We have had a whirlwind of bringing in dogs and finding them homes over the last few days. We are extremely happy that some of the dogs that have been with us for a few weeks or in some cases a couple of months. We know that the best adoptions are when the dog chooses you but if you’re thinking about getting a dog a little homework and reflection will go a long way to putting yourself in the position to be chosen by the right dog.
 
Adopting a dog is so much like dating in high school or in your 20s. If you’re like me you wanted to go out with the cute or popular boy or girl. Think the litter of adorable litter of puppies or the one-of-a-kind Mastiff, or whatever dog is your dream dog. Spoiler alert. That cute guy from high school was for sure not the one. I was fangirling based on looks not on character and actions.
 
As we mature hopefully we look beyond looks and learn more about the people we date and make decisions that will help the relationship last for a lifetime and not be a nightmare experience that makes you sorry you opened your heart. Trust me, the same goes for puppies and dogs.
 
We’re going to assume that if you have already decided to get a dog you’ve already considered the backs such as dog care, the overall expense of food and medical care, and training and behavior. In particular, ask yourself the following three questions:
 
1. Do I have the time to give a dog the love and attention they deserve? Will I be able to give my dog the daily exercise and interaction with people and other dog friends? We’ve had dogs come back to us because they’ve destroyed the house or howled incessantly because they are in the house alone for eight or twelve hours a day. Whether it’s our excellent daycare or a dog walker or roommates getting your dog out and about it’s good to think about before getting a dog.
 
2. Can I afford the costs of having a dog (food, routine vet care, and possible additional medical costs, such as medication)?
Are my emotional expectations realistic? (A dog is not a furry little person.) Actually, now that I have had my dog for a couple of years I’m loving my dog way more than people. Especially during the political season.
 
3. Dogs are pack animals and do not do as well living on their own. Are you able to treat your dog as a valued family member and not just as an afterthought?
 
Your schedule, living situation, finances, and more all should help you to choose which dog to meet and then you can wait and see if that dog chooses you.
 
Some but certainly not all rescued dogs come with a few challenges – behavioral or physical – that can be easily overcome. However, some dogs in need of new homes might be seniors with some extra challenges or they might come to you with seizures or disabilities such as diabetes or thyroid issues. As challenging as it can be, like people, dogs with challenges can teach us compassion and acceptance and they make us better people.
 
Socialization is a lifelong process and if you choose a dog who lacks social skills (and many do), there are so many ways to help them whether a nine-week-old puppy or a dog who has lived his life as a stray. From obedience classes to online resources, and more even if you are not a very social person, you should help your dog to trust some other people, since the more social the dog is, the safer the dog will be in our human world. If you ever have problems with your dog’s health, training or behavior, get professional help from a veterinarian, trainer or behaviorist.
 
So now you’re ready to get a dog. The good news is we have dogs from puppies to seniors, all breeds and sizes, and they all are ready to choose their person.
 
I love this statement because it’s so true. “It can take days, weeks, even years to decide you love someone. But it takes two minutes to decide you love a dog.”
 
Our staff persons are outstanding at answering questions and helping to match your lifestyle with various dogs who we have right now. Once you have an idea of two or three that might work out it’s up to the dog to choose you. And then the magic can begin!