Woman adopts 17-year-old dog and says people should ‘not give up on the old’

A 96-year-old woman who adopted a 17-year-old dog is encouraging other people to consider rehoming older animals.

Dog lover Marjory was devastated after losing her dog just before lockdown last year.

She decided to browse the Dogs Trust Darlington website as her house felt empty without a four-legged companion.

When she found Jack, a Jack Russell Terrier, she decided to adopt him and they clicked straight away.

The woman, from Durham, said: “I’ve had dogs most of my life. Jack makes me so happy and seeing him happy is fantastic.

“When I found out how old Jack was it made me, even more, intent on giving him a home because I couldn’t bear the idea of him spending the rest of his life living in kennels.

“He is a very calm dog and likes to take life at his own pace, so this suits me very well.”

Marjory says she loves going for walks with Jack as he is calm and always stays by her side.

She said: “I would encourage anyone thinking of adopting a dog to consider an older dog.

“They are so full of character and are more likely to adjust in a new home if, like Jack, they have spent the majority of their life as part of a family.”

Now Dogs Trust is asking people to remember that when it comes to giving a rescue dog a second chance, older dogs need new homes too and have a lot to offer.

Sue Embleton, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Darlington says: “In the last year so many people have wanted to welcome a puppy into their family, but just like Jack has proven, older dogs make fantastic companions too.

“Owners like Marjory always tell us that the feeling you get from seeing them safe, warm, happy and enjoying an afternoon snooze snuggled up on the sofa, is something that can’t be beaten.

“Currently around 20% of the dogs here at Dogs Trust Darlington that are ready to find their forever homes are over eight and we would love to find them their perfect families.

“Older dogs are often calmer and less energetic so although they may still be playful and enjoy a stroll in the park, hiking up hills may be a thing of the past for them, which suits some owners, young and not so young.

“Also with an older dog, what you see is what you get both in terms of personality and size and although you can certainly teach an older dog new tricks, they usually know the training basics and have experienced many things in their lives, so as long as they have had positive experiences, they will take things in their stride.

“Helping an older dog enjoy their autumnal years and giving them the chance to live their best life is incredibly rewarding.”