As a change of pace, this blog post is a feature about my own experience in adopting a dog from a rescue shelter. I adopted my dog Walter (great name hey?) from Monika’s Rescue, a not for profit organisation that rescues dogs on death row. You can find more info about the shelter in my posts below!
Before I adopted Walter, I went through about a four month planning process. My family tragically lost our beloved border collie Bonnie unexpectedly due to a suspected tick that Vets failed to find. It was a heart breaking time, I had grown up with Bonnie and she is and always will be one of my first childhood memories. I will never forget the awful site of seeing her shaved head to toe and lying on the floor wagging her tail, trying so hard to get up but being unable to move due to the paralysis.
Anyway, it took me over two years to mourn the loss of Bonnie, before I considered adopting another furry friend.
I never considered ‘buying’ a puppy, because I didn’t like how pet stores treated their puppies. No animal should be kept in a glass container. I didn’t know about puppy factories, but I knew that there were sooooo many dogs waiting for loving homes in rescue shelters and this seemed like the obvious choice.
Of course, I sat down several times with my family, discussing the choice to get a dog. We had to consider;
A. That we were all mentally prepared to take on another dog
B. How many hours we are home per day. As I am a full time Uni student and have a part time job, my mum works 4 days a week and my brother is still at school, it was clear we couldn’t adopt a puppy or a dog with high needs because we wouldn’t be home enough to give it the care it needed. We decided that a 2+ year old dog would be suited to our lifestyle
C. That all our fences were up to scratch
D. That we could afford the monetary expenses of a dog
E. That we were willing to make sure the dog got plenty of exercise, walks and socialisation
F. That we had places or knew people who could look after the dog if we went away
G. That we knew a local Vet
H. That we had a water/food bowl, lead, doggy poo bags, bed, toys, treats, food ready to go
These are all the questions anyone considering a dog needs to ask themselves. This took my family a total of four months to consider. There is no rush to adopt a dog. The right one will be waiting for you.
After considering all these things, we went online and saw the dogs that were up for adoption. We selected a few that we liked, and emailed the shelter. They set up a date for us to come and visit and get to know the dogs.
I was initially overwhelmed by the sheer number of dogs that the shelter had. It was so depressing seeing how many poor dogs were homeless. I wanted to take them all home, but of course that wasn’t possible.
We were able to meet and take all the dogs we liked online for a walk and play. Unfortunately, not all of them were quite right for us. One of the workers suggested we take Walter and Pansey, two Foxy X’s for a walk as they were a bit timid but both exceptionally loving. We fell in love with both of them right away. We sat down with Walter and he immediately came into our arms for cuddles and kisses and love. He was a quiet, sweet, loving dog who we later found out had been mistreated by his previous owners who abandoned him. Pansey was also one of our favourites, but unfortunately we couldn’t afford two dogs.
After many tears and debating over taking the both of them, we adopted Walter. He has been apart of the family for five years now and we all love him unconditionally. He’s the family member with the most character, and is so loving to anyone he meets.
I urge anyone thinking about adopting a dog, to consider all the things I mentioned earlier. Once you’re commited, adopting a dog from a rescue shelter will not only change a dogs life, but also change yours for the better in oh so many ways.
Here’s Walter putting on his best smiling face for a family photo! Yes he is wearing a bow tie, it was my 21st party.
(He totally photobombed for the photo, wanting to be the centre of attention)