In honor of their 15th birthday, Petfinder arranged to adopt the internet today! When I received an email about the event that included a request to blog about pet adoption, how could I resist? Obviously, I couldn’t!
(Get ready for the biggest cliche to ever appear on this blog!)
Because adopting a dog changed my life.
I adopted Emmett in July 2006. He was cute, sweet, cuddly, and happy! I had no idea what a Staffie was. To me, he was and is just my Emmett. But he opened up my world to this whole other world, a world where people have to defend their dogs not because of anything they’ve done, but because of how they look. Loving Emmett turned me into an advocate for animal welfare (albeit accidentally). I had to advocate for him, obviously, so how could I not advocate for other dogs like him?
And then I adopted Lucas. Lucas, my fearful pup, who would get so scared that he would lunge and snap and snarl, quivering the whole time. He would hide under the table when the TV was turned on, and he could not be patted. But I could see the fear in his eyes, and I knew that beyond the fear there was a wonderful boy in there. He was just trapped by his fear. So I read every book I could on dog training, then on dog behavior. We took lots and lots of classes and worked with many trainers. Lucas reminds me every single day that I still have tons to learn, but I wouldn’t be nearly so aware of animal behavior and training and all the joys that come from that if I hadn’t adopted Lucas.
And then there’s Cooper, my foster failure. He’s a sweet, silly, playful, brilliant pit bull mix. He’s been here nearly six months, and it’s hard to believe he ever wasn’t here! But then I remember that there was a time when I could get my work done in one sitting. And I could get the laundry done without someone running off with socks or underpants. Cooper’s job is to teach me patience, and he’s working really, really hard at getting through to me. Check out other dogs from Cooper’s rescue on Petfinder.
I know that it’s super important to focus on the dogs who are suffering, the puppy mills that run a thriving, cruel business, and the dogs who are languishing away in shelter. Every single one of those dogs deserves a chance at a happy, loving home. Sadly, many people have a bad idea about shelter dogs. That they’re somehow less than or worse than a purchased pup. The reality is that they can be the absolute best friends, the sweetest companions, and the best teachers anyone could ever hope for.
My guys have literally changed my life.
Take a chance. Adopt a dog, and let him (or her!) change yours.
Is there an adopted dog in your life? Tell me about him or her in the comments! How has your dog changed your life?