by: Valerie Lee Veltre
Three time National award winning author of Moo Kitty Finds a Home
In most countries, society reveres and cherishes its elders. Here in America, elderly means you are no longer relevant.
Popular culture loves youth and all things shiny and new. Being young, or at least the illusion of youth is associated with being attractive, healthy, fun…somehow superior. Old equals undesirable, weak, broken…even disabled.
As a whole, we are still a throw away society. Your knick-knack lose its luster? Throw it out. There is something better out there—unless, of course, it’s worth a mint on the Antiques Roadshow. You can sell it to buy more stuff. This attitude permeates how we value our environment, our families, and even our pets.
What happens when an elderly animal no longer has a home? More than likely she will end up in a shelter. Why? She might be greying, arthritic, blind or toothless. She might be a little threadbare. She probably needs some TLC. She won’t be as pretty as the kitten two cubbies over.
She’s old, so why would you want her? You should want her because she is old. She has spent her life being the companion of someone who loved her. She gave happiness, comfort, joy and love. She had an important job. She was better at it than a lot of humans. She was loyal and noble and honest. And because of that she is relevant.
The elderly animal has some years left, and still wants that job. She will teach you that with the passing of time, age does indeed come, but so do enrichment and value and usefulness. She deserves that recognition from you. All of our elders do, regardless of how many legs they may have.
Next time you find yourself looking into the eyes of a real live “velveteen rabbit” in need of a home, consider bringing her home with you.