Silver Muzzle Match Program
While all of our Labs deserve the chance for a better tomorrow, our Silver Muzzled Labs (9 years and older) hold a special place in our hearts. Our goal is to find our golden agers that special home where they can finish their journey in comfort and at peace, knowing they are a cherished member of a loving family.
If a family adopts one of our Silver Muzzled Labs, their original adoption donation will be considered perpetual. After your Silver Muzzled Lab passes on, you may adopt another appropriate Silver Muzzled Lab from us, without an additional fee, following an approved follow-up home evaluation. This will continue as long as you remain an approved adoptive
“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”– Sydney Jeanne Seward
Dogs of advanced age are given up for many of the same reasons as younger dogs, most of which have nothing to do with problems the dog has — moving to a place where dogs are not allowed, foreclosure, serious illness or death of a family member, a change in work schedule, a new baby, allergies, kids going off to college, a change in lifestyle, a prospective spouse doesn’t like dogs, not enough time for the dog, or the dog has simply outlived his usefulness or is too much trouble for his family. The reasons are as varied as the number of dogs that are given up each day.
Perhaps you’re wondering why you should consider adopting a Silver Muzzled Lab from us rather than a puppy or a young dog. Older dogs can be just as warm and cuddly as a puppy, and some of them will even try to curl up in your lap the way a puppy does if you allow them to. But more importantly, they have the advantage of coming with so many of the traits and qualities that puppies can take years to grow into. Because our Silver Muzzled Labs are generally more sedate than younger dogs, they make ideal companions for seniors, who may not have the energy level for a younger dog, and for families with young children, since the dog’s temperament is known and housetraining and obedience don’t have to be undertaken at the same time you are busy changing diapers. Click here to read the top 10 reasons to adopt an older dog. If these reasons aren’t enough, by adopting a Silver Muzzled Lab from us, you may just be making a statement about compassion and the value of life at all ages. Just as a puppy has his whole life ahead of him, so too does an older dog. You can give that older dog the best years of his life while at the same time gaining your new best friend!
One day you turn around, and it’s summer.
Next day you turn around, and it’s fall.
And suddenly, all the springs and winters of a lifetime —
Whatever happened to them all?
The September of My Years – Frank Sinatra
Labrador retrievers have an average life span that is estimated to be between 10 and 14 years. An older Lab may walk a bit slower and spend more time sleeping in the sun or dozing at your feet as you watch a movie, read a book or spend time at your computer. However, many of them remain in good health and still have years of love to share.
“I ain’t as good as I once was.
I got a few years on me now.
But there was a time, back in my prime,
When I could really lay it down.
And if you need some love tonight,
Then I might have just enough…”
“Ain’t as Good as I Once Was” – Toby Keith
We’ve had many successful placements of Silver Muzzle Labs into loving homes, including:
Queen, a 10-year old girl who had a tough life living in the backyard of an unscrupulous breeder who continuously bred her until she was 9 years old. Dave and Ellen, her adoptive parents, said, “The moral of our happy story is if you’re thinking of adopting a senior dog, go for it. It is so rewarding.”
Honey, an 11-year old girl who initially had some problems settling into her new home. However, her family was willing to work with a Brookline volunteer to acclimate Honey into their household. Her adopting family shared this comment with us: “Brookline knows their Labs because after about three weeks, everything fell into place and we are dippy over this dog…. I encourage everyone to give these older dogs a chance.”
Sparky, who came into the rescue as a 9-year old and spent some quality time in a great Brookline foster home until a very nice woman, who was looking for a companion for her older Lab, became interested in Sparky. There has been no looking back since then.
Maddy, who was fortunate to find a loving Mom and Dad to make her a part of their family, even though some people would think she was too old at the age of 9. As her new family can tell you, older dogs don’t need all that “puppy training” because they usually know their manners.
Cheyenne, who at 9 years young had been relegated to her owner’s basement for a few years and then dumped at the pound when the owner decided that he no longer wanted her. Even though she’s a little older, her new Mom & Dad decided to take a chance, adopt her and make her part of their family. Cheyenne has lots of love and affection to give and gets lots of love and affection in return!
Blue, who at 10 years old was adopted by two of our volunteers who unfortunately had only 10 wonderful, but short, months with him. They met Blue at Brookline’s Paws Walk last year. “He put his left paw on my shoulder & quietly whispered in my right ear, “I’m your dog, take me home with you.”
Are you reluctant to adopt a senior dog because you think the vet bills may be too high? Veterinary attention and medication are needed at all ages and may not be any more costly for an older dog than they are for a younger dog. Older dogs have the same basic needs as younger dogs – exercise, good nutrition, loving care and regular vet visits. Brookline requires a two week pre-adoptive period for all adopting families, during which time we require that you obtain a baseline health check by your veterinarian. If you discover that the dog has a health problem or age-related condition, you can then decide, before finalizing the adoption, if you will be able to make the needed financial commitment.
Are you concerned that a senior dog will be too set in his ways? While it is true with an older dog that “what you see is what you get,” that doesn’t mean he can’t learn new things. There is no truth to the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Your senior Lab is calmer and may have more focus than a younger dog. He also will be highly motivated to please you. Any activities you undertake with your senior dog, including training, will be a wonderful way to spend quality time together. Your senior will thrive on the attention and extra time you’ll be spending together.
Are you reluctant to adopt a senior dog because you fear the inevitable time of loss will be too near and too difficult to bear? A senior dog will provide you with unwavering devotion and love, making every single day you spend together special and memorable. Not only will you have gained a faithful companion but also you’ll have the knowledge that you’ve given your special senior a second chance at life. There is nothing like the love of a rescued senior dog for his “second chance” family. With an average life span of 10 to 14 years, we hope that you and your Silver Muzzle Lab will have many special days filled with love and fun. While the loss of a cherished companion is always difficult and painful, you will retain wonderful memories of your companion and will have the knowledge that you gave him the best gift possible – a loving home where he finished his journey in comfort and at peace. Most families who adopt a senior Lab will tell you that they gained far more from their time together than they lost. And after your period of grieving has passed, we hope that you will remember Brookline and make room in your heart for another devoted companion who, in time, will become special in his own way.
There is no death!
The stars go down,
To rise upon some other shore,
And bright in Heaven’s jeweled crown,
They shine for ever more.
– John L. McCreery