Settling In

We LOVE the advice provided by Old Dog Haven-- on how to welcome a senior dog to your home, whether it's an adoption or a fostering arrangement.  The material is quite extensive and well worth reading.    Here are some of the highlights we think are most important:


Dogs are resilient!  No matter how old or how "shut down" a dog may appear at first, every senior dog we have ever known has "opened up" and found new footing and amazing happiness in a new, loving home.  The key ingredients are your patience and love.  Time is a variable factor -- some dogs get right with the program; others may take a while longer.

Observe, relax, enjoy!  Don't put pressure on yourself or the dog. You can go about your regular routine while watching to see how the dog is reacting to it or absorbing it.  The more you observe and relax, the more information you'll garner.  If you're relaxed and not pressuring yourself, the dog will reflect that.  This attitude will enable you both to enjoy the process of the dog's learning how wonderful your new, loving home is, and will enhance the possibilities of the dog's blossoming into a happy, secure, and loving companion.

Take a while to read through the advice from Old Dog Haven.  Your time will be well spent!

Also, see this great information on the LiveLove website.

What about the 3-3-3 rule?  While meant to give some guidelines to help you anticipate the time required for an adopted dog to settle in, it is a formula -- and dogs don't all fit comfortably into a formula.  In an article by Pat Miller, she writes:

"It’s a formula, and dogs are living, thinking, sentient individuals who don’t follow formulas."

It's worth a few minutes to read Pat Miller's article.


More questions about senior dog adoption?  Click here.