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Old 03-04-2010, 10:55 AM
 
9,676 posts, read 15,852,351 times
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We're in our mid 50's, looking at retirement in another 6-8 years. by then our kids should be through school, we will probably sell our house and find something smaller and easier to manage.

We currently have 5 cats, all abused strsys we rescued. My daughter is pushing for a dog. I'm just concerned about the feasibility of caring for a pet in our older years. We certainly aren't too old now, but I don't think its a good idea to adopt a puppy with a life span of 15+ years that would take us through our nursing home years.

Perhaps adopt an older dog? Problem is, my dd really wants a puppy, she says its not her fault we're "too old". wow, that remark really hurt, we just had our family late in life, but I don't think we're too old for a dog!

So, do you consider the age of your pets as you approach retirement?
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:10 AM
 
Location: St. Croix
737 posts, read 2,247,509 times
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If it was meant to be, it would have been done. Do not permit the child(ren) permeate your retirement lifestyle. Do what is right: 1. by you 2. by the dog. And lastly, don't feel any guilt about your decision. My Mother took in a dog that will probably be around longer than she will. She made a special provision in her Will to set aside a certain amount of $ for his care if she should pre-decease him. That is of little consequence for the pet. Please don't do it. For your sake and and the pet's sake.

You're a cat person. Revel in that and give yourself a pat on the back. You've saved enough souls.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:41 AM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,845,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
We're in our mid 50's, looking at retirement in another 6-8 years. by then our kids should be through school, we will probably sell our house and find something smaller and easier to manage.

We currently have 5 cats, all abused strsys we rescued. My daughter is pushing for a dog. I'm just concerned about the feasibility of caring for a pet in our older years. We certainly aren't too old now, but I don't think its a good idea to adopt a puppy with a life span of 15+ years that would take us through our nursing home years.

Perhaps adopt an older dog? Problem is, my dd really wants a puppy, she says its not her fault we're "too old". wow, that remark really hurt, we just had our family late in life, but I don't think we're too old for a dog!

So, do you consider the age of your pets as you approach retirement?
If YOU really wanted a dog wouldn't you have gotten a dog along time ago? If your daughter "is really pushing for a dog" wouldn't it be HER dog?
As such, wouldn't it be HER responsibility to take the dog with her when she left the house? Your dilemma seems to more about personal responsibility than whether or not you are too old.

From my own standpoint, I will share with you that we are nearing retirement, and currently have three Golden retrievers. They enrich our lives now and I anticipate they will continue to do so after retirement. The love they return offsets the inconvenience, cost, work, etc to take care of them. We also have made a commitment to take care of them as we become older and more infirm. We just see their companionship as essential to our quality of life.

PS Some cats are also .
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,340,513 times
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In my opinion, if a son or daughter gets a pet while living at your house, the pet is your pet. I'd bet that when the son/daughter leaves, there is a better than 50% chance the pet stays because of housing, pet alone time, etc. Chances are that if you get a pet now, you'll likely outlive it. Most people live healthier lives and are functional through their 70's and beyond.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,415 posts, read 5,131,103 times
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If you are open to the possibility of a dog you could become involved with your local rescue organization as a foster home. The benefits are many:

1. You are helping to save lives because I've never heard of a group that doesn't need foster homes.

2. You can choose when and how many you'll take. DD might tire of puppies very soon when she realizes that they are a ton of work. A litter of ten young pups who all have worms and therefore very messy poop for several days before the deworming medication clears them all out are just like babies - they go a lot and you have to clean up 4 to 6 times a day if they are very young. Once they reach about 4 months old they are teething and chew EVERYTHING. Let me repeat that - they chew EVERYTHING. Puppy bites hurt.

3. Generally you provide just love, some training and often food. The rescue covers vet bills, meds, etc. You would have to be able to get the critters to the vet and also to adoption events.

4. You can get to try out lots of dogs and you might find one who becomes a family member. Some people say that they couldn't foster because they would want to keep them all. Speaking from experience it just ain't so. Of all the dogs and pups who have lived here for weeks or months only 2 really tempted me to consider adopting. Of course I already had 4 to 6 of my own so that helped inject some sanity to the situation.

5. Being paid in pooch smooches is priceless.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Bayside, NY
823 posts, read 3,373,852 times
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Aw c'mon, mid fifties and you're worrying. In 15 years you will be in your mid sixties so I hope you're not ready for the nursing home yet. Like with human beings there is no way to anticipate how long a pet will live. I have a cat live until 19 and another one die at age 3.

