My dogs are spoiled. I was cold last evening as I read on the sofa covered in dogs. It’s amazing how two dogs can cover the human body. My phone was in the office so I couldn’t use the App to increase the heat or get a throw because that would have meant disturbing the dogs. I froze until they decided it was time for a walk. And we went. They are so spoiled.
But I am spoiled, too. Today is National Pet Parents Day. My dogs spoil me with unconditional love, with kisses, and cuddles, and laughter. They spoil me with their thankfulness. They spoil me by giving me a purpose.
I’m sure dogs who are bred humanely make great companion pets. But there’s something special about being a pet parent to a shelter dog.
Rescues often come from some pretty awful and scary conditions so once they find their person they appreciate the finer things in life. Like using their person as a sofa.
The investment in a dog from a breeder is significant and then you are responsible for all the extra expenses such as shots and spay/neuter, and other things. Because rescues tend to be mixed breeds then rescue dogs come from a more diversified gene pool. Why does that matter? Like humans, some breeds are more prone to breed specific health problems. The things I’ve learned include are also often genetically prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, Chihuahuas are prone to knee issues which can lead to arthritis, and Boxers are prone to heart-related and thyroid problems, as well as skin allergies. If we and our dogs live long enough we all will have health issues. But mutts historically are healthier with fewer of those breed-specific health issues. That means fewer vet visits and bills and, if fed and exercised correctly, longer lives.
Both of my rescues seem to have street smarts and an ability to survive. I am hoping they never run away or get loose but if they do I feel more confident about their ability to find food and hold his own with other dogs. Thanks to their microchips, a fence, and being an obsessive dog mommy, I think they will be okay.
Now that I’m active in the dog community I am stunned by the picky eaters. My kids grew up in the “if you don’t like it, don’t eat it, you won’t starve to death if you miss once meal” club. Rescue dogs generally aren’t finicky when it comes to food. I want the best I can afford for my dogs but I don’t have to jump through culinary hoops and dip into my food budget to make them happy. They are just happy to eat because they likely had many weeks or longer when they had to forage.
Rescue dogs know they have been rescued. I hate to think of why my cuties ended up in such a state. They are grateful and they are so in tune to my needs. I think all dogs are like that because that’s how they have been wired. But both of my dogs seem kind and sensitive and when to provide the support I need. It’s an awesome characteristic.
We’ve only had Mele for two weeks and she already knows her boundaries, is housetrained except a couple of early accidents, and is already attached to both of the people in her household. He and Coconut are becoming fast friends which makes me happy.
The best reason to be a rescue dog parent is that rescue dogs have often experienced a profound lack of love and they are thrilled to be loved. The more we love the more they love and as that bond grows stronger the wagging tail and loving kisses become a daily part of life in short order.
There are always exceptions to every rule, but being a pet parent, especially to a rescue dog, is one of the best choices I have made.
The sun is out, the weather is great, and the time to choose a dog is perfect. What are you waiting for?