The picture is of Maynard. He lived 18 wonderful years in a good home, once he was rescued by my friend,
Theresa. I never met Maynard but I heard a lot about him. From all accounts he was a good boy and a blessing to everyone who knew him. That's my kind of dog. That's my kind of human too!
I was deeply moved when Maynard passed away last week. I have two beautiful rescue dogs myself and I work with shelter dogs on a weekly basis. It always gets to me when a beloved "pet" (I dislike that word), member of the family leaves behind that empty space for the family who loved him/her. You see, rescue dogs are special. People bring them into their lives usually because they are truly wanted, whereas pet shop puppies are often impulse buys, purchased by people who are seduced by the cuteness of a little puppy. They have no real idea what they're getting into.
My friends who work with me at the local shelter always tell me I am the worst salesman ever! I guess I am. I tell people the reality of having a new member of the family. Dogs will have accidents on your newly cleaned floor. Whether housebroken or not, their potty schedule doesn't always work with yours. Dogs throw up unexpectedly. They will try to let you know, but that isn't always feasible. They will wake you up in the middle of the night. They may eat a few of your favorite shoes before they learn that is unacceptable. They have personalities that are individual just like human beings. They will have to learn and grow by mimicking their owners characteristics. Just like a child, it takes time, patience, and love. Most of all love. I tell people, if they don't have tons of love to give, I recommend a goldfish. Even then, I might worry about the goldfish!
Let's say you meet all my criteria. Yay! You can have a new member of the family. BUT, there is one more thing to be aware of. That new love of your life will grow old. You will probably outlive them so, are you prepared for the inevitability of their senior years? The vet bills? The added stress you will go through when you face their decline? These are things I ask people to think about seriously. I am not interested in finding temporary homes. I am only interested in permanent ones.
Okay. Okay. I KNOW I can get on a soapbox about this subject. Believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pet (that word again) adoption. I believe with all my heart that every living creature is connected to every other living thing. It is our duty to protect each other according to our natures and our abilities. I just saw a video of a bird feeding it's dog friend noodles from a pot on the stove that the dog couldn't reach. Tell me we're not ALL connected. Love is NOT exclusive to the human race.
Well, maybe this was a bit of a ramble but I hope it makes my point. We are all responsible for the choices we make, whether it is adopting an animal, or watching out for the people around us, even the people we might not want to see.
Peace and Love,