It takes a special person to adopt a senior dog, and LifeLine Animal Project Volunteer Mari Fridenmaker is one of those wonderful people.
About a year ago, Mari learned about LifeLine’s Dog for a Day program. Mari and her husband, Steve, love animals and wanted to be around them, but they just didn’t think they were ready to adopt or foster a dog. So when Mari learned about LifeLine’s Dog for a Day program, she thought it was the perfect alternative, and she signed up to volunteer.
Red is an 11-year-old pit bull mix, who had lived on a chain before coming to LifeLine several years’ ago and being fostered by a LifeLine employee. Mari and Red took to each other immediately, and before Mari left the shelter with Red, she learned that he needed a new foster home, and she decided to keep an open mind about it.
As Mari and Steve spent the day with Red, they were both surprised at how sweet, mellow and well-behaved he was. They enjoyed their time with him so much, that they agreed to consider fostering him. And one month later, Red became their foster boy. The couple fostered Red for eight months, and he quickly became part of their family. After eight months, they made it official and adopted Red because, in Marti’s words, “we love him so much we couldn’t imagine our lives without him.”
Red fell right into an easy routine with his new parents and added a dose of cuteness to their lives. “He knows when it is time to eat, he knows what to do when he goes outside, and he really seems to sense how much we love him,” says Mari. “And when I take him outside, he is super cute as he nose dives in the grass and rolls around on his back. All the neighbors in our condominium community love him too!”
Mari says that seniors make amazing pets, and if you’re thinking about adopting a dog, you should consider a senior for several reasons. ‘First, they don't need as much exercise, and since Steve and I are very active on our own, it’s nice to have a dog to come and relax with. Next, they seem to fall easily into a routine, which is great for us, because we live a fairly routine life. And finally, they do well in a calm environment which works perfect for our mellow household,” she says.
What advice would Mari give anyone thinking of adopting an older dog? “Give it a try! Not only will you make a difference in the final years of a dog's life, but you will notice a positive difference in your own life!”