Sometimes we all need a little rescuing. We all need love and acceptance and often after we have fallen on hard times and pushed our luck to the limit it is a kind word or an act from a stranger that lifts us up.
Nowhere in the world is this more apparent than your local Animal shelter! In thinking of the W.I.S.E. Principles for January, nowhere will you see more Wonder, Imagination, Smiles or Energy.
My youngest daughter Haley loves animals more then anything in the world. She is a maniac at the dog park, oohing and ahhing and running in very direction trying to make sure that all of the furry friends get her love. Last weekend at our Mother/Daughter brunch outing we were talking about dogs and I suggested we sign up to volunteer at The Edmonton Humane Society. Haley was very excited at the notion that we could go in and give love and attention to the animals.
I should have known that there was no way we could stay impartial. We both fell in love immediately and more then once. We already had a cat and a huge dog at home, we absolutely did not need another pet.
My husband was away so I was texting him pictures of all the shelter animals and he liked the two I liked. Haley was crazy about a dog that was so full of personality that it ozzed out of him but I could also tell that he would be a terrible fit for my senior Newfoundland/Lab cross Rocky. That is, if I were to ever seriously consider getting another dog. Which of course I was. So seriously considering, that I sent the shelter a message as I was leaving the mall because they were closing in five minutes and we really wanted this particular loving dog that had immediately picked me to be his person. Apparently in my absence he latched on to someone else and they took him home. Obviously it wasn’t meant to be and I was probably crazy to consider another dog anyways but I had a really hard time getting it out of my head. The girls and I and their friend all took a trip to the shelter the very next day…just to visit and we took Rocky for a bath at Muddy Paws Dog Wash. I was secretly hoping that maybe my furry friend was still there but at the same time happy that he got a furever home. We wanted to visit with a dog named Buddy that we had seen the day before but he was still not ready for adoption and they couldn’t give us any information. Rocky made friends with everyone he encountered, several people wanted to adopt him. He really is the most perfect dog in the world so I left feeling like I was probably a nut to even consider another dog.
Wednesday night I was leisurely checking the Humane Society site when I saw that Buddy was now adoptable. I made plans for the girls and I along with our Rocky to meet him the next day. We were at the shelter waiting in line at 11:30 am and we left with Buddy at 5 pm. During that time I did some extremely serious contemplating. The shelter is very honest with you about their observations and anything they have noted about the dog that might be of concern. More than anything I wanted this to be a good fit for Rocky. Their initial meeting went well but it was clear that Buddy had more energy than Rocky. Three times I told staff that I wasn’t going to take him. I messaged my Aunt for her advice. She told me that if Buddy wasn’t the right dog, the right one was there and I would just know.
I couldn’t bring myself to leave the shelter. Something in me told me that what Buddy needed was a stable home and lots of love. So far that theory has been correct. The shelter was a little concerned that he might not come in the house right away, that he might not know boundaries and he might be anxious.
Buddy was really happy driving in the front of the truck with us. He bounded in the house alongside us. The girls put his new bowls down with food and water and instructed him that the other one’s were Rocky’s. Rocky laid claim to one of his new toys but I was actually relieved that Rocky was confident enough to do so. I decided to not let him sleep in my room right away. My cat Aulie and dog Rocky have staked their claim so I want it to be their safe haven initially so no jealousy issues arise amongst them.
After an emotionally and mentally taxing day I was exhausted by ten pm. Buddy settled down with Haley and the other animals with me. As soon as we got up they went outside together, ate together and followed me around while I got ready. I feel so much love and joy to know that we were able to give Buddy a place to call his own. I hope he knows how much happiness he has already brought to us.
There are some great reasons to adopt a Pet. (See below) Please consider the other pets in your home and please make sure that you are ready to care for an animal. When you bring an animal home they become your family, when they need discipline you need to put in the hard work and have patience and unconditional love. A pet is not something that you take back when you get bored.
