Every dog lover is happy to hear a good rescue story but few make the leap to adopt a rescue or “shelter” dog. We live in a day and age where hundreds of breeds have been recognized and breeders exist all over the world. The internet is teeming with puppies waiting for their forever home and it’s easy to pick and choose exactly what breed and color you want. It’s also easy to end up paying thousands of dollars between cost, fees, vaccines, and supplies. If you are considering owning a dog you probably have an idea of what you are looking for and might even have a breed picked out. You might have the supplies ready to go and cash in hand to buy the puppy of your dreams. Perhaps you might also consider fulfilling the dreams of a shelter dog as well as your own… Before you go out and buy your puppy, here is the story of a very special shelter dog named Zoolie.
Zoolie was surrendered with her 3 young puppies and spent several weeks in a shelter kennel while nursing. She was a good mom and nursed all 3 of her pups into happy, healthy bundles of joy that got adopted quickly. Zoolie, however, was left behind because despite being very sweet and gentle she wasn’t used to being caged and barked her little heart out to be let out! As if being abandoned wasn’t enough, at some point she contracted heartworms from a mosquito bite and needed a good family to take her in and give her medicine to get better. Life in a shelter can be depressing by itself, but with everything combined Zoolie was feeling the effects more than most rescue dogs.
Dogs usually live in packs and crave interaction, and unfortunately, most dogs that end up in shelters get very little interactions with other dogs and humans. Anxiety can lead to what most people consider “bad behavior” like excessive barking, excessive chewing, uncontrollable bowels and in the worst of cases aggression. It can be easy to pass up on a perfectly normal, happy pup because their anxiety is getting the best of them. Dogs can suffer from the same mood swings and fears we humans do and it’s important to remember that when adopting a shelter dog. While it may seem like a lot of work, adopting an older dog does have its advantages. Potty training and “puppy energy” can be a lot to deal with when you are raising from a pup, but your new adopted friend might already be potty and crate trained! They might already know not to get on grandma’s nice leather couch! Not every dog is surrendered because of behavior issues, the majority end up there because their owners simply don’t have enough time or energy to care for them properly. That’s why adoption is so important!
Unfortunately not every dog that goes into a shelter gets to come back out. There are tons of “good boys” and girls out there just waiting for someone to love them! Zoolie was lucky enough to be adopted by someone who works with dogs so she gets more attention than the average rescue, but she still took some time to open up, relax, and settle into her new life. She might not have that new puppy smell, but Zoolie is just as happy to have a new home and a new “pack” to hang out with as an expensive breeder-bought pooch! With a small amount of patience (much less than the patience it takes to train a puppy!) any shelter dog can become a welcome part of your family!