en·dur·ing// adjective 1.
lasting; permanent 2. patient; long-suffering
When considering what we should name our program for older Cocker Spaniels, we sought to find a word that embodied all of our goals for this often overlooked group. We decided that “enduring” was the perfect fit because these older guys and gals ARE patient and long suffering, often despite years of neglect. Our hope for each of them is a comfortable home, a loving family, and the promise of lasting love.
While it would be far easier for us to focus our efforts exclusively on the young and the beautiful; we are often called upon to take in Cocker Spaniels who have more years of experience to offer. In a breed that can live 15 years or longer, it stands to reason that older Cockers might become homeless, too. Some seniors are abandoned because of health issues that the family can no longer afford. Others find themselves homeless when their longtime caretaker passes away. Older dogs, with reduced vision or hearing, can have a harder time finding their way back home if they are accidentally separated from their family. And sometimes our sweet seniors are abandoned by irresponsible owners who don’t understand the meaning of “lifetime commitment.”
Just like a favorite pair of blue jeans, washed and worn a hundred times, old friends are a thousand times more comfortable than brand new ones! At CSRA, we believe that older age equals more value and we don’t automatically exclude from rescue those dogs that fall outside some arbitrary age cut-off. Those of us who have been lucky enough to share our hearts and homes with senior dogs know that they have turned time to their advantage by perfecting those qualities that make them exceptional companions.
The Need for Enduring Love
Not everyone realizes how incredibly awesome adopting a senior dog friend can be, so it can take us a little longer than average to find loving homes for our older Cocker kids. This places additional strain on our already limited resources as we strive to accommodate the constant stream of dogs coming in from area shelters. At the same time, we don’t want to turn away dogs because we may have to work a little longer or harder to find the perfect match. Our Enduring Love Program allows us to allocate those resources and foster homes that are reserved for seniors so that our other programs can operate more efficiently.
Enduring Love Program Goals
- Rescue senior Cocker spaniels based on available foster homes
- Inform our community about the positive attributes of senior dogs
- Promote and place our healthy seniors with loving, forever families
- Offer a Seniors-for-Seniors Program for individuals 65+ or on fixed-incomes
- Support a Retirement option for those seniors who are awaiting adoption
In 2011, we found permanent, loving homes for 15 dogs over the age of seven; three of whom were over ten years old. CSRA’s Enduring Love Program provides the extra care and attention needed to successfully place senior Cocker spaniels in loving, forever homes. Their time isn’t up yet… There is still plenty of love for them to share!