It's not as popular to adopt older dogs who will be with you for a shorter time and may have fallen on some hard times in the past.
However, elderly dogs are among Springfield, Va., couple Brenda and Phil Johnson's favorites to adopt.
"I am a sucker for old, used-up dogs who have fallen on hard times. So is Phil, my husband. They are expensive, and they are not with you as long as a puppy you might adopt, but they bring their history and wisdom to your home," Brenda Johnson told Huffington Post. "I could see that Diamond [her elderly, adopted pit bull] needed a soft place to land."
When Brenda met Diamond, she was thin, "very, very tired and confused, but hanging in there with good manners" while "wearing a very silly pink coat decorated with red hearts."
This may be a turn off for some pet adopters, but it led the pup straight to Brenda's heart.
Brenda and Phil Johnson were casually looking for a new dog at a local adoption fair after recently losing one they took in at 12 years old.
"They [the Johnsons] are these wonderful people who have adopted three older pit bull type dogs," Barbara Hutcherson, a volunteer at Northern Virginia's Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, told Huff Post. "The first one ... died of liver failure just months later. And instead of being crushed, they came back and adopted a pair of older dogs who still live with them. They are just so kind and patient and willing to accept the dogs who need them in whatever state they arrive."
Older dogs can bring an array of great things to a household. They usually have had some training - both in obedience and house manners; have learned what "no" means and how to leave the furniture, carpets, shoes, and other "chewables" alone; are socialized; appreciate love and attention.