The Senior Center

TSWR offers several special Senior Adoption Programs: Adopt a Senior Dog Month & Seniors for Seniors

TSWR frequently gets in weimaraners over the age of 8 years old from families who can no longer keep them and from shelters.  These dogs are very often in this situation because their owners were not prepared to care for a weim for their entire life.  They have many great years left.  Weimaraners stay active well through their senior years.  They are perfect for those homes with toddlers who don't have the time to manage an extremely active young weim as well as with adopters who are older themselves who may not be able to manage a young dog that needs lots of exercise and training.

The adoption fee for all weims 7 years and older is $200.00.  We have reduced the fee for older dogs to encourage adopters to adopt an older friend.   To ensure that these seniors dogs are relatively healthy, all dogs over the age of 8 will be fully vaccinated as well has a complete blood panel performed prior to adoption.  If there are any problems, we will either address them or if long term, advise you of the condition.

 Senior dogs end up in shelters for a variety of reasons, sometimes because of neglect or abandonment, sometimes because their owners simply cannot care for them.  The health of the older dogs is at high risk in a shelter environment, and as a result, they may be less adoptable than the younger dogs (or perceived as such by the public).  Some success has been achieved by organizations that focus on the needs of senior dogs and help match them with people that can appreciate and benefit from their affection and loyalty.  However, this success requires funding.  There is a great need for programs and organizations that help deal with the health needs of senior dogs, and get them out of the shelter environment as quickly as possible.  - The Grey Muzzle Organization.

We really think these older dogs make a huge contribution to the family.  Puppies are fun but an enormous amount of work.  One of our adopters who has had her senior since it was a puppy and subsequently adopted another senior from us had this to say:

“Old Dogs are the Best Dogs”

I am the proud owner of three loveable Weimaraners: Tucker – 10, Kaiser – 7 ½ and Bronte – 7. Kaiser came into my life when he was five months old and Bronte when she was nine weeks old. I was single and had time on my hands to properly train and exercise two very (VERY) energetic Weimaraner puppies. That translated to getting up at six am every day, running them for at least an hour – rain, snow, sleet or shine – and then repeating two more times during the day. I enjoy being outside and hiked often – so they were a perfect fit for me. I loved my time with them as puppies.

Now, I am a working Mom of a very (VERY) energetic three-year old boy (my “human kid”), the dogs (my “furry kids”) and a wife (to my “oldest kid”). When the topic of getting another Weimaraner came up last Fall, I knew I could not give a puppy – or even a young Weim – the time and attention needed. Yet I was first, and always will be, an animal lover so the thought of having another dog was a welcome idea. Just not a younger one.

Introduce: Tucker.

I was looking on the Tri-State Weimaraner Rescue’s site. I inquired about one Weimaraner, who had already been adopted, and was sent a picture of Tucker and was told he and his brother both needed to find a new home in less than two weeks.

I’ll be honest, when I read Tucker was 9 years old, I was hesitant. My initial thoughts strayed to high vet bills, specialized care for a “senior”, the phrase “an old dog can’t learn new tricks” – and what problems I would be inheriting. All while wondered how a senior dog would fit into a house with two “younger” dogs – and a young child who was used to be very hands-on with our current dogs. Images of a “cranky old man-dog” went through my mind. I agreed to foster Tucker – but really needed to think about adoption. I just wasn’t sure he could keep up with us…or fit into our lifestyle.

I could not have been more wrong. From the start, Tucker got along well with Kaiser and Bronte – and fell in love with my son. Tucker’s transition into our family was no different than I would expect from any other dogs we’d adopt. How did Tucker live up to my concerns?

How would and older dog transition to a household with a young, energetic child?

Answer: Tucker had previous exposure to a young boy and is great with my son. As a senior, he is calmer than a younger Weim, and allows my son to walk him, lie on him, take bones / toys from him, put food into his bowl, take it out – and listens to his commands. Tucker has made it his “job” to put my son to bed every night…and wake him every morning.

What about the increased vet and care costs of a senior dog?

Answer: What increased costs? Quite frankly, his care is less than Kaiser and Bronte as puppies.

Will he prove the old adage: An old dog won’t learn new tricks?

Answer: Tucker is very well behaved – in some aspects, better than Kaiser and Bronte! There are things he is not allowed to do in our home, that I suspect he was allowed to do in his prior home, but he is very attentive and trained easily.In contrast: when Kaiser and Bronte were younger, I had to fully exercise them before they could focus enough on training.

How would an older male dog interact with Kaiser, who sees himself as the alpha / the protector?

Answer: Tucker lived with a male dog in his previous house. He is laid back and, quite frankly, he and Kaiser are now “partners in crime” (in a good way!).Tucker has calmed Kaiser down.

Could an older dog keep up with us? Go on long walks / hikes? Run with me? Enjoy doggy daycare with Kaiser and Bronte?

Answer: There is no slowing down Tucker. If you saw the three of them playing together, you would have a hard time picking out the “old man” as we now affectionately call him.

This story has a very happy ending. When it came time to discuss if we would adopt Tucker, the family unanimously voted “yes”! Tucker is a great addition to our family: he is very affectionate and loves spending time with every member of our family. I try to think back to his transition time…and I don’t think it was more than two weeks before it seemed like he had been with us forever.

For more information on caring for a senior dog, please visit:  Grey Muzzle Organization