Adopting a mature dog

By Gerri Baruch

Perhaps dogs can’t tell us about the lives they’ve lived, but, like people, they can mature and develop in lovely ways – becoming more mellow, patient, loving, and appreciative. That’s why I love older dogs. In fact, that’s why we adopted Missy, our mature perra de la calle (street dog) who had probably been on the street for seven or eight years. Our papillon, Simi, taught us to look for the special qualities that she saw in Missy, who is perfect for us – quiet, completely house-trained, never begs for food, walks eagerly on a leash, and is content to simply relax in her own bed near Simi and her adopted family. Frankly, a cantankerous puppy would be more than we want to handle. They’re completely irresistible, but, unlike grandchildren who are lovingly returned to their parents after a period of time, puppies require years of training and patience, perhaps more than we’re willing to give at this stage of our lives.

So if you’re thinking about adoption and want a devoted, appreciative companion, consider a healthy adult dog. The SPA has wonderful older “pups” at heart who deserve a special forever home – like beautiful, gentle eight and a half-year-old Frida, who brings a smile to my face when she greets me, eagerly anticipating her walk. There’s sweet, affectionate Lucy, another eight-year-old who looks forward to hugs and kisses and is always energetic and upbeat. Her happiness is contagious. Five-year-old Candy is eager for attention, inquisitive, and soaks up the love. Guera, five and a half years old, is a little timid, but from her interactions with me now that she knows me, I know that she’d be more than willing to give her heart to a family or individual who will take the time to get to know what a special dog she is inside. The reward of her look of utter devotion is worth the patience it takes to earn it.

If you’re interested in adopting an older dog, a great way to begin is by visiting them during adoption hours at the SPA, Monday-Saturday from 11-2, Los Pinos 7, 152-6124. You can see their videos and learn more about them and other SPA animals at and

After all, puppies and “teenagers” can exhaust the youngest of spirits, but a gentle older dog who still has a lot of good years left, well, that’s a really good fit in San Miguel, don’t you think?

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