. We were so happy.”


After Ranger was gone, Caroline needed another friend. Enter Amber, a Yellow Lab. “She’s incredibly energetic for a 7 year old!” Drew says. “Every time we say ‘Ready to go for a walk?’ she chases her tail and goes nuts. She and Caroline get along great, and she’s happiest when she’s in the room with us.”


Now that Barbara has adopted Taffy, an 8 year old Beagle mix, senior pups have become a family affair. “Because these dogs are calmer, they help you to look around and really notice things, to appreciate what you have,” Drew says. “We can’t imagine life without them.”


For more on Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary, visit them here:




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