Is it okay to even have a pet as you age?

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vanbrat

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My mom is in her 80's and is already talking about their next dog.... The problem is they are in bad shape and don't do a good job taking care of the old guy they have now. They mostly live in their RV, but it is parked in my sons yard. He takes care of their dog when they go to doc. appointments and such. He makes sure they have remembered to get dog food for him etc. His wife takes him to get his nails clipped and she makes sure he has what ever else he needs as she does for her own dogs

When here, about 1/3 of the time, we take care to take him out and his food is delt with and we clean up when they forget to let him out. We watch out for owls etc. at night and we chase after him when he wanders off.

While I love the companionship he gives and want them to always have a dog around, we are already aware that our own ability to take on another dog is about over. My son and his wife are at about the same place. They also have 2 senior dogs and are going to take a brake from animal care and turn to baby care. At least for a few years. I can't imagine them going to long with out a dog and they both want their kids, when and if, to be raised with dogs.

The questions you ask about should, could, would, can only be answered by you. And for the first time in 50 yrs I am feeling the same thing. I can't imagine life dogless, but hubby and I are wanting to travel and not just in the van which totally needs a doggy. But when we fly somewhere it is much more complicated. And I only want to do right by my dogs.

Maybe when the time comes we will feel differently. I tried for a few months and that was as long as I could take being dogless.
 

NctryBen

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I think I’m on my fourth never going to have a dog again dog. Haha! I do ok for about a year and bam... either my kids bring me a pup or someone will toss a posting of one in my face. I’m kind of a sucker that way... But I’m a one dog person. I mean, everyone has a dog. So when you get together you have a potential of a good number of dogs. The one I have currently was a rescue that would be dead had I not taken her in. She was that close! I think the funniest thing is how she reacts to different people and how she remembers everybody... some like her, some don’t... I try to be respectful with her. Disperse camping makes it easier to give her space. I almost always can get away from people and take her for walks. Should we have pets? Absolutely! If your so wired that is... but only if you can take care of it properly. Many rescue situations can let you try one out.... see if your compatible. Should something happen to me? I just try to make it so she’d have a chance. My biggest worry with my current one is she’d probably protect my body to where they’d have to put her down to get to me...
 

RoamerRV428

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one can also do an 'old dog' rescue that has limited time on this planet and one which is probably you will outlive but ya take on maybe vet bills and more but the 'ones on the way out' are left behind all the time cause no one wants them, kinda like us humans sometimes.

everyone thinks about 'what suits' them but in the end in a fair way, no one really cares 'about what dog' they can rescue and save and give a shorter term great life.

always about us and never about them in truth.
 

vanbrat

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one can also do an 'old dog' rescue that has limited time on this planet and one which is probably you will outlive but ya take on maybe vet bills and more but the 'ones on the way out' are left behind all the time cause no one wants them, kinda like us humans sometimes.

everyone thinks about 'what suits' them but in the end in a fair way, no one really cares 'about what dog' they can rescue and save and give a shorter term great life.

always about us and never about them in truth.
I have thought of that and it is a good thought Just not sure Mom can do it and son doesn't need to do it and when I am not around like now ????????
 

RoamerRV428

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I have thought of that and it is a good thought Just not sure Mom can do it and son doesn't need to do it and when I am not around like now ????????
it must fit one's lifestyle to give an older pet a great shorter life but if it truly does not work into the dynamics of the family, sure...don't do it.

but that can and are able....maybe :)
 

keebler

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im 79 in 2 days ..4 years ago i had a massive heart attack. out at B.O.L. now with stints& a pacemaker, had to move 100 miles closer to town near Hospital, i needed some companionship, so i called the county Rescue Found a homeless, all torn up Kitty,they were going to put her down that Day, she's almost blind & deaf like i am. we needed each other. she;s not real loving but sleeps at my feet. This gives me someone to care about. makes my life worth sticking around. Pets definitely help,
keebler
 

Dingfelder

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one can also do an 'old dog' rescue that has limited time on this planet and one which is probably you will outlive but ya take on maybe vet bills and more but the 'ones on the way out' are left behind all the time cause no one wants them, kinda like us humans sometimes.

everyone thinks about 'what suits' them but in the end in a fair way, no one really cares 'about what dog' they can rescue and save and give a shorter term great life.

always about us and never about them in truth.
Oh hell no, not for me. That's what this thread was about. The uncertainty about where you can draw the line when you don't know whether you're going to live for two days or two decades. Which becomes a surprisingly fair question once you hit, say, your 60's.
 

tripper

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Adopt a dog, there are plenty of dogs that need a human to love them, lots out there that were loved by their previous human that died. They need your love just like you need theirs. It had been my experience that if you pass unexpectedly someone will take over loving your pet too.
 

