Margaret White is an 83-year-old woman living in an unassisted senior’s home which she shares with her 10-year-old schnoodle, Nico. Margaret has a daughter and son-in-law who live in California. Much to Margaret’s disappointment, her daughter and son-in-law decided not to have children. Therefore, the only other living family Margaret has is her niece Caroline who lives three hours away.
Over the last several months Margaret has noticed that her health and strength are deteriorating. Though she is concerned about her own well-being, she also worries deeply about Nico’s welfare should her health continue to deteriorate. In addition, Nico is getting on in years. Being a senior dog and putting Nico into a shelter is not even a consideration for Margaret, she plans on doing whatever needs to be done to re-home him. For the last 10 years, Nico has been her best friend, always present to comfort her on the many lonely nights and make her laugh when all she wanted to do was cry. Whenever she would return home from shopping or visiting with a friend, it was always Nico who greeted her at the front door with a wagging tail. He truly has been her best friend and confidant. Should he outlive her, he deserved a new loving home to go too. She was his voice and she planned to use it.
After some thought, Margaret reached out to her daughter and son-in-law voicing her concern; “If I am no longer able to take care of Nico due to my poor health or should he outlive me, will you be willing to take him in.” Her daughter explained that having a dog would not fit into their lifestyle. Margaret then reached out to her niece, the only other family member. Aware that her niece is an animal lover and advocate, she was hopeful that Caroline would be open to taking Nico. Even though her niece already had two cats and a dog, she agreed that she would absolutely take Nico into her home. A great wave of relief swept over Margaret. Her best friend would have a loving home to go to. Margaret advised her niece that she would have her lawyer modify her Will with an appendage stating that Nico will go live with her in the event of critical illness and/or death. Though that was difficult for her niece to hear, but she fully agreed.
November is Senior Dog Month. Like Margaret, many senior citizens have a senior dog or cat which has become their best friend and confidant. As a pet-parent, their hope is to share their pet’s last days with them, however, life sometimes throws a curve ball such as having to move into a long-term care or seniors retirement home, serious illness or death. Therefore, it is extremely important that arrangements are put into place If not done, sadly the senior pet will be placed into a shelter or even worse, euthanized.
For many senior citizens their pet is their only connection to the outside world and to a daily hug or cuddle. If you are a senior or you know a senior who could use your help, I encourage you to make the necessary arrangements for the pet’s future well-being. Doing so will enable a senior pet to live out their senior years in the security they so deserve and bring comfort to the pet parent in knowing no matter what the future brings their loved one will be properly cared for.
The story above is a work of fiction. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, places, events and incidents in the story are either the product of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.