Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm just sayin'... Adopt a Dog!

So today is a special day in our household. It's Lucy's adoption anniversary; 6 years ago I took her in and promised to take care of her and love her. I'm looking forward to many more years of canine companionship.

I grew up with dogs. When I finally moved out on my own one of the first things I did was get a dog, Skippy. Skippy was a 70lb lab/collie with a heart the size of Texas. This dog didn't have a mean bone in his body. He actually go beat up by a cat while we were on a walk one day because he refused to defend himself against the little feline demon. I eventually had to insert my leg between the two to get the cat off him. When Skippy passed away I was absolutely heartbroken. I would go home and the whole house was quiet and still. Every once in a while I'd bump his leash that was hanging on the hook and the jingle of his tags would bring tears to my eyes.

I started looking for another dog within a couple weeks. I went to shelters first because I'm a 'mutt' kinda girl. There were a couple potentials but none really stood out and said "take me"! Lucy came into my life quite by accident. She is a little blond chihuahua mix. I've always had medium to big dogs. In fact, I used to make fun of little dogs saying they were just cats who learned to bark. But she showed me that she was much more than a pocket pooch.

She was owed by an acquaintance of my aunt. The woman who owned her should not have even owned a plant let alone a dog! Let's just say Lucy was not getting the care nor the love she deserved. After one particularly bad episode the owner told my aunt she was going to leave Lucy in the woods "to fend for herself". My aunt convinced the women to leave the dog with her and she'd find a good home for her. When the woman brought Lucy to my aunt she brought with her a 50lb bag of adult dog kibble, a rawhide the size of my arm, and various other inappropriate items.

When I picked Lucy up she was timid, shaky, and terrified to play with anything. I remember going to sleep that first night with Lucy tucked under the covers with me. I could feel her trembling all night. As the days went by she started to relax. I could see the fear and anxiety melt away as her muscles relaxed, the big brown eyes softened, and the trembling ceased. Within a few weeks she figured out that she would no longer be abused or neglected. She started enjoying her new toys and loved sitting on my lap.

If you met Lucy today you'd never guess she had such a tumultuous puppyhood. At only 9 months old I was her 4th owner. But she quickly realized that she had found her forever home and I found a dog to step in where Skippy had left off.

There are so many great dogs in local shelters just waiting to be adopted. Unless you are looking for a dog for a specific task (i.e. a working dog) it makes little to no sense to go buy some designer dog. Let's face it, must of us are getting a dog for a pet, not a guard dog, or a bird dog, etc. So if you are looking for a dog, please consider a shelter dog before you fork over hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a designer pooch. I'm just sayin'...

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