They're good boys and girls, even in their golden years.
That's why ElderDog Canada, a Nova Scotia-based not-for-profit that supports older dogs and their elderly humans, wants to set up a pawd — that's dog-speak for "chapter" — in St. John's.
"At this point it is a call for volunteers," said ElderDog Canada founder Ardra Cole. "It's really our dream to be coast-to-coast-to-coast."
The group devotes its time to two areas of support: help for seniors with day-to-day dog care, like walking and grooming; and rehoming dogs when owners can no longer care for them.
"It's a harsh reality for a lot of older adults when they're no longer able to live at home, in their home, with their dog," she said.
It's a harsh reality for a lot of older adults when they're no longer able to live at home, in their home, with their dog. - Ardra Cole
"It's devastating, actually. I mean, it's really akin to the death of a dog."
Cole said most people looking for pets at shelters are seeking puppies — older dogs are not as adoptable. What's more, they're typically not very comfortable in shelters, which tend to be a lot busier than their old homes with older adults.
Rehoming older pooches
The good news is there are people looking to adopt older dogs out there. So many that existing ElderDog pawds have waiting lists. Most of their adoptees are 10-years-old or more.
"We try to place these older dogs with other older people who really want canine companionship but they don't want a puppy," Cole said.
"They can carry on with a lifestyle to which they're accustomed."