The Joys of Adopting an Older Kerry

Janet Joers  

If you think a senior Kerry is a doddering old dog that wants only to sleep and be left alone, you haven’t met one. Kerries not only typically maintain their health well into their later years, they also retain their vigor and that sparkle in the eye that, in a younger dog, could only mean trouble! While our old friends are still likely to have devious ideas, they are not at all likely to instigate them. Old Kerries are simply old puppies.

Here are some benefits of owning an older Kerry, but the list could go on and on. 

Manners. You are less likely to be catapulted out of the house at walktime, or when another dog or cat, squirrel, or other critter crosses your path. And guests won’t be mauled in a friendly frenzy whenever they arrive at the door. Less (or no) dog aggression in many older Kerries can mean they would make a wonderful companion to another dog.

Less Work. No housetraining required, and most Kerries know basic obedience and how to behave in the house and yard. Your furniture and garden will appreciate that. And generally, the grooming is far less work than that of a younger dog, as the hair grows slower and the coat is not as dense as it once was.

Easy to please. Ten-mile walks are a thing of the past. Though exercise is still required, sedate walks will do just fine. And on those days when a walk isn’t possible, a tummy rub will feel just as good. Older dogs are perfectly content in small apartments with small yards, and with senior citizens who have limitations of their own.

Quiet. Senior Kerries, particularly if they are a bit hard of hearing, are less likely to bark at all the things the rest of us can’t see anyway.

Tolerant. Older Kerries who have lived with children before are tolerant of their crawling, tumbling, toddling ways. This means an older Kerry can be a wonderful introduction to the world of dogs for children.

Love That Works Both Ways. Love is not a one-way street with an older dog. They have much to give and ask for so little. Tom Fiorelli, the owner of an adopted dog of another breed, said it best, “My Beth is just the sweetest thing. To those who say, ‘Oh I couldn’t take an old dog because it would break my heart when it died,’ I say this: The payoff with love that you get from these dogs more than makes up for the inevitable sadness. It is our pleasure to pamper Beth and to make her very happy for her remaining time. These are great years, few tho’ they may be.”

*No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Reprinted with permission from Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation.

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