The other day at the Depawsitory we had a young man convinced that the Terrier/Mix runt of the litter was going home with him. There was an immediate connection and you’ve never seen someone so happy. Application approved! But then it happened. That afternoon he slumped in, a totally different man from the morning, the spring in his step decidedly less. Everyone didn’t agree in his household and the little sweetheart went home with someone else.

It was hard to see someone so in love with a dog not be able to adopt him, but the key to successful relationships is when everyone involved is on board.

It is officially adoption season! School is over, vacations planned, moves are over or in process. At some point this summer it will be a wonderful time to bring a new dog into your home. Lots of great weather for dog walking, dog park romps, patio dining, trail walks, and runs, long distance car trips to have fun in new places. Doesn’t that all sound fun?

It does but it starts with choosing a puppy or a dog who is a great fit for your lifestyle and everyone in your home.

We chose to bring Mele home because she and Coconut had been such great playmate at the NEW PAWSitive daycare. Looking back I think I should have spent more time with her to learn more about her temperament. Turns out she is higher strung than I might have liked and so it’s taking longer to blend her into our family. It’s working and it’s worth it, just harder than I thought it would be.

Once you find your dog, and we consistently have the best selection of dogs in Northwest Wisconsin, then the hard work begins.

NEW PAWSibilities has a policy where you are able to bring your dog home immediately, we have same day adoptions or you can wait up to five days to make sure everything is right at home. If you’ve been looking for a while, or you already have a dog, then bringing your new companion home the first day might work for you. In retrospect, Coconut coming home the same day was not a well thought out plan and we paid dearly for not thinking it through.

There are some necessities such as food, we sell Taste of the Wild which my dogs love, water, and food bowls, we sell the elevated sets made by prisoners and they are awesome. We sell leashes, collars, and harnesses from Lupine and they come with a 100% guarantee even if chewed and they are made in Vermont and outstanding. A bed would be helpful to have before bringing your pooch home. HomeGoods Store along with pet stores such as the Depawsitory all sell what you need. I like to spend money locally but obviously, Amazon and the online pet stores offer good selections, too.

Just like bringing home a new baby you might want to dog-proof your home. Cover electrical wires and pick up small items that are enticing for dogs to chew. In my case it cell phone charging cords were the victims. If there are rooms the dog should not have access to such as a door-less pantry with poisonous macadamia nuts on the first shelf, you’ll want to close off those areas. If you have a fence walk the perimeter to look for any areas where the new pooch can easily slip through or dig under. Make sure the latches on all gates are secure. Turns out Coconut could jump one section of the fence, burrow under another, and the latch sometimes did not stay secure so we had quite a few unexpected romps through the neighborhood trying to find the runaway dog.

Crates, kennels, whatever you might call it, receive my absolute best invention award for dog parents who want a life and nice things. We are likely at the point where we could leave our dogs and they would sleep on the sofa the entire time. But they willingly go into the kennel, they don’t bark according to the neighbors, and they seem happy. Why mess with perfection?

Your dog has an open shelter during the day at NEW PAWSibilities so they can socialize and burn off energy. But at night they are in the kennel so they do know what it’s like. Some dogs, like Coconut, came kennel trained. Others aren’t. I highly recommend buying a kennel because it will give your new dog a safe place to decompress. Do as I say, not as I did.

The first night I actually had a kennel but no one mentioned that using it would be a good idea. I figured four hours away at the Grand Theater so my tickets weren’t wasted, turned out to be a terrible show anyway, would mean some poop to clean off my hardwood floors. Boy, was I wrong! Drapes and shades were destroyed on five windows, 106” and very expensive to replace, a pantry filled with ruined food, and a dog who somehow sprained his leg so badly that he could not walk necessitating a Sunday ER visit to the tune of $500.00. The entire night of horror cost me over $2,500.00 and one terrified little dog.

Preparation for the new dog is no different than what you did for the new baby. Our staff can make suggestions and we have a FAQ page with links to articles, books, and trainers in our adoption area.

We all rejoice when a dog goes home and we cry a little if he comes back. Most of the time a dog is returned it’s because there was no planning and the expectation came nowhere to the reality. It takes more than a couple of days to make a transition. We are always available if you need to call or stop in to ask questions about how things are going. We know it takes time and hard work but rescuing a dog and creating a home could well mean that dog rescues you. Totally win/win with just a little effort.