A year ago, my partner and I saw a facebook video about the value in adopting senior dogs. My parents had recently lost one of our family dogs to old age and I knew that our other family dogs, also seniors, were only getting older. I couldn’t imagine their lives without a loving and caring family that would take care of all their growing health concerns and the visible toll aging had on them. It made me think about all the senior dogs sitting at shelters waiting for the rare occasion that someone would consider adopting an old dog. I knew then I wanted to adopt a senior dog. Old dogs need love too, but also their mellow energy and calm demeanor was be a better fit for us than a puppy. My partner and I began checking shelters and rescue groups daily for the right dog and just as I was being to give up, we found Oliver. Well, my partner found Oliver. While I was at work on day, he sent me a picture from the Front Street Animal Shelter telling me he was going to meet with the Weiner dog in the picture. My response was, “he’s kind of ugly.” Nonetheless, they met, fell in-love and I would be going home to a new, 10 year old, member of my family. At first Oliver was very shy, we didn’t know much about him. He was a stray, needed to get 16 teeth removed, and was potentially abused (he was afraid of everything). However, I was impressed at how good he was, always by our side on and off the leash, potty trained (great for our apartment), good with other animals, and incredibly smart and curious. Oliver has since fully come out of his shell. Now he runs around the local dog park like he owns it, everybody knows when Oliver is there because he’ll run in announcing himself with a loud and deep bark meant for a dog 3 times his size. He’s traveled with us on airplanes across state lines, he chases down unwelcome guests (flies and other bugs), and his little legs get lost when he’s running through the neighborhood park. He’s a little ball of energy that we, and everyone around us, loves. The vet told us that Oliver is actually younger than we first thought, about 8 years old. He’s very healthy for a Dachshund his age. Oliver is just as playful as a puppy, though he’s ready to nap and cuddle with his toy llama after about 20 minutes of playing fetch. I couldn’t have asked for a better dog, he has been a wonderful addition to our family. He’s changed my misconceptions about animal adoption and is a shining example of the wonders of senior dogs. People can follow Oliver on Instagram at @Oliver_theweinerdog

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Wherever you live, there are likely homeless community cats in your neighborhood