This post is by my friend and Grab Your Group and GO co-pilot Stacie. She may love dogs more than me. Nah impossible… correction… She loves dogs AS MUCH as I do.
I hope everyone who is considering adding a new dog, cat, bunny, ferret or fish will consider adopting from a shelter. There are millions of pets adopted each year in the US. If you’ve been thinking about growing your family with a furry or feathered friend, now is the time. August 19, 2017 is national Clear the Shelters Day. Last year on this day, over 50,000 animals found new homes. I guarantee everyone’s lives (animals and humans) are better for it. If you know you want a purebred pet and think you can’t adopt, read on…
My family suffered two big losses this year. In January we had to put down our almost 11 year old Black Lab, Chase. In May, his brother Trouble followed him over the Rainbow Bridge. We adopted them when they were nine weeks old. Over the years, they enriched our lives in every way possible, though our time together was much too short.
They woke up with us everyday with the enthusiasm for life only a lab could provide and went to sleep with us every night like they had the grandest day ever. They protected the house from all “intruders”. They gamely hopped in the car for every road-trip to Vermont, Montauk, Ohio and Michigan. Better hiking partners, I could not imagine.
When we left for work in the mornings, they tilted their heads confused and wondering why we didn’t just stay home with them. They stuck with us when we introduced new family members; first a cat that needed a home, and later three standard poodles that moved in after their parents passed. Through two knee surgeries, countless sleepless nights when they were sick and thousands of meals we were together – until we weren’t together anymore.
The loss has left a gaping hole in our hearts and in our household. We still have the three wonderful Poodles, but it’s just not the same as having a slobbering, wiggling, firing on all cylinders to make the most of his/her life, lab in the house.
Case in point: a few weeks after we said goodbye to Trouble, I spilled an entire bowl of dog food on the floor during the morning feeding. The labs would have swooped in before the bowl hit the floor and inhaled as much food as caninely possible. But they weren’t there and the poodles were not one bit impressed by the spill. So I had to clean up the errant kibble through my tears and prepare a new, never been on the floor, meal for our more refined Poodles to enjoy. AND I have a toybox full of dog toys that haven’t been touched since Trouble passed on. So it was decided it was time to get another dog – we needed a lab back in our home.
When we began our search, I started asking people in the park where they got their dogs from. The answers I received warmed my heart. Paws New England, New England Lab Rescue and Lucky Lab Rescue were just some of the answers I heard. The “Adopt – Don’t Shop” message was out and thriving!
My sister adopted her first dog from a Golden Retriever Rescue. Before that, I didn’t know you could adopt a purebred dog. I think most people don’t know this. The AKC maintains a list of Rescue Organizations by breed and there is one for every breed of dog out there. You want a Boston Terrier, go to Northeast Boston Terrier Rescue. If you want a Pit Bull, go to Bully Wag. For Golden Retrievers, there’s Golden Endings Rescue or Tennessee Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. We wanted a Labrador Retriever, so we started searching Lucky Labs and New England Lab Rescue.
Just google the breed + your location + rescue to find a group near you. If you can’t find a local rescue, use Petfinder.com and enter the breed or if you are in NYC, try Social Tees Rescue. I am confident that you can find the new furry family member that you are looking for. There are even rescue organizations for Bunnies, Ferrets, Turtles and Lizards. And did I mention cats, because there are just as many cats adopted each year as there are dogs!
There are so many dogs that are in need of a loving forever home, not hundreds, not thousands, but over a million dogs are adopted each year in the United States. There are puppies and seniors. My sister’s first dog was a one year old pure bread Golden Retriever that was house broken and had passed all of his training classes. His family was moving and they chose not to take their dog with them. As horrible as that was, it worked out for my sister and for her amazing dog Brodie.
Dogs are available for a variety of reasons. It may be that the family’s housing situation has changed. The owner may have passed away without family that could step in to care for the animal. It’s also possible that the dogs are coming from an environment or situation that we could never understand. In every case, you will be adopting an animal that needs a loving and caring forever home.
Michael and I were lucky to find Mike and Molly at the Lucky Lab Rescue. They are about seven years old and were surrendered after their owner died. We saw so many dogs that we wish we could give a home to, but we settled on Mike and Molly because they are an older bonded pair that would have a hard time being placed together. They have been at the shelter for about eight months. Molly appears to be a Husky mix (oh, those eyes!). And Mike is reported to be a classic, goofy Chocolate Labrador Retriever. They are heading out on a transport to New England at the end of the month. We look forward to welcoming them into our home…