10 Benefits of Adopting a Pet:
1. You are saving a life
By adopting from a shelter, you are providing an animal with the second chance they deserve. Many have been rescued from horrific circumstances such as cruelty, neglect and abandonment, or quite simply their owners were no longer able to look after them due to illness or a change in situation. Shelter staff work tirelessly to nurse animals back to health, rehabilitate disturbed animals and do everything they possibly can to ensure they are prepared to go to a new home. Sadly, not all of them are as fortunate. Some shelters have to euthanise due to lack of space, meaning many healthy animals lose their lives. By rehoming a pet you can give an animal that has been abandoned through no fault of their own a loving, stable home, and help to stop overpopulation.
2. You will save money
Shelters often microchip, spay, neuter and vaccinate the animals that come into their care. This saves you a lot of money because you don’t have to pay for the procedures yourself and it ensures the pet you are taking home is healthy. Also, the prices of adopting a pet from a shelter are often a lot lower than the rates charged by breeders.
3. Helping to eradicate puppy farms and pet shops
A puppy farm, or mill, is the illegal practice of breeding puppies for the sole purpose of maximising profit, without any regard to the dogs’ health or wellbeing. Dogs at puppy farms are forced to breed several times to their detriment and they are often kept in terrible conditions without basic necessities. People who run such places are not concerned with producing healthy dogs, so they can be born with severe problems that emerge over time. The dogs usually don’t receive any veterinary care, and will often be destroyed once they can no longer reproduce. Additionally, dogs at pet shops are often products of puppy farms. Adopting from a shelter aids in stopping dogs from being subjected to such horrific circumstances, because rather than funding this illegal trade you will be rehoming a pet from somewhere reputable that supports animal welfare.
4. Can improve your health and make you happier
Various studies have shown that a having pet can elongate your life, whilst improving your overall happiness and health. It also helps people with depression, stress, anxiety and many other ailments. The affectionate and loyal nature of dogs as pack animals that form close relationships with their owners can help sufferers of depression, who may feel like they don’t have anybody else. Stroking your pet can reduce your blood pressure and stress levels, and playing with them can increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine your body produces, making you feel calm and relaxed. Walking the pet is a way to exercise and provides sufferers of anxiety and depression with a reason to leave the house. It also creates opportunities for socialising with other dog walkers. The animal you have helped through rehoming can help you.
5. Can benefit children
Children can be taught valuable life skills through pet ownership, such as the importance of maintaining responsibilities. Rehoming a pet will also encourage empathy by making them think about how they have helped to give an unwanted animal a loving home. Pets can help children with separation anxiety and provide them with security, as they can be safe in the knowledge that someone will always be there. As well as this, they can be a loving companion and playmate.
6. Many of the animals are housetrained
Animals at shelters have often been housetrained in their previous home, particularly if they are older. This saves you a lot of time and extra effort when training your new pet where to go to the toilet.
7. Unconditional love
A pet is a companion that will never judge you, will love you regardless of whatever happens and will always be there. As well as making you feel great, their unconditional love raises your self-esteem because of the affection they show you. It is said that animals know when they have been rescued, so the bond between you and your rehomed pet will be especially strong.
8. You could get a pet you never expected
Although you may have an idea of what you are looking for, there are a wide variety of animals waiting to be adopted from shelters. This may mean an animal you would never have imagined could turn out to be the best match for you. Therefore, it is always important to have an open mind when visiting shelters.
9. Older animals can prove to be the best companions
Many people want to adopt puppies and kittens without considering the advantages of having an older pet. If trained in their previous home they will be less likely to destroy furniture than a younger pet, and as such, will probably require less supervision. Older pets are often calmer and quite happy to sit in your company rather than demanding constant attention. They also have more developed personalities than puppies or kittens, so it may be more apparent when visiting them at the shelter whether or not you are suited.
10. Adopting supports spaying and neutering
Spaying and neutering animals is important in controlling the animal population. Many pets that aren’t spayed or neutered often contribute to the problem of unwanted animals, which can lead to more being left at shelters. Adopting an animal from a shelter means that your new pet has been spayed or neutered where possible.
Credit above reasons to adopt a pet to Animal Friends Pet Insurance content writer Amy Callaghan.
A dog is the only thing in the world that loves you more than you love yourself!
There are lots of shelters and resources in your area. Please consider adopting, do not support puppy mills. Below are some Edmonton Shelters with adoption, fostering and volunteer opportunities.
Edmonton Humane Society