Benny Archuleta aka “Senior Wiener” is the person I personally know who is most passionate about “seniors”, although there are a number of groups which focus on providing a home for seniors. I wish there wasn’t a need for this. Unfortunately, there are many reasons a “senior” ends up in need of a home including:

  • A beloved human died or goes into senior care themselves, and they didn’t have concrete plans for their beloved Dachshund(s)
  • A beloved human died or goes into senior care themselves, and the plans they thought they for their beloved Dachshund didn’t happen
  • Family members could care less about the senior dog of their own family member, as the dog doesn’t fit into their lifestyle, or doesn’t get along with their own pets, or well, they just don’t want to bother
  • There are no family members or friends to take in an ailing person’s beloved Dachshund
  • Like humans, animals are living longer, and are facing significant health issue as we do, such as arthritis, Dementia, etc. and many aren’t prepared to deal with this, or don’t want to
  • A family becomes busier as children grow up and somehow they think their not-so-beloved dog would be happier “rehomed” (it generally won’t) so the Dachshund is given away (to who knows what), is dumped in a kill-shelter, or just is dumped
  • Their human can’t afford the growing financial needs of their senior Dachshund
  • Their human doesn’t want to deal with the health issues of their aging Dachshund
    • Yep, my house is structured around my Dachshunds and especially my seniors …. I have tile so when (not if) they pee on the floor, oh well
    • I have rugs that are easily cleaned … Since I live in Florida they go outside to get hosed-down and dry in the sun ….. I use Dawn soap to clean them and vinegar
  • Their human can’t manage the health issues of their beloved Dachshund due to their own health issues, particularly so for aging humans
    • This is how I got Courtney returned to me by my mom which has worked out since I’ve had 2+ years to enjoy Courtney (she turned 18 on 3 October 2017) and I work from home so my schedule is a more flexible to meet her needs

A number of thoughts I’ll share on “seniors”.

Don’t let anyone tell you that an 8-year-old Dachshund is a “senior”. That is generally when veterinarians and the animal business start to refer to dogs as “seniors”. At 8 years old a Dachshund is in its 40s ….. I don’t know about you, I surely did not consider myself a senior at that age. 

Even if you hate facing the concept of ailing health or death, PLEASE please please have CONCRETE plans regarding plans where your beloved Dachshund(s) will go, and keep it UPDATED.

HUGE insight: Your aging Dachshund is merely an opportunity for you to learn to embrace your own current or future self.  I’ve always found it fascinating that a “senior” human wants to adopt a very young Dachshund without a thought for the likelihood that they will die or become unable to care for their faithful companion well before the Dachshund even hits its own senior status (around 12 years of age).

When adopting an older senior and/or one with health issues that may slow down its pace a bit …. they act as “messengers” for us, reminding us to take a few moments to enjoy life …. to slow down and be present … to embrace trust and patience (when I’m in the middle of something and have to stop what I’m doing) …. to be grateful for every minute of our lives … So, when one of mine needs extra attention or I’m cleaning up yet another mess …. I am reminded to look at life from the “glass half full” because I’d rather have something to clean up and get to enjoy the physical presence of my senior Dachshund. By the way, I also have a senior Border Collie who has Dementia …. and the life lessons I am getting from him are amazing.  Thank you, Celt.

You want a faithful companion? As Benny shares below, often there is nothing more rewarding than adopting a senior Dachshund who would otherwise have been “euthanized” and sometimes, not so kindly. They have this amazing capacity to open our hearts, in a very unique way. I think it’s tied to my point above … embrace a senior Dachshund and you may find your way embracing your own senior self (when that occurs) in a more loving and open way.

The below is reprinted with permission from Benny Achuleta’s previous (and no longer live) Dachshund rescue websites:

“For whatever time this animal has remaining, they will give you so much happiness and love. In a short while, people watching the two of you would never guess that you hadn’t been together for its whole life. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to experience the love of an older animal. Whatever time you are allowed with this animal will be time you will treasure for the rest of your life. And for the rest of it’s life too. You won’t regret it. Ever.” ~ Benny Archuleta

The quote above will be immediately understood and appreciated by those who have had the joy and privilege of adopting a senior dog. For those of you who have not yet experienced this special treat, but may have been considering it, I hope this page will help convince you to make the leap of faith and actually adopt a senior.

The folks at Almost Home Dachshund Rescue Society have listed several of the most common objections that they hear from people as to why they won’t consider a senior. I’ve reprinted the list below, but I strongly urge you to visit their website and view the page it came from in its entirety.

(The links to the AHDRS website above will open in a new window. To return to this page, simply click back to this window.)

  • People say… “An older dog won’t bond with me like a young one will.” It’s true that an older dog doesn’t bond as a young one does; an older dog usually bonds with new guardians even more than a young dog. This statement is actually true—an older dog usually bonds with new guardians even more than a young dog. Animals who have experienced loss or a difficult past often display their desire to form new and stronger attachments. They have found someone to love them and they have no intention of letting go!
  • People say… “An older dog up for adoption must have problems, or it wouldn’t need rescuing.” The reality is that pets enter shelters and rescue societies for every imaginable reason. Often it’s not the dog that has the problem, but the human. Many people get a dog because it seems like the thing to do, not because they truly appreciate the qualities—and needs—of the species. Others are forced to surrender their pets for personal reasons. There may be a problem with a particular dog, but you are much less likely to find a senior dog that isn’t housebroken or a senior dog that snaps; older dogs have usually overcome any bad habits they had when they were young.
  • People say… “An older dog will have more medical bills.” To some extent, this may be true, in that older dogs need more medical “supervision,” such as geriatric testing during their annual exams. But there is no health guarantee for a dog of any age. One-year-old dogs can die of cancer. And puppies have larger immediate medical bills because of their need for vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery. And don’t forget the bills for chewed shoes and shredded drapes!
  • People say… “We won’t have much time to enjoy her.” There are no more guarantees for our dogs than for our human loved ones. You never know how long a beloved pet, or person, will be with you. Love is what matters, no matter how long we might be able to share it.

Now, an observation of my own: Take just a few moments and look closely at your seven or eight-year-old dachshund.

Beautiful animal, isn’t it? Loves you very much, no doubt. If something were to happen to you tomorrow and it were necessary for your dog to be rehomed, what would you say its chances were of finding another good home? Sadly, they are not as good as you may think. While you may not think of your animal as a senior, almost everyone else will.

Every day, countless animals just like yours remain in rescue because they are “too old” to adopt. But, consider this; in three years, that three or four-year-old dachshund you hope to adopt will also be “over age”. By adopting an older dachshund now, you have saved yourself that three year wait and gained an additional three years of companionship for yourself and your current animal.

Please, consider an older rescue, if you are considering a rescue at all. These poor animals have given almost a full lifetime of love and devotion to their family and now, through no fault of their own, have no place to spend their senior years. No one to love and care for them until their time comes to pass to the Rainbow Bridge.

These animals are in exactly the same situation that your older animal might be in one day, should you ever be unable to continue caring for it.

Read the story of my Precious Punky and her memorial if you would like to know the depth of feeling an older rescue can inspire in one man.

If you would like more information about adopting a senior rescue, may I suggest clicking on some of the links from this Google™ search page. (Please note: This search has been updated as of November 2017 to make it more current.)