I took a pledge to adopt a companion animal instead of buying one several years ago especially after reading about Best Friend’s
Campaign “Puppies are Not Products”. For me, saving a life is very important after learning so much about puppy mills, and even about many breeders. Too much is about making big profits, and well, buying a life now doesn’t seem right to me. Thus my search began knowing that I wanted to save a life by adopting. I went to the ASPCA website since their local shelter is near me, but I also found that I could do an extensive search beyond their shelter by putting in my zip code and the distance I would be willing to travel to. Their search engine gives results for all the shelters and rescue groups within the mile radius you give (Here’s their linkhttp://www.aspca.org/Home/Aspca-nyc/adoptable-dogs
I had read almost everyday about the thousands of dogs and cats that are waiting for a forever home, but actually seeing all the faces and descriptions of them for hundreds of pages was unbearable, and my heart hurt. I had put in a 25 mile radius for a female dog 3 and under, which brought up hundreds and hundreds of dogs. Puppies, mixed breeds, purebreds, and to my dismay, it appeared that the majority were pitbulls and pitty mixes.I started to think about adopting a pitbull mix, but knowing a strong high energy dog would be hard for me to give the optimal exercise and care, which would not be fair to him or her, so I decided upon a poodle or poodle mix. A small dog such as a poodle would be a more appropriate and mutual match for my lifestyle and abilities. Since my Charlie and Teddy were poodles I am familiar with the breed, and have come to love their mischievous, clever ways. I read that many “experts” don’t recommend bringing home another furry companion too soon, nor bringing home the same breed, but I think this is something very personal, so I decided to start my search and become more familiar with the adoption process figuring I’d take my time to find my new best friend. Sometimes we can’t pick an exact right time, but I did know that I wanted to care for and share my home and heart with another doggie in the future, so my search began. I think that also in beginning my search, I was trying to forget my pain from saying goodbye to Teddy, but as I’ve told so many people who love their companion animals, another one needs and is waiting for that love.I learned that there are not only adult dogs, but also many puppies waiting for homes available from rescue groups. There are purebred rescue groups as well, and thus, Sophie at the age of 2 came home with me and with my commitment to her a forever home. I think once again that in making this commitment, I would no longer be an owner, but now I would be a guardian. I thought about and knew that bringing home an adult dog is different than bringing home a puppy. I admit that part of me was a bit scared; can I love another dog so soon after losing Teddy?
I have a saying, or shall I say a tool from my Junefit weight loss program coined, “Make it a Trade-off” because I believe most things in life involve trade-offs. And so, I thought that this included bringing home an adopted adult dog versus a puppy. Some things I expected, and well some I didn’t! Now, of course the trade-offs depend upon the dog we bring home, his or her background, experience, health etc. I had my own preconceived ideas of what to expect, would I need to do, and what I would not need to do for us to live happily ever after. So, taking a deep breath having never adopted a dog before, Sophie came home with me the day before Christmas. I Hope you’ll follow me and Sophie and our homecoming story as we’ve come a very long way in a brief time; and my journey further into the world of animal passion, welfare and animal adoption!
Next week: Sophie’s transformation.