When I wake in the morning, the first thing I hear following the alarm is a plaintive whine, a polite request to join us for the last 15 minutes while we snooze. This whine isn’t unexpected, it’s actually a daily routine. Each morning, even before my morning coffee, I start my day with a dog pile – a cozy cuddle with my furry bundles of love. Without these moments, my day would be incomplete.
My dogs hold a special place in my life, they keep me happy, healthy, and grounded. They add to my happiness with their silly antics, sweet affection, and enduring cuteness. They keep me healthy by requiring two to three walks a day, regular play breaks, and cuddles. They keep me grounded because, let’s face it, I am not perfect and neither are they. There are those times when they chase cats, bark incessantly at the mailman, or accidentally mistake a shoe for a toy that remind me we all have lessons to learn.
One other quality, which makes my little fur babies special, is we didn’t all start out together. All of our pups are rescues – two are permanent and the third is a foster – looking for his perfect home. Each of these dogs came to us for a second chance and the decision to adopt them has enriched our lives. In our years together I have learned several important reasons for choosing to adopt a rescue. If you’re considering a new family member – these may be important points to mull over.
There are innumerable rescue shelters and humane organizations, run by some of the most selfless individuals in the world. These jobs and volunteer positions are very challenging and often heartbreaking. By adopting a rescue, you are offering support for those individuals who selflessly face hardship to help animals in need. By adopting a rescue, you are supporting goodness.
Make a Difference
In modern society, it is easy to become disillusioned. There are so many problems to consider, we become overwhelmed. The best way to address this feeling is to choose one problem at a time, and do your part to make a difference. Homeless pets are certainly an issue. In the United States alone, there are so many homeless animals each household would have to take in 7 pets to give every one a home. While this is perhaps unrealistic, you can start by offering a home to one or two of these pets. You’ll make a world of a difference to them, and perhaps encourage others to take the same steps.
People often argue dogs’ only fault is they don’t live long enough. Too soon, we must give up the love of our faithful companions. While this is certainly true, statistics show mutts (multi-breed hybrids) tend to live longer, healthier lives. They are not affected by the impacts of inbreeding, which often plagues full-breed dogs. Mutts are less likely to have hip, eye, back, and kidney problems to name a few. This shouldn’t sway you from rescuing full-breed pets from the shelter, but it is something to consider.
If you are one of those people who like to be one of a kind, this is also a reason to consider adopting a rescue. Your pets’ breed may be unrecognizable, and people will often stop you on the street to ask what kind of dog he/she is. Our rescues are all unique, so we have come up with our own guesses at their parentage. We claim to have a “lab-chihuahua,” a “miniature-dachshund-beagle,” and a “full-dachshund-corgi.” It’s always a conversation starter describing those three hybrids.
I will warn you, rescuing a pet does require selflessness. Many of these animals have been in other homes or difficult situations. It requires patience and lots of love to help them recover from these situations, learn how to behave, and identify what’s expected of them. They are able to learn, however, and will eventually pay in full for all you’ve given them. It’ not going to be easy, just like any relationship there are good days and bad ones. This isn’t meant to make your life simpler, but it will make the world of a difference in theirs. For you it’s the choice of a lifetime and once you connect with a rescued pet, your life will never be the same again.
The final reason for bringing a rescue into your home is gratitude. Your rescue pet, will know when they’ve landed somewhere good, and they will thank you for it every day you are together. While there are ups and downs, the benefits far outweigh the difficulties. Rescuing a pet will enrich your life forever, and you will never be sorry.
Choosing a Pet
Remember there are many rescue pets out there. If dogs aren’t your cup of tea, consider some of the other animals in need of a home – cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, goats, pigs, and even chickens. Whatever animal you choose, give them a chance, make them happy, and I promise they will do the same for you.