My husband and I recently adopted a new dog. It’s been nearly a year since Sage died, and we’ve felt the tugging for a few months, prompting us to consider bringing another dog into our home. However, we still have Cody, and two cats also call our house ‘home’, therefore, we had to be quite selective as to the personality and age of a new dog. Mary, a half-springer/half-cocker, fit the bill: older, spayed female, raised with cats, calm, attentive and trained, and therapy-pet trained to boot! She and Cody bonded almost instantly, and one of our cats is now also a friend (the other continues to allude and hide, but that flightiness is just part of her temperament). Mary’s former owned died suddenly, and the family needed to find a new home for her, so they turned to a rescue organization for assistance in re-homing her.
Adoption Requires Adaption
Adoption can be turmoil for all involved. I think of the drastic changes in Mary's life, from a loving home of nearly six years, to a foster home to our home. How confusing that must be for a dog! Yet, dogs are resilient, and as along as they are given love, encouragement, attention and acceptance, they do adjust. Just as Sage adapted to her new home and her situation of becoming blind, so Mary is adjusting to a new life with us. Soon, she and I will begin therapy training, becoming partners in helping others, just as she and her former owner did, providing even greater stability and certainty in her life.
Our lives, too, need to adjust. Although there are similarities between Mary and Sage because of the Springer breed, Mary is sighted; and many times when she sees something (person, cat, dog) out the front window, she barks. And, though Cody can also see, he is elderly (nearly 15!) and can no longer jump up on the furniture to look out the window – therefore, his barking is not as frequent. And, being younger than Cody, Mary has more energy – she needs more frequent and longer walks as well as more time in the backyard. We are all adjusting and learning.
Despite the changes, there is greater joy and comfort in our home. Mary loves to snuggle in bed and cuddle on the couch. She lays beside my feet while I'm in my sunroom office and next to my husband's desk in his home office. She has come to trust us, accept us, and bask in the companionship of us and our other pets.
Not all homeless pets are as fortunate. Statistics indicate nearly 7 million dogs and cats are turned over to shelters and rescues every year; almost half are euthanized. Yet, millions of people in America are pet owners and spend billions of dollars each year on pet food, supplies, and goodies, including clothing. People love pets!
Share Warmth, Share Love – Adopt!
As spring casts its warmth upon the land, may we who love dogs and cats share the warmth of love with animals in need. Adoption is a beautiful thing, and opening one's heart and home to a pet who needs that love and warmth helps to save lives. Perhaps your heart, like mine, is being tugged to again love a pet... share that love – Adopt! Visit your local shelter or rescue organization or stop by Petfinder.com – your new furry friend just might be a short distance or a click away -- ours was!