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They’re Not Just Getting Older, They’re Getting Better!

By Megan Gabel

When we adopted Molly, our golden retriever, from a Houston rescue organization, we looked at the dogs on the website, trying to find one less than a year old. And there was Molly, around 8 months old, the youngest one listed. We were thrilled to get her. Although a handful at the beginning, she has always been a joy to us, enriching our lives immeasurably.

The quest for a younger dog or puppy is common. Now, as SPA volunteers, we interact with dogs of many different ages and our Molly is 9. We have learned to appreciate the benefits of an older dog.
Older dogs are done teething and won’t chew up your shoes and furniture. Some of them may be housebroken, depending upon their background. Because they are more mellow, they focus on what is being said to them and learn tricks faster than the youngsters. They are affectionate, appreciative, and often become instant companions.

They adjust more easily to a new situation. They are grown – no surprises about how big they are going to get or what their personalities might become. They are less demanding, not requiring as much attention as puppies and teenagers. They’ll let you sleep at night!
When I originally wrote this article, the SPA had four dogs around 7 years old: Frida, Diego, Chocolate, and Ellie. Maybe karma played a role, but by press time, Diego and Chocolate were adopted! However, still waiting for forever homes are Frida and Ellie. Frida, a medium-large sweetheart, is very friendly, gentle, and affectionate. She has a playful side and likes to romp and run. She’s a happy, delightful dog with a youthful spirit. Ellie is a pretty, spunky, little girl with an expressive face. She came from a home where she had been neglected. Now, she eagerly waits for treats, petting, and playtime, and is a calm, gentle, friendly dog, grateful for any bit of kindness.

Please don’t overlook these wonderful dogs simply because they are older than the rest. They have years of love and devotion left to give and, in many instances, could adjust more easily to their new lives than their younger counterparts. See for biographies, pictures, and videos of them and all our cats and dogs (click on Facebook Doggie Album link). “Like” us on Facebook ( for up-to-the-minute news. Sign up for our monthly Paws & Claws newsletter by emailing

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