Pet adoption gives animals a new lease on life. There are pets to meet everyone's needs; kittens, cats, puppies, dogs, and even reptiles and rabbits. There are pets looking for the perfect fit for them, and people looking for just the right pet.
Most of the dogs I had had throughout my life had been purebred Labrador retrievers, and one purebred Boston terrier. Of the many dogs our family raised, though, my two favorites were mixed breeds, a Chesapeake Bay retriever/Lab named Barney, and a dog that could best be described as a Heinz 57; Chubba looked to be part wolf, part sled dog, and he had a wooly undercoat like a sheep. He was the gentlest dog we ever had.
A few years ago, I promised myself that when I was ready to get a dog again, I was going to adopt from a shelter. For one thing, I couldn't afford the French bull dog puppy of my dreams on my retired teacher income, and for another, it just didn't make much sense for me to buy a papered dog when there are so many perfectly good dogs available through the shelters and rescues. I was just sure I'd be able to find a dog that needed a good home, and that we would both benefit from the experience.
Chuck had made no such promises, and was hoping we would find a purebred Lab. He scoured the classifieds, and even stopped off at the local puppy store to check out their inventory one evening.
Our names were on several waiting lists with local Lab rescues when we decided to check out Anderson Animal Shelter as a possible place for me to do some volunteer work. Was I secretly hoping we'd find the dog of our dreams there? Yes, I knew they had some adorable puppies and dogs, and was hopeful we'd find one we would both like.
|Doesn't he look like a grey Labrador puppy?|
As you know, we ended up with not one, but two puppies. Bristol looked like a roly-poly Labrador puppy who just happened to be grey. Chuck didn't agree.
After meeting Bristol's mother, who looked nothing like any of her offspring, Chuck was quite certain the chances of Bristol's being part Lab were pretty slim. He knew I wanted that grey puppy, though, no matter the DNA. I agreed that if he could find a Lab or Lab mix for Chuck, I would help raise his puppy, too.
|Lab mix or not, Sam's adorable.|
Assuming that the black puppy he met was what her info sheet said she was, Chuck allowed himself to fall in love with the little "Retriever/Lab mix." From the get-go, I looked at her perky little ears, and her curled tail, and saw not much that said Lab about her, but Chuck just knew Sam was the dog for him.
So now we have not one, but two non-Lab puppies, and we love our dogs. It makes me feel better that we made a difference in their lives; they both have a new lease on life, thanks to our adopting them.
I'm not one to soapbox much, but I think I could easily be an advocate for the "ADOPT; DON'T SHOP" concept. The shelters are full of wonderful pets that need homes. Many of the dogs are mixed breeds, but in many cases, that can be an advantage.
Look at all the "designer dogs" that are just over-priced half-breeds, in my opinion, that combine the desirable characteristics from two different breeds. By adopting, you can avoid the high costs of owning a papered pup, and buy a dog for much less money that has already been neutered and micro-chipped.
Our lives have been changed for the better since opening our home to these two rescue dogs. There are so many dogs looking for their furever families. If you're thinking about adding a pet to your family, consider adopting. I don't think you will regret it.