My family adopted Newman at age 13 in 2014. I then fostered and adopted Tommy in July 2017. When you foster or adopt a senior pet, you are committing to quality over quantity. Here are 10 ways to make the most out of whatever time you get.
1. Make them a part of your daily tasks. Drag a bed into the kitchen while you’re eating dinner. Take them on your morning Starbucks run. Leave the door to the bathroom open for goodness sake. Don’t regret the time you spent without them later on.
2. Plan an adventure. Not hiking the Appalachian trail. Find a local park or beach. Even if it’s a stroll around the neighborhood, go out and do something together. Make that memory.
Pro tip: invest in a dog stroller or wagon.
3. Go big with birthdays. Heck, even half birthdays. Throw a party. Bake a cake. Have someone with more artistic and culinary talent bake a cake. You probably missed at least a decade of them already.
4. Take photos of everything they do. Sleeping, playing, waking up with crazy nap hair, even standing in front of you with a booger bubble hanging out of their nose. You’ll need those photos to look back on later and remember even the tiniest of details.
5. Snuggle more. You do it already but do it more. Bring your laptop in bed so they can cuddle up while you work. Lay in bed an extra minute after your alarm goes off. Every second counts.
6. Smile at their quirks. Pooped an inch away from the pee pad? Great effort! Decided they will only eat if hand fed? New bonding activity. Wiped their dirty face all over your new shirt? Adorable.
7. Memorialize your senior pet. Attend a paint your pet event. Put their photo on a canvas or a coffee mug. Grab some modeling clay and make a paw print impression. Go big and give up some skin real estate for a tattoo.
8. Get matching outfits. Just another way to overload the rest of the world with cuteness. Matching outfits are fun, and you’ll definitely win the next ugly sweater party.
9. Book a professional photo shoot. Trust me, it’s worth every penny. A single snapshot that captures the love between you and your senior pet is something you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
10. Share your story. Inspire someone else to experience the joy you feel. Consistently remind them that it doesn’t just change the life of that senior pet – it also completes yours. Almost 200 senior cats and dogs and counting have been rescued since 2017 in honor of Newman through Newman Nation: Senior Pets United. I never imagined that adopting a senior pet would leave a legacy, but it did. Now go create yours.