The decision to add a shelter dog to your family is a big step, but it’s also one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. There is something magical that happens when you adopt a dog: There’s an immediate bond that takes place because they know you’ve saved them. Most shelter dogs come from horrendous situations—some the victims of abuse, so at first, they might need time to adjust and open up to the concept of being loved before they become your best friend, but they will.
Walking into an animal shelter can be overwhelming, so going in with a checklist of what you’re looking for in a pet could be the key to a stress-free visit. Before you go, think about why you’re getting a dog in the first place. This will help you determine the best breed for you. Granted, most rescues have dogs that are mixed breeds, but it’s still good to have an idea about what breed types fit your needs and lifestyle.
The purpose of adding a rescue into your home is to not only improve the quality of your life, but to save their life. Sure, it’s easy to go online and find a pure breed dog from a breeder or store, but think about this: When you adopt, you’re giving an otherwise unwanted dog a chance.
There is a difference in what happens to your life when you adopt a dog rather than purchase one. Rescues are grateful that you’ve saved them, therefore every kiss is a thank you. Every nudge of the head is recognition that you’re going to change one another’s lives for the better.
Taking that dog on its first walk, you’ll see the joy written all over their body as they romp through the grass and smell the world in a way they’ve never done before. When you bring them on new adventures, their personalities start to change as they come out of their shells, because they know that they have found their place in the world. They’re like flowers blooming for the first time—beautiful, new, and full of life.
Magic happens when you adopt a dog because you are, sometimes quite literally, saving a life. So, when you’re considering a new furry family member, take a look at your local shelter, such as Pawsafe Animal Rescue (pawsafe.org), Home for Good Dogs (homeforgooddogs.org). and Paws Crossed (pawscrossedny.org), and find a face that needs a loving home.
Rebecca Axelrad is the owner of Rebecca’s Pawfect Pups – Dog Trainer, Boarder and Sitter. You can reach her at 914.424.0651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.