I'm 71, my wife just passed away, and I have 2 dogs (10 & 11) and 4 cats. The dogs are breeds that can live 15 years or more and the oldest of the cats are 7. The problem that I have with owning so many animals is that I am restricted to buying a house whenI move and not a condo.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,949 posts, read 12,176,348 times
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Aren't you a little too young to be so concerned about some of these things? Geez, I just entered a new decade and darn if I am going to worry about pre-deceasing my pet. I love my doggie and when he moves on I will get another. Pets are a wonderful thing as long as you have the type of pets that you love. Enjoy your life!! You probably have another 30 years if not more. Don't age yourself!! And, yes, when the time comes, I will provide for my pet.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:31 PM
 
6,213 posts, read 4,718,283 times
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Hopefully at your age there should be no concern about living long enough to take care of household pets. As I approach retirement, I have another concern. Currently we have 3 cats. One is has a chronic disease and will probably be gone in another year. The other two are middle aged and could easily live for another 5 years. When I retire, I want to travel. Well, I guess that we can somehow travel in an RV with a couple of cats, but it is not something I would want. I would also like to do some foreign travel. It can be difficult and expensive to find and pay for cat sitters.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,884,992 times
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You do have a long way to go before you have to worry about a nursing home, assuming you're in good health now. Actually, having a dog and the cats could keep you at home a lot longer.
Study after study has shown that pet ownership keeps seniors healthy and happy longer. Having something that needs care and attention is a positive life force.
A dog that needs to be walked enforces exercise.
Many retirement living places do allow pets. Here in Knoxville, we have PAWS -- Placing Animals With Seniors -- a county service that provides animals and helps with their care for low income sniors 60+
Just get what you want, not what your daughter wants. If she wants a puppy, she can get one when she moves out on her own. Or you may be interested in fostering puppies with a local rescue which will give you the puppy experience on a temporary basis.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,687 posts, read 5,534,464 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
We're in our mid 50's, looking at retirement in another 6-8 years. by then our kids should be through school, we will probably sell our house and find something smaller and easier to manage.
We're 57 - retired at 55 - thought we would sell our now-too-big house and downsize, but the bursting of the housing bubble and falling assessments locally has meant that our relocation plans have been put on indefinite hold. It's not a problem - I mention it only because even with the best of planning, stuff happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
We currently have 5 cats, all abused strsys we rescued. My daughter is pushing for a dog. I'm just concerned about the feasibility of caring for a pet in our older years. We certainly aren't too old now, but I don't think its a good idea to adopt a puppy with a life span of 15+ years that would take us through our nursing home years.
It wasn't that long ago that we had five cats as well. Without exception, they were all rescue animals ... from our own back yard! We back to woods, and had a growing feral cat community. We did the trap-neuter-release thing with the help of a local rescue group, and a couple of the cats were adopted out, and we ended up with the rest. Sadly, we have only one left.

Personally, with regard to your daughter pushing for a dog ... make a decision on a future pet based on what you want to do, not your daughter. That said ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
Perhaps adopt an older dog? Problem is, my dd really wants a puppy, she says its not her fault we're "too old". wow, that remark really hurt, we just had our family late in life, but I don't think we're too old for a dog!
Our last dog was a German Shepherd we acquired as a puppy. She was a great dog - extremely smart, beautiful, very affectionate with us ... but from Day 1, she was a LOT of work and had some medical problems. After she died (age 9), we decided to wait until after we retired to get another dog.

There was no question about getting another dog. Our cats were fine and great company, but we really wanted a dog. My wife has always been a dog person, and we had three dogs over the last 25 years or so. I had always thought I was a cat person, but Shadow (our GSD) changed my mind.

Last January, we adopted a 5-year-old miniature poodle named Coco, and she has been a joy. Very smart, and easily trained; very affectionate, even with our remaining cat; and at 15 pounds, much easier to handle than a GSD!

We didn't want a puppy - they are cute, but they can also be a lot of work. And we came to realize that we didn't want another big dog, for the very logical reason that we are a bit older now than when we had Shadow. We wanted a dog we could more easily control.

Coco captured our hearts with ease. She's just a great dog. And now one of my favorite activities - and a great way to get some exercise - is taking her for a daily walk to and through a local park.

At this point, I can't imagine ever being without a dog.
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