Young At Heart Setter Stories
What a response we had to last month's newsletter article about adopting a senior setter. We heard from several adopters about the special joys of bringing home a Young At Heart Setter. These adopters love their younger dogs, but they all say there is something special about adopting an older dog. The family who adopted Hannah wrote "We adopted Hannah when she was eight years old. At 13, she remains gorgeous, energetic, sassy, playful, and absolutely darling. We don't know the story of why her original owner gave her up, but selfishly confess that we're glad he did as she has been such a gift in our lives. We would definitely adopt a mature Setter again and urge others to do the same."
Jennifer, who adopted ACES Maybelline, reminisced about the 8 years they had together – this "old setter who so many people had passed up." She was in the prime of her life – house-trained, trained to basic commands, moderate setter energy (which means she played hard outside and was nice and calm inside). Maybelline liked to visit the neighbor's house and would take a nap in their kitchen after playing with their dogs. Maybelline's mom says, "Don't overlook the older dogs!! You may just pass up the best dog in the neighborhood!"
ACES Cooper was an "easy" fit into his family when he was 7 or 8 years old. He moved in house-trained, not destructive, and just plain eager to please ... the "best canine companion anyone could ever ask for." Cooper was very appreciative of everything, but he still loved being a bird dog. He spent many hours in the yard pointing squirrels and birds; when it was cold weather you could see him standing in the dog door with just his head out, still pointing critters! As Cooper aged, he just became more lovable. Even his last week included time outside, trotting instead of running, but tail held high and doing all the things he loved. Cooper's family says, "The loss of dear Cooper has been so difficult for us. I don't want to discourage someone from adopting the older dogs because of the heartache of losing them. We will adopt another old setter again - when the tears stop and the broken hearts heal. In the meantime, we have ACES Jackson to love and cuddle and laugh with - he has a GREAT doggy sense of humor!"
ACES Melody's family shared "We adopted Mel (aka Melba Toast) almost 3 years ago as a 5 year old and she has been such a joy. It took her a while to feel at home, but now she has a younger fur brother with whom she loves to play. He likes to take her for walks on her leash; they both love to go camping. She is one of the biggest setters that we have seen, but we love her just the same. She is our first adoption and we will continue to adopt."
Another adopter wrote about Quinn, brother to ACES Bandit. Quinn, adopted at age 9, proved to be a gentle soul. Quinn is a cuddle-monster on the couch, lets you know when he has something to say, especially that he wants to get on the couch or go for a ride in the car. Quinn's family says, "I would urge all rescuing candidates to consider an older English Setter because they have settled down a lot from their life of excitement and fun. They do want to be loved and give back love and appreciation in ways that almost no other breed does! When I get the compliments on their beauty, I always think to myself that I am the lucky one to be able to make their lives better for the both of us. I appreciate the opportunity to take other people's experiences and turn them into success stories for the dogs and my family. After all, they are forever part of the family and our identities. I would never hesitate to get another English Setter, especially one that needs a new start in life."
Another adopter wrote about adopting her 6-year old English Setter, Titus. Titus loves agility class! He picked it up in a snap and goes through the courses beautifully, he gets so excited when we pull into our trainer's facility! He will be continuing classes in a couple of weeks and start senior agility competition in June. Also, over the winter, he successfully completed his CGC certification. Titus' mom Tammy says, "So, never say you can't teach an old dog new tricks! Titus loves learning new things, playing with toys, chasing birds out of the yard, running agility courses (he LOVES the tunnel), and hanging out with his new CGC buddies. He's an exceptional boy! And when the day is done, he curls up on the couch or recliner with me ... I LOVE MY SENIOR BOY!"
As you can see, our adopters have found special joy and love by adopting a senior dog.