I’ll be the first to admit that although we got a shelter dog, I cannot stand owning her. She is messy (fur, mud, etc.), she is more needy than a baby, and she stresses easily which means garbage, stickers, and all sorts of crap all over our house and is also her favorite things to eat so she seems to be choking a lot on the things she eats off the floor.
But the problem is that I don’t like messes. She leaves fur everywhere, she has dirty paws, she licks everything, and when she gets stressed, she leaves us messes to clean up or she takes our shoes and if we’re gone from her too long, she’ll chew on the shoes, but only my favorite ones. And to go along with the shoe problem, she takes the shoes of who she’s mad at. Before we leave the house, if the kids lay on her and bother Millie, the kids’ shoes will be taken when we get home (we leave all of our shoes by the front door as we’re a no-shoes-in-the-house household). When I’ve refused to let her ride in the car, my shoes will be gone. If she’s felt offended by my husband (not enough love for Millie, not enough attention, etc.), his shoes will be gone.
But this is why I’m glad we have her. She was left alone. When we found her at the shelter, her fur was matted, stinky, she had ear infections and the grossest ears I’ve ever seen, she had obviously had multiple batches of puppies, and her teeth looked dreadful.
We’ve had her almost two years now and she has some obvious Post Trauma Stress Disorder problems. She’s fearful of every single loud sound. She’s afraid of women. She’s scared every time I raise anything above her. If she does get hit by something, she runs and hides and cowers like she’s the worst dog in the world. She reminds me of a kid way too often. And she rarely enjoys being in our presence. It’s often as if she’s just biding her time until she passes and it’s hurtful to us as we were hoping for a dog who would enjoy sitting with us at least.
Millie was found on the side of the road just off of a freeway. Who knows how long she had been there but probably not too long. She was only at the shelter for about a week including the few days the shelter held her in case the owners came forward. She’s obviously scared of abuse.
She came into a family that wanted a lovable dog. We wanted a dog to play with the kids, sleep in the kids’ bedrooms, watch out our windows and long to be outside, and one who would just love us because we were more than willing to love her.
Unfortunately she’s not the dog we dreamed of. But that’s okay.
She needed a good home and we were able to provide her with one.
Here’s some of the best reasons to adopt a dog from the shelter:
The dog needs a home. Yes, every dog needs a good home but the ones at the shelter are counting down the days until euthanasia.
There are plenty of purebred dogs at the shelter and plenty of mixed breeds with no problems. Often times a family decides they can’t keep the dog for whatever reason, allergies, moving, renting, etc.
Although puppies are always fun, they are a lot of work. In my opinion, they are worse to house train than potty training kids. There are a lot of messes including clothing, shoes, blankets, papers, and toys being torn apart. Older dogs at the shelter often have already been house trained or have learned a few things to make your life a lot easier.
Dogs adjust and learn new tricks. Our dog was at least 4 years old when we got her and she adjusted to our home fairly quickly and came with no learned tricks which meant that we got to teach her all new tricks and leash train her. It was basically like getting a puppy but she was much more calm than a puppy and was already house trained. It also only took her a couple of weeks to learn almost all of the tricks we wanted her to know. Our neighbor swears she speaks English as we say random commands like “go home,” “inside,” “outside,” “backyard,” “go play,” “stop,” “don’t eat that,” and “find ____” and she knows exactly what to do and does it. To be honest, I’m always a little impressed as well.
Just because a breed has a stereotype doesn’t always mean that the dogs are that stereotype. Although I probably would never get a pit bull to have near my little children, I have met plenty of friendly pit bulls who have good owners and have been trained to be well-behaved dogs. The reason I mention pit bulls is because they are the most common breed at shelters and they need good homes.
When you go out to look for that perfect dog, please don’t forget about your local animal shelter. They need homes, too.