I wanted to create a page that speaks to the positive impact that adopting a rescue dog can make on two lives… your’s and a dog’s.
A few years ago, a friend of mine adopted a dog that she found on PetFinder.com. Meeting the little guy got me thinking about the possibility of adopting a dog, so I visited the site to see if there might be a good fit. I was heartbroken by all of the sweet dogs in need of a home, and felt that it was my responsibility to take one in.
After 5 or 6 different searches, I noticed that one dog in particular kept returning as a result. His name was Sam… an almost two-year old Cocker Spaniel. His profile read that he had been moved from house to house and was currently living with a foster family. His story motivated me to email the rescue organization.
A few days later, Sam’s foster mom and I met at a public place where we got acquainted. When I pulled up to the driveway, she was standing in the parking lot with this energetic pup. While I wanted to get some good one-on-one time with him, he was more interested in the birds chirping and all of the various scents outside.
His foster mom and I chatted for awhile. It turned out that Sam had been abused in his original home and was easily scared. She encouraged me to take him home for a week-long trial to see how we’d get along. Honestly, I was a little hesitant, but said “sure!”.
That evening, our drive home became the first of many. The entire way, he stood with his front paws on the center console staring me down. His cold wet nose was about an inch away from the side of my face. He was scared yet excited and inspected me with great detail.
Once we got home, we watched Monday Night Football, had dinner together, went on a few walks, and he met some of my neighbors. He even slept right next to me all night. In a few short hours, he felt at home and we were comfortable with each other. The next morning I woke up, called the rescue and told them that I’d like to adopt.
At first, I was unsure that I was the right parent for him. I explained to the rescue leader that I worked alot and wasn’t sure how he’d like being at home for periods of time by himself. But she assured me that if he was in a loving home that took good care of him, he’d be okay while I was gone. So I adopted him. As fate would have it, his adoption date fell on his birthday.
Sam was and is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He was my best friend and source of much laughter over the years. We did everything together. He loved going for rides in the car with the top down, he got a kick out of going through the Taco Bell drive-thru, and couldn’t wait to visit with family. Sam even accompanied me on two cross-country road-trip/re-locations. He was a great co-pilot! He was perfect in the hotels and enjoyed stopping in each state to see the sites.
The point of this story is to encourage you to consider adopting a rescue dog. There are so many amazing dogs that are lost, lonely, and need a good home. Sure, there are a lot of responsibilities that go along with being a dog parent, but the rewards greatly outnumber the sacrifices.
In March of 2014, Sam passed away from cancer. I miss Sam so much and I’m grateful that he taught me the value in giving second chances. I encourage you to do the same. Give a dog who needs a home, a place to be.
Even if you’re not sure that dog adoption right for you, I humbly ask you to check out PetFinder.com or visit your local shelter. You never know when you’re going to make that connection. If you live in the Twin Cities, I highly recommend Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue.
But let me caveat this post by saying, PLEASE do not adopt if this thought enters your mind “If I decide that owning a dog is not for me, I’ll give it back”. Once you adopt, that’s your dog and giving it back will only confuse and hurt it. A rescue dog will get very attached to you, so if you’re not sure about adopting, then don’t do it.
If you would like more information about pet adoption, please email me at adamdince at gmail dot com.
Sam and Adam