These 5 adorable photos show how old dogs bring magic into their owners' lives.

So you've been thinking about expanding your family for a while. It's finally time ... to get a dog.

If you're like a lot of people, you might start your search with puppies. I mean, who can resist those adorable puppy-dog eyes? I'm a bunny person, and even I can't resist some pup pics (shhhhhh, don't tell my pet rabbit).


Sorry, Simba.

But one woman wants us to think twice before going the puppy route. And she's got some dang convincing (and heart-meltingly sweet) reasons.

Meet Laura T. Coffey. She's firmly on #TeamOldDog, and she wants you to be, too.

Today.com writer, editor, and producer Laura T. Coffey with her senior dogs, Manny (left) and Frida. Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

As a longtime member of the Today.com team, she's seen hundreds of stories cross her desk. But one story she wrote in 2013 — about overlooked pets in animal shelters — changed her life forever.

Sure, puppies might be cute, but so are these older (and wiser) senior dogs. They're also usually the calmest and easiest to handle. Think about it: They're already house trained! And since they have already been around the block, they know how to settle in and become a part of the family. And when you bring them home, they'll be so thankful and be instantly, fiercely loyal to you until the very end.

So Coffey teamed up with photographer Lori Fusaro, and they traveled the country collecting the amazing stories of owners who adopted old dogs in hopes of inspiring more folks to join #TeamOldDog. The end result is the beautiful book, "My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts." SO many great stories in there, folks!

Here are five outright heart-melting stories that'll make you want to go adopt a senior dog. Like, right now:

1. Chaney, a retired military dog, helps his veteran cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

2. Duval the pit bull is a certified therapy dog for elementary-school children.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

3. This brilliant cocker spaniel named Einstein immediately stole George Clooney's heart.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

4. Fiona entered a shelter unable to walk ... until she found an owner who showered her with love and was able to walk again.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

5. Maddie the adorable shih tzu helped her owner overcome depression and anxiety after her husband's death.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

So much cute! So much wise!

And these senior dogs need us more than ever. Right now, they're one of the highest risk population in shelters due to the complications that come from age.

These sweet dogs are often left behind because people can't afford their end-of-life care; owners move into nursing facilities that don't allow pets, or they go through major life-changing events like military deployment or home foreclosure.

Going from a comfy home life to a kennel can be particularly stressful for a senior pet. And that's why Coffey and Fusaro made this book.

They're spreading the good news about senior dogs because these dogs have so much love to give.

Some folks might be hesitant to adopt a senior dog. It does come with its special set of challenges (but that's the case no matter what the age of a new family member!). It might be scary to open your heart to someone in their last years, but people they talked to who took the chance say it's worth it.

In short: Old dogs are ridiculously underrated. Time to join #TeamOldDog!

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular