I started volunteering at the local animal shelter because I felt like it would be something that Haley would want. I feel like she would want me to share my love with the less fortunate animals that don't have a place to call home.
Tanner is the only dog at the small shelter. The rest of the residence are cats. He's a ten-year-old pit bull that was abandoned last Christmas, no doubt because he was old and the person decided that they wanted a new dog that was a puppy. Tanner has arthritis in his legs and he has a few other issues that he is on medication for.
Every time I've been to the shelter he is so happy to see me. I watch him while he's out of his kennel getting to explore and I think to myself "How can you be so happy when you're stuck here and don't have a family to love you?" It breaks my heart that someone would just dump him out one day because he got old.
I would give anything to have Haley back and her grow old on us. Becoming a pet parent means that you take the responsibility to give that pet the best care and to love them for the period of their life. The time our pets have is nothing compared to the amount of years we are granted as humans. If dogs got to live as long as people then I wouldn't be making such a fuss. The least we can do as humans is give the best life possible.
What is going to happen to Tanner, you say. Chances are that Tanner will wind up living out the rest of his days in the kennel. He'll never experience napping with a human or getting to cuddle at their feet while they watch TV. He won't have anyone come to him after a rough day at work and talk to him about it while giving him belly rubs.
People who dump older animals disgust me. If you can no longer care for the older animal then see if a friend or co-worker would take them, or even a family member. Don't just dump them at the shelter hoping that someone else will come along and take them home. It's not fair to the shelter and it's not fair to the animal. Both are burdened. The shelter receives a pet that will potentially become a lifer, one that never gets to go to a home again and the pet is burdened with anxiety and being scared of the new surroundings.
They didn't ask to be dumped at the shelter because they got old and the person no longer wanted to care for them. I equate this to people dumping their parents at a nursing home when they feel that they are no longer worthy of the time and energy that goes into taking care of them. How could you do this to a pet?! Your pet doesn't ask anything of you but unconditional love. The least you can do is give them that until the day comes for them to cross the Rainbow Bridge.