RoamerRV428

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Oh hell no, not for me. That's what this thread was about. The uncertainty about where you can draw the line when you don't know whether you're going to live for two days or two decades. Which becomes a surprisingly fair question once you hit, say, your 60's.
if thinking like that and if it is your way, then cool, but one shouldn't even buy a head of lettuce at this point. If this is your thinking truly, don't do anything with your life at all, why bother? I mean what other answer can one give when you are being addressed with thinking like this? Wishing you longer than 2 days in your future :) :) unless big med issues in one's life, 60 is freakin' young ;)
 

MortimerEbinesr

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In the '60's when I was 18, they bet I wouldn't make it to 21. After 21 they bet I wouldn't make it to 30 because of my life choices with drugs & alcohol. I've been shot in the leg, stabbed in the back, heart attack at 48, bladder surgery at 50, (no cancer) but clean & sober over 20 years. If I didn't have Sissy, a terrier mix. to take care of, to walk 5 miles a day. I'd be a lot sorrier person. She actually takes care of me, she's my companion, best friend, & entertainer. I'm '69 now & know I could go anytime, so could she, She's 14 now. Not a pup, but she thinks she is. Strangers are just friends she hasn't met yet. It's a personal choice, I chose to have a relationship with my dog.
 

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CoyoteG

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In the '60's when I was 18, they bet I wouldn't make it to 21. After 21 they bet I wouldn't make it to 30 because of my life choices with drugs & alcohol. I've been shot in the leg, stabbed in the back, heart attack at 48, bladder surgery at 50, (no cancer) but clean & sober over 20 years. If I didn't have Sissy, a terrier mix. to take care of, to walk 5 miles a day. I'd be a lot sorrier person. She actually takes care of me, she's my companion, best friend, & entertainer. I'm '69 now & know I could go anytime, so could she, She's 14 now. Not a pup, but she thinks she is. Strangers are just friends she hasn't met yet. It's a personal choice, I chose to have a relationship with my dog.
You are blessed.
 

D'L

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I absolutely cannot imagine living without a dog. I will always have a dog, preferably two, no matter what age I am. I always have solid plans (or, as solid as I can make them) for what happens to my animals should I die. You don't have to be old to die, after all. Everyone should have a plan for what becomes of their pets if they die.

I have figured that if I get old enough to be concerned about dying of old age, I might just take in foster dogs because that's something I have done for years and been good at. That way, I always have a dog but it is always temporary. Now, this wouldn't work for someone on the road all the time, of course.

The other possibility I have considered is just to adopt very old dog(s). Any elderly dog who doesn't have a home deserves to have someone love them for the last year or months of their life. I could offer that.
 

CoyoteG

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I absolutely cannot imagine living without a dog. I will always have a dog, preferably two, no matter what age I am. I always have solid plans (or, as solid as I can make them) for what happens to my animals should I die. You don't have to be old to die, after all. Everyone should have a plan for what becomes of their pets if they die.

I have figured that if I get old enough to be concerned about dying of old age, I might just take in foster dogs because that's something I have done for years and been good at. That way, I always have a dog but it is always temporary. Now, this wouldn't work for someone on the road all the time, of course.

The other possibility I have considered is just to adopt very old dog(s). Any elderly dog who doesn't have a home deserves to have someone love them for the last year or months of their life. I could offer that.
Well thought out and poetic. Thank you.
 

Dingfelder

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if thinking like that and if it is your way, then cool, but one shouldn't even buy a head of lettuce at this point. If this is your thinking truly, don't do anything with your life at all, why bother? I mean what other answer can one give when you are being addressed with thinking like this? Wishing you longer than 2 days in your future :) :) unless big med issues in one's life, 60 is freakin' young ;)
Plenty of other answers, including that a life is a lot more than head of lettuce to me. Isn't it to you?

I'm over 60 and taking a course to increase my certifications and better my job level in a field I've been in over a year. I am not living for death, nor afraid of it, for that matter. I am looking forward to a future and working hard for it. But I don't want to be in denial about anything, as that would be cheating myself as well as any pet. Because my honest consciousness is worth something. I'm not in the business of fooling myself or pretending things are anything than what they are. If I was, I would look at my bank account and be ecstatic.

I am asking a responsible set of questions and seeking responsible answers. I know there are some people who give no heed to the future, as well as those who give no heed to those around them, from co-workers to employees to employers to friends and even to family and even their own children. I'm not built that way, so I ask what I feel are honest questions. And ones which I feel are of consequence.

Other people are built differently, and that's fine. But because I think of the future, both positive and negative, doesn't mean that just because I include some negative possibilities I am in a doom spiral or crazily pessimistic or whatever. Want some crazy pessimism from me? We all die. There, I said it.

A lot of us leave no wills. Oof.

These and similar are uncomfortable truths, but that doesn't make them any less worthy to confront.

Looking realistically at the future isn't being a spoilsport or dropping a turd in the punchbowl. These are real things involving real people. I work in a nursing home. I am surrounded by older people in my neighborhood who have lost spouses. I see death and disability routinely. If it made me nuts I couldn't do it for a living. But it does square my shoulders and make me look honestly at what is ahead and what is here and now.

In the West, particularly, there seems to be a tradition of fear of death and aging. I fear neither. I just want discussion of it to be possible to bring to the table. So. I made a post.

Which is not exactly anybody's doom. I just wanted to open discussion and get some feedback. And share some feelings and see if anyone else related to them and had taken those feelings to an interesting place, a smart one, an experienced one, whatever they had. Fair enough?
 
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