Pictured: Peter. See Featured Pets, below.
I have a friend in Boston who is trying to adopt a dog. Let's call her Amy, since that's her name. Like me, she believes strongly in adopting a dog that needs a home, but she has been turned down several times. She lives in a condo complex with no fenced-in yard, plus this would be her first dog.
I can understand how a yard is important but many people living in big cities do not have yards, and I think that without a yard a dog may be in better shape because the owner is forced to walk the dog. Our Topo might have already lost that extra pound that haunts her if I were forced to walk her more instead of just opening the door to the yard.
The other issue for Amy is that now she is getting scared and picky about the dogs she applies for. She says things like, 'What if she has separation anxiety or is aggressive?' While it is important to choose a dog that fits your lifestyle, there is no such thing as a perfect dog. You just don't know until you spend time with the dog. When we were looking for our second dog through rescue we didn't know about separation anxiety. It turned out that Bowie has it. If we knew that on the front end we may not have taken him and we would have missed out on a nearly perfect dog. We learned how to deal with his issues.
Adopting any pet is a big decision and a huge commitment. You should have some idea of what type of dog you can care for based on your house or apartment size, how much exercise each breed needs, the grooming factor, obedience classes and, most of all, the affordability of the dog's health. Just this weekend our Bowie had to visit the vet for an anal sac issue. I'll spare you the gory details, but know that it cost close to $100.
Whether you look to a shelter or a foster organization, expect the adoption process to take a while. Sometimes the organizations will require a home visit. The dog must be spayed or neutered when you adopt it or this must be done within a certain amount of time from the adoption, as they do not want to add to the already large population of homeless dogs. Both types of organizations usually require some type of monetary donation for adopting a dog, typically somewhere between $50 ( shelter ) to $300.
Many people are hesitant to adopt a pet thinking that the pet must have major issues since the original owners gave them up. This is not always the case. There are a ton of adoptable pets that are homeless for all sorts of other reasons. There are homeless pets of every age available as well.
Adopting Bowie has been one of the most rewarding things we have ever done. He is the sweetest and most loving dog and there has been no greater joy than giving him a home. We got him when he was nine months old and while we missed seeing him as a small puppy, we certainly didn't miss the potty training days. That is a big advantage in getting a dog that is not a puppy!
So when considering adding a pet to your home, please consider adoption. We feature an adoptable pet in every column. If anyone out there has adopted a pet you saw here, by all means send me the picture of you and that pet!
Hi, I'm Peter, a 10-month-old kitten. I am incredibly personable and sweet-natured. I love to be picked up and snuggled, and I love a good laser pointer too. I have tested positive for FIV, but am as healthy as any other Tree House cat here. With regular vet care ( which Tree House helps with, at cost!!! ) and a high-quality diet, I can live a regular healthy life. Please consider adopting me! I get along well with other cats, and would most likely be fine ( and non-contagious ) with dogs! Tree House Animal Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-784